Barcelona took to the field tonight looking for yet another trophy for an already creaking cabinet. Porto’s summer signing Kleber started brightly for the Portuguese side, showing some good touches in the opening exchanges. In the fourth minute some sloppy play by Keita gifted a shot to Guarin whose volley ricocheted off the elbow of Abidal and a free kick was awarded inches outside the penalty area. Hulk stepped up but couldn’t keep his left footed effort down. Indeed Porto’s pressure was proving to be too much for the Catalans and they struggled to find their rhythm. Barcelona’s first chance fell to Pedro after Iniesta’s chipped through ball took a deflection to find the winger in an acre of space with only the keeper to beat. His first time volley failed to chip the advancing goalie and bobbled over the bar as he appeared unaware of how much time he had on his hands.
Porto manager, Vitor Pereira, has been speaking ahead of his side’s European Super Cup clash with FC Barcelona this evening, with the new Dragoes coach admitting his side are not favourites to lift the trophy, but the Portguese manager insists his team are not there to merely make up the numbers against the Catalan champions.
So, what do Pep Guardiola and Captain Jack Sparrow have in common? Both have endeared us with their propensity for treasure hunting and ability to dispense with power-hungry scallywags. And although Sparrow may need a few more blockbusters to uncover as much silverware as Guardiola, the FC Barcelona manager needs just one more thriller to attain the record of most trophy-laden coach in club history.
In a special article for the UEFA Super Cup program, FC Barcelona defender Eric Abidal spoke with Barcelona based writer Graham Hunter about the beginning of his professional career in Monaco, the scene for Friday’s match between Barça and Porto.
A few excerpts from the article are after the jump. The full article can be read here.
Following training on Wednesday afternoon at Camp Nou, it was decided that the entire squad will travel to Monaco for the European Super Cup match with Porto. Barça B’s Dos Santos, Cuenca, Bartra and Oier Olazábal will travel for Friday’s match, as will the injured members of the squad. The other news from the session was that Alexis Sánchez has received his medical clearance and could feature in the match against Porto.