BARCELONA - Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his debut for Barcelona in the second half of their 1-0 defeat by Manchester City in the Joan Gamper Trophy on Wednesday. With City already ahead after Bulgarian Martin Petrov raced clear and finished coolly past reserve Barca keeper Jose Manuel Pinto just before the half hour, Ibrahimovic came on at the break in the Catalans' traditional season curtain-raiser. The former Inter Milan striker, wearing protection on the fractured hand that kept him out of Sunday's Spanish Super Cup first-leg win over Athletic Bilbao, was given a warm reception as he set about trying to produce an equaliser. After linking well several times with Lionel Messi, he had a low volley well saved by City goalkeeper Shay Given in the 73rd minute and the Irishman kept out the Swede's crisp long-range effort shortly after. Argentina forward Messi struck a shot against the post in the final moments but City held on to win at a packed and sultry Nou Camp. Barca coach Pep Guardiola included just two of the players -- Carles Puyol and Yaya Toure -- who featured in their Champions League final win over Manchester United in May in his starting line-up. Carlos Tevez started for big-spending City but fellow summer signing Emmanuel Adebayor and Robinho did not play. It was a successful return to the Nou Camp for City manager Mark Hughes, who spent a season with Barca in the mid-1980s, scoring four goals in 28 matches.
20 August 2009
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