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Barca recap

There were a few doubters about whether we should be travelling over to Spain to participate in a friendly right at the start of the season when focus should solely be on the Premier League.

Last night's victory should dispel that notion though, as the victory aside, I'm sure that Hughes and the squad took a great deal from the game, and will be a good experience for the likes of Stephen Ireland, who has perhaps not had the opportunity on a big stage as yet.

I caught pretty much most of the game, and must admit to being surprised at the attendance for it - a definite sign of the esteem this particular pre-season game is held in for Barcelona. Whilst we are not ready to be annointed European Champions-elect following the win, despite putting the finishes touches to their pre-season it was a win against a side that had quality throughout it.

Whilst Barca dominated possession throughout the game, this was always to be expected against a side of their quality (despite not all of their strongest side featuring from the start) and we were under the cosh for large periods.

We weathered this well though, looking compact and composed at the back, keeping discipline and shape when mattered and Barca, for all their domination in possession hardly laid siege to our goal.

There were a couple of notable performances for me yesterday. Firstly, Martin Petrov. There have been reports that he could be keen to move given an apparant lack of opportunity (Everton and Tottenham the two sides mentioned). I do have a feeling that he is very much in Hughes's plans and he will see a fair chunk of action over the course of the season. He took his goal well yesterday - evidence that this part of his game should not be underestimated.

Most notable though was Valdimir Weiss. Not included to make up the numbers, this was a genuine test for him and he passed with flying colours. He certainly looks to have filled out a little over the summer and looked every bit a part of the side. Hughes appears to rate him highly and during the course of the season, I expect him to make an impact on the side.