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Vladi brilliant! Hughes so proud of lads

Vladimir Weiss 0809

Vladimir Weiss 0809

Mark Hughes was celebrating a job well done last night in the shadow of the Nou Camp - and not just because his mix-and-match Blues had turned over the reigning European champions.

Manager Hughes wanted his fit players to see how it feels to face the best in their own lair, but maybe he also thrust a star of the future into the spotlight in young Vladi Weiss.

The young Slovakian winger, not 20 until November and with just 18 minutes' senior playing time in his locker, was a revelation on the big stage before an audience of more than 94,000.

Hughes was so pleased with Academy graduate Weiss' debut, he interrupted the press conference translations to namecheck the right winger in case his Spanish inquisitors missed the point.

He said: "I've been able to give some young players the opportunity to play in the Nou Camp, a night they will never forget.

"Barcelona have great depth and great young talent, as we saw. But the most outstanding young player was probably Vladi Weiss for City, and it was great to get Kieran Trippier on the pitch."

Barcelona, unable to crack City's magnificent back four and goalkeeper Shay Given after Martin Petrov's cool 27th-minute strike, were without a good few of their European final stars.

But City were missing Robinho, Emmanuel Adebayor and others, and Hughes added: "We also had probably seven or eight senior players unavailable so we were not at full strength either.

"I felt it was an experience that we needed. We are developing as a team and having the opportunity to come to the European champions and try and compete was vitally important.

"You expect to concede possession to a team of Barcelona's quality, but you have to take your chances when they come. We were calm, organised and understood what we were trying to achieve.

"We're very proud, it was a great evening. To have a good night and win at the Nou Camp doesn't happen to many teams, so when it does happen, you have to enjoy it. It doesn't get much better.

"We're told it's the first time an English team has won the Joan Gamper trophy. OK, it's a friendly, but it's still a feather in our cap. Barcelona aren't allowed to lose friendlies, especially on their own patch."

Hughes already had one eye on the home opener with Wolves as the squad tucked into a late meal. He said: "It was always going to be a big crowd ... I'm sure they'll be swinging from the rafters after this."

Match Report

Barcelona 0 City 1

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