Barcelona warmed up for Tuesday night’s Champions League last-16 second leg tie against Arsenal with an unconvincing win at home to struggling Real Zaragoza.
Seydou Keita, who had earlier seen an effort controversially ruled out for offside, scored the only goal of the game when he slid home Lionel Messi’s low cross just before the break.
But Barca, despite their superior possession, quality and number of chances, were unable to make the game safe and will have been happy to hear the final whistle in the end.
Barca coach Pep Guardiola took his place on the bench despite having been released for hospital only hours before the game.
Guardiola, who was admitted with a lower back problem on Thursday, was visibly struggling as he took his seat and was a less animated figure than usual.