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Dublin: 6 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019
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A former Arsenal defender made his debut for Barcelona yesterday, 9 months after joining

Thomas Vermaelen has had a litany of injury problems since moving to the Camp Nou last summer.

Image: Rodolfo Molina/AP/Press Association Images

IT TOOK A while but Thomas Vermaelen finally managed it.

The Belgian defender joined Barcelona from Arsenal on 9th August last year but only made his debut for the Catalan club yesterday, in what was their final league game of the season.

The former Gunners captain has had a succession of injury problems since arriving in Spain and underwent surgery on his thigh back in November. His subsequent recovery took five months.

But facing Deportivo la Coruna at the Camp Nou, the 29 year-old partnered Marc Bartra in the heart of the Barca defence and did well. Lionel Messi’s brace put the home side in total control and Luis Enrique decided to make some changes.

Off came Vermaelen and everything changed. Within four minutes, Deportivo pulled a goal back while they found an equaliser on 76 minutes.

The 2-2 draw proved massive for the guests – the unlikely point ensured they escaped relegation with other results going in their favour.

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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