opinions | 2017-11-23
Player Ratings - Champions League Group Stage - Juventus 0:0 Barcelona
Ter Stegen leads the way as the draw qualifies Barça first in the group
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (8): Made some very good saves to keep us from going down early on but after the early storm it calmed down and he didn’t have much work to do other than distributing which was of a high level. The second half was more of the same, Juventus didn’t really trouble his goal much until right at the death when Dybala’s curling effort was somehow saved through a sea of men. His level this season has been incredible, without him we would’ve lost some games for sure.
Nélson Semedo (6.5): Solid performance. Passed the ball well throughout the game, even when he was under pressure. Made a few great runs in behind Juve’s defence but couldn’t find anyone in the box. He looked much more confident compared to previous games. Defensively, he did well. Won most of his duels and Juve didn’t manage to create much down his side.
Gerard Piqué (7.5): Finally a great performance on the big stage this season. Kept Higuain quiet throughout the game, won basically every duel against him without committing fouls. Passed the ball well out the back and was a solid presence in the air. Picked up a yellow card in the 2nd half but hasn’t gotten into any trouble for the rest of the game. He’ll be missed in Valencia, hopefully Vermaelen is ready for the challenge.
Samuel Umtiti (8): Fantastic performance. Dealt with Higuain with ease. The Argentine barely got a sight of goal. He had a nasty collision with Digne midway through the first half but was fine to carry on. Passing was very good, he always looked to get the ball to the dangerous players (Iniesta and Busquets). Juventus’ cowardice approach made it easier for him in Turin compared to last season. Now onto the crucial clash against Valencia which he’ll need to do a lot of carrying in defence.
Lucas Digne (6): Had a decent performance given the opposition. On the ball he was quite assured but had trouble defending against Juve’s pacey wingers. He got beaten quite easily. Suffered a nasty collision with Unititi but luckily he was able to carry on. When he did get to the final third he played it safe most of the time which is an issue with him, his crossing and cutbacks are very weak. Messi played a wonder ball to him which made him 1v1 with Buffon yet he decided to square the ball to Suárez for no reason. Good except for in the final third and some instances when having to defend.
Sergio Busquets (8.5): Fantastic game from him. Passing was superb, completed 96% of his passes and it was a joy to watch him and Iniesta dictate the play in a big game, like the good old days. Brilliant under pressure, Juventus players couldn’t get near him, he always had a solution. Great positioning and pressing without the ball. Valverde has managed to bring the best out of him this season and I feel like this isn’t being talked about enough.
Ivan Rakitić (5): Didn’t offer much yet again. He was on the ball quite often but didn’t manage to do anything going forward. Most of his oasses were backwards to Piqué or sideways to a nearest player without any risk involved. The only thing worth mentioning is his well taken set piece in the 1st half which bounced off the ground and hit the post. He’s done well to press without the ball in the 1st half but that’s about it.
Andres Iniesta (9): The best player in Turin. He was pulling strings from all over the pitch. Juventus couldn’t really keep him quiet at all. He had a chance to score but it was a difficult chance to get on target. When he was needed to help in defence, he did just that. Sadly, he was given all the creative burden so our attacks were rather toothless because he can’t do everything on his own. We’ll need this Iniesta if we are to beat Valencia and move 7pts clear at the top of La Liga.
Paulinho (5): Started the game in a more advanced role in Messi’s absence but didn’t do much. Very poor on the ball. His passing, control and decision making is below the standard we’ve come to expect from a Barça midfielder. Had a couple of shots early on but none hit the target. Had a ridiculous dive in the 1st half to try and win a penalty, here’s hoping he never tries that again. He’s done well tracking back and pressing without the ball.
Gerard Deulofeu (5): Had one chance early on but his cross was poor. He hasn’t seen much of the ball but done most of his work without it. His defensive effort has been good but like Suárez they haven’t offered too much on the ball because they didn’t get it much and when they did they weren’t in very good situations. He was subbed off for Messi 60 or so minutes into the game.
Luis Suárez (4.5): Hasn’t done anything worth mentioning. He looked very isolated up front and Barça struggled to create and get him involved in the game. Juve marked him well and limited him to receiving the ball outside the box with his back turned against the goal. Only had 1 shot on goal and that was from a free-kick he took in the 2nd half.
Lionel Messi: Started off on the bench and was subbed on with 55/60 minutes on the clock. He wasn’t too influential but could’ve easily got an assist if Digne’s decision making was better. A few mazy dribbles here and there but rather quiet from him, especially with Valencia in mind.
Jordi Alba: Replaced Iniesta with around 10 minutes left. A sub I didn’t understand but he didn’t do much at all really. Neither team were looking to get a winner and were content with a draw. It’s good his legs got some rest for the upcoming Liga game.
Anything wrong? Send your correction.
WRITTEN BY: Josip
23 years old, born in Split, Croatia. Football fanatic and a die-hard Barça fan. Currently studying tourism and communication.
WRITTEN BY: Sulaiman
Sulaiman is a Barcelona fan since 2005. He loves discussing anything related to the club. Sulaiman is currently studying Accounting and Finance and has a keen interest in Statistics.