opinions | 2017-04-21
Player Ratings - Champions League Quarterfinals - Barcelona 0:0 Juventus
Barça leaves the Champions League without scoring goals vs Juventus
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (6): Quiet game for him. Juventus didn’t really pose too much threat to his goal, they opted a defensive strategy but not as defensive as PSG were. His passing for the most part was really good even though Juventus pressed really well. I don’t recall many saves he had to make. Shots on goal for both sides were mostly off target.
Sergi Roberto (5.5): Started on the right side again. The decision making was lacking for the most part, even though he had some good moments going forward. Defensively, he did well considering Juve were dangerous out wide, but they were more active on the other side with Cuadrado and Alves. Had a chance to score but his shot went wide, should’ve at least hit the target. Subbed off after 73 minutes.
Gerard Piqué (7): Great performance defensively. Early on he had a couple of important clearances and interceptions on Juve’s counter attacks. Passed the ball well for the most part. He was great in bringing the ball out of Barça’s own half and starting the move. As the game went on, he started moving more and more up front and eventually he ended up playing on Juve’s half for the majority of 2nd half. However, this did not help much as Barça couldn’t compete with Juve in the air. Solid performance nonetheless, we’ll need more of this on Sunday.
Samuel Umtiti (6.5): Had a decent game. Started off slow, he didn’t look himself for the first 15-20 minutes. After this he got into the game. His passing was very good as we know. He kept Higuain and Dybala pretty quiet with Piqué. With how Alba played I was surprised that he wasn’t left 1v1 with Cuadrado as often as Mathieu was in the first leg. He played his part but our finishing was poor and at this level the details make the difference. Had a successful season individually. He’ll only get better.
Jordi Alba (5.5): Didn’t play bad but could’ve done a lot better. His passing in the final third was abysmal. He did have plenty of chances to play a good cross into the box but as we know, his final ball is perhaps the thing he is weakest at. At times he did well to keep Cuadrado quiet, if we compare it to the first leg, it was a lot better than what Mathieu did. Not that it was hard to beat that. He needs to do more when he is on the ball. In these sort of games the smallest details make the biggest difference, especially in the final third. Good crossing could’ve led to something without doubt.
Sergio Busquets (7): One of the best players on the pitch. Started well and always found himself on the right place at the right time to break Juve’s moves in their own half and start the move for Barça. Had a great performance defensively without committing a single foul all game. Passing was good, combined well with his teammates and had 2 key passes which eventually led to nothing, sadly. Great performance, looked fresh in this match and we’ll need him in this form for the rest of the season.
Ivan Rakitić (5): More of the same from the Croatian international. Drifted wide and didn’t offer much on the ball. Only attempted 19 passes in total. He worked well without the ball but Barça needed someone who can make the difference on the ball. Only completed 1 of 4 attempted crosses. However, he did manage 2 key passes which couldn’t make the difference, unfortunately. Subbed off for Paco after 58 minutes.
Andres Iniesta (6): Played better than he did in the first leg but still it wasn’t enough. He could’ve influenced the game better but Lucho instructing him to play as a wide CM really does hinder him more than it helps him. He did get caught on the ball more often than he usually does and failed to put the defensive shift. Nonetheless, he was able to control the game a lot more easier regardless of Juventus’s set up since Busquets was there which brought more security to the MF. Played well for the most part but it is still below the level he can play at. He’ll need to play a crucial role in the last 7 or so Liga match days.
Lionel Messi (6.5): Once again he was behind most of the things Barça created. Fantastic pass early on but Alba was late and couldn’t reach the ball properly. He was positioned in the middle, rather than playing out wide. Completed 3 key passes but Barça were quite wasteful. Perhaps the best chances of the game came to him in the 1st half, but he couldn’t hit the target, he usually finishes these with ease. Had another similar chance in the 2nd half but again couldn’t hit that target. Good performance overall bar his finishing which should’ve been better.
Luis Suárez (5): Very isolated in this match. Juve sat deep and defended well, keeping him quiet all game long. Only managed 1 shot on goal in total and lost the ball 46 times. Tried getting involved but couldn’t do much to change the outcome and he didn’t have good goalscoring opportunities like the one he had in Turin. Only thing worth noting from this match is his passing which was good at times and he managed to complete 2 key passes. Here’s hoping he’ll make the difference on Sunday.
Neymar (5.5): Didn’t have a great game. There is no question he was trying hard but with how much he got the ball and the talent he possesses he should be doing better. 24 take ons attempted just shows how much play goes through him. Can’t keep wasting opportunities presented to him. Picked up a stupid yellow card there was no need for. He needs to learn and stop this. Created 3/4 chances but they weren’t massive chances like the ones we had in Turin. Against Juve lower crosses are a lot more effective than high ones yet he persisted on higher ones. When Alba was caught high up he did well to get back and prevent Cuadrado from advancing too much. We know he can help defensively but he needs to be more decisive in his decision making and more efficient with the ball since he gets it so much.
Paco Alcácer: Subbed on for Rakitić in the 2nd half, but this substitution didn’t change much. He couldn’t offer anything new and didn’t find himself in chances to score. Only completed 2 passes in 30 minutes which shows how quiet of a performance it was for him.
Javier Mascherano: Subbed on for Sergi Roberto with 15 minutes left as Piqué moved to Juve’s half permanently. This substitution obviously didn’t change anything. He worked well defensively and that’s the only thing worth noting.
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.