opinions | 2017-04-12
Player Ratings - Champions League Quarterfinals - Juventus 3:0 Barcelona
Barça crashes in Turin repeating the same mistakes made in Paris
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (5.5): Didn’t have the greatest of games. Perhaps he could’ve done more on the 2nd Dybala goal but I have a feeling he was unsighted. Couldn’t do anything on the other goals though. Passing was good at times but poor at others because Juventus pressed really well. Bar one chance in the second half, he wasn’t really called into too much action.
Gerard Piqué (5): Poor start, allowed Dybala too much time and space on that first goal. Should’ve done much better. Started getting better as the game went on but he was still shaky defensively at times. He was positioned high up the pitch most of the time with Barça chasing that away goal. Passing was great, completed 92% of his passes. Managed 2 clearances and won 3 out 4 duels. Not the best of the performances defensively.
Samuel Umtiti (6.5): One of the few decent players. In the first half, he looked somewhat uncomfortable playing as a middle CB in a 3 atb. Regardless of this, he was solid defensively. Higuain wasn’t able to do much truth be told. When he moved to LCB, he picked up. His vertical passes to Suárez and Neymar did cause Juve some problems. One of these passes led to a chance created. On the goals, there wasn’t much he could do but perhaps it would’ve made more sense for him to mark Chiellini rather than Mascherano.
Jeremy Mathieu (3): Another poor game for the Frenchman. On the first goal, he was too passive. He should’ve forced Cuadrado to make a decision rather than letting him do what he wanted. He didn’t get too much of the ball but when he did he wasn’t bad on it. As you could tell due to the occasion you could see he was nervous on the ball. Managed to create a chance for Suárez but other than that not much to note. He was subbed off at HT for André Gomes.
Javier Mascherano (3.5): Started in CDM position in Busquets’ absence and couldn’t deliver. Passed the ball well but most were just simple passes, he lacks that incisive passing between the lines that Busquets offers in every game. Poor defending on Juventus’ 2nd goal, he didn’t track back and Dybala had too much space to finish the move. In the 2nd half, he moved back as Gomes was subbed on but he had a shocker on Juventus 3rd goal. Why Barça allowed a short Mascherano to mark Chiellini on set pieces is beyond me. A game he’ll want to forget.
Sergi Roberto (4): Started on the right side but didn’t really offer much. Passed the ball well but most were safe passes and not forward thinking. Whenever he got in the final third, he usually had space because Juve were focusing on Messi, but his decision making was poor. Got dispossessed a lot of times. He had to work defensively and managed to do well in that aspect in some parts of the game but for the most part he struggled trying to defend Mandžukić. Poor performance all around.
Ivan Rakitić (3.5): Started in midfield but drifted so wide and Barça couldn’t really dominate in the middle of the pitch. I couldn’t understand his positioning, he almost played as a full time winger in this match and couldn’t do anything on the ball. He was positioned very high up that right wing and Sergi was doing the work defensively so I’m not sure what exactly was he supposed to offer in this role. Didn’t manage to complete a single cross. Awful performance but it’s hard to put the blame entirely on him because he isn’t a wide player.
Andres Iniesta (4.5): Didn’t have a great game, it must be said. He looked rusty and lacked options when he was on the ball. It wasn’t the fact he was slow on the ball, rather he got caught in possession a lot more than we are use to due to how good Juventus pressed and closed down. He should’ve scored to make it 1-1. As good as a save it was from Buffon, he should’ve scored. For me it was the game changing moment. He did improve when Umtiti was behind him rather than Mathieu but it wasn’t enough to get the away goal we needed.
Lionel Messi (7): Once again Barça’s best player on the pitch in a disappointing team performance. Very similar to Malaga game last weekend, he dropped deep, managed to create for his teammates who simply couldn’t finish. Juve marked him tightly, he was surrounded with 4 or 5 players every time but still managed to play well and create. Amazing pass to Iniesta who had to do better. Same can be said for Suárez in the 2nd half after another brilliant pass from Messi. Very disappointing that his great individual performances eventually mean nothing because the team fails to perform.
Luis Suárez (4): Very similar to Malaga game this weekend, simply had to do better in chances he had and when it comes to decision making. 4 shots and only 1 on target. His best chance came in the 2nd half after a fantastic pass from Messi, but he couldn’t finish. He tried getting involved but looked isolated for most part as Barça’s midfield, struggled, especially in the 1st half. We desperately need him to start finishing his chances for the rest of this season.
Neymar (3.5): Not a great game from the Brazilian. Though he managed to create 3 chances, he didn’t impact the game much at all. These are the sort of games where he should step up yet he didn’t do too much. Completing 2 out of 10 take ons is just awful. Juve did well to prevent him from getting many 1v1’s against Dani Alves. I honestly fail to remember anything he did that was of something to note. He was just wasteful and ghosted through the game. It is unlikely we will go through but he will now get some good rest for his stupid red card against Malaga.
Andre Gomes (6): Replaced Mathieu at HT. He was one of our better players against Juventus. It is difficult to believe but when he plays as a DM, he seems to put some really solid performances in. Defensively he was a lot better than Mascherano, he did well to prevent the cutback to the edge of the box. Winning 5 out of 6 tackles too. He helped ball circulation a lot better than Mascherano. He honestly should’ve started and it is easy to say in hindsight but Mathieu starting is asking for trouble as harsh as it sounds.
Referee Szymon Marciniak (6): The referee had some mistakes on both sides, but he was consistent with his bookings and fouls for the most part. On another day, Mandžukić and Suárez could’ve both been sent off but he was consistent with both of those decisions and they finished the game on a yellow. Some questionable offside calls but that’s down to his assistants.
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.