Juventus defeated Barcelona by 0-3 in the most awaited match of the week and topped the Champions League’s Group G.
The match that was the recommencing of the passionate rivalry between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, saw the Portuguese plunder the headlines and the win with two crucial penalties.
The match was initially dominated by Juventus who pressed up higher and higher and pressurised the weak Barcelona defence. The pressing was rewarded with a penalty when Araujo’s slight tackle saw Ronaldo go down. And within the next 10 minutes, we saw an incredible acrobatic goal by Weston McKennie off Cuadrado’s cross go past Ter Stegen.
Barcelona then regrouped and got back possession of the ball. But they were not able to break the Old Lady’s solid defence. Messi had a fair deal of shots on target, but none of them ended in the back of the net.
To make things worse, they conceded another penalty. Ter Stegen had made an incredible save only to see Lenglet handling the ball in that build-up. That penalty by Ronaldo was the final nail in the coffin.
Barcelona was enjoying most of the possession. But their incapability to score past their opponents saw them loosing their first home match in the Champions League since 2013. They were on a 38-match unbeaten streak.
Barcelona Player ratings vs Juventus:
Ter-Stegen – 6/10
He cannot be blamed for anything. He hardly had any save to make. No goalkeeper can do anything when penalties are awarded. But when tested, he was neat.
Jordi Alba – 5/10
Alba was pretty solid on the left flank, but he was responsible for allowing Cuadrado to provide the cross for the second goal. He got a yellow card for protesting for a foul.
Clement Lenglet – 3/10
It was a night to forget for Barcelona, especially Lenglet. He was clumsy while tackling and was the reason for the second penalty. He got a yellow card for his poor tackle on Ramsey.
Ronald Araujo – 4/10
Not an ideal day to return from injury. He was not at his best and gave away the first penalty.
Sergino Dest – 5/10
He had a decent game with plenty of attacks and kept Alex Sandro in check.
Frenkie de Jong – 6/10
Was missing in the first half. His presence was not felt. In the second half, he grew back into the game with proper attacking supports.
Miralem Pjanic – 6/10
The ex-Juventus star was not able to make an impact on his team and was struggling with the pace of the game.
Pedri – 4/10
He was disappointing. He was hardly supporting the attack and was not decent with his defensive display too.
Lionel Messi – 7/10
This man was by far the best player for Barcelona. He tested Buffon on various occasions and was the only threat visible on the Barcelona side. Sad he couldn’t get on the scoresheet.
Trincao – 3.5/10
His performance was really bad. He was subbed of at half-time.
Antonio Griezmann – 6.5/10
He was the next best after Messi. He really worked hard to break the Juventus defence. His only real chance saw his header go off the far post.
Martin Braithwaite – 5/10
Samuel Umtiti – 5/10
Junior Firpo – 5/10
Riqui Puig – 6/10
Oscar Mingueza – 4/10
Juventus Player ratings vs Barcelona:
Gianluigi Buffon – 8/10
Not bad for a 42-year-old. He was really solid in goal. All Barcelona threw at him was handled by the Italian with experience and precision.
Matthijs De Ligt – 7/10
He had a decent outing with a neat display and cementing the defence along with his counterparts.
Leonardo Bonucci – 7.5/10
A real captain’s performance. He controlled the defence with his invaluable experience and helped his team to a clean sheet.
Danilo – 7/10
This was a class performance by him. He kept Griezmann from creating threats and supported the attack along with it. He conceded a yellow late in the game.
Alex Sandro – 6/10
The full-back was not at his best but yet provided a decent display with his display on the flank.
Aaron Ramsey – 7.5/10
This was a brilliant display by him as he was the backbone of the midfield. Barcelona had real-time dealing with him. He also got a yellow card early in the game.
Arthur – 7/10
He showed how wrong Barcelona was by selling him. He was dynamic in the middle and created a lot of attacking threats.
McKennie – 8/10
The American youngster stole the show with his acrobatic volley and brilliant display. He was very active and was everywhere.
Cuadrado – 8/10
This man was a real threat down the right-wing. His pace and skills saw him grab an assist and create more troubles. He was involved in the first two goals.
Alvaro Morata – 6/10
He was not in his best form. He provided plenty of support to Ronaldo but was himself missing. Morata was booked for delaying the game.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 8.5/10 (MOTM)
Yes, he scored only through penalties. But that doesn’t change the fact of his presence in the team. He changed the mentality of the team and they were really playing with an aim.
Adrien Rabiot – 6/10
Rodrigo Bentancur – 6/10
Federico Bernardeschi – 5/10
Paulo Dybala – 5/10
Federico Chiesa – 5/10
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