Friday, April 20, 2018

Barcelona’s one-on-one analysis: Blaugrana looked overmatched in Turin

Barcelona suffer yet another heavy loss on the road (Image: The New Indian Express)

Marc-Andre ter Stegen (4): He did not have chances to do anything in Juventus’ first goal. However, he could have done something else in the two other goals he conceded. He failed to react on Giorgio Chiellini’s header that led to Juventus’ third goal.

Sergi Roberto (5): Played as a right back in the first half, and was largely ineffectual. He moved to a midfield role in the second half, but did not thrive either. It was not his best performance.

Gerard Pique (5): Did a good job containing Gonzalo Higuain. But just like the rest of the defensive line, he was not up to the standards required. We have seen better games from him.

Samuel Umtiti (6): Looked quite composed for someone who is playing his first season in Barcelona. He has settled in quite nicely as a starting centre back, and it is fair to say he did what he could to contain the opposing attackers.

Jeremy Mathieu (3): Luis Enrique will have to explain why he decided to start Mathieu over Jordi Alba at left back. The experiment did not work, as Mathieu looked absolutely overmatched and Cuadrado burned him with his pace time and time again. He was subbed off during half time.

Javier Mascherano (4): The veteran midfielder had the chance to play in his natural DM role, but failed to thrive. Could not become a good replacement for Sergio Busquets, and lost several duels in midfield. Moved to centre back in the second half when Barcelona moved to a 3-4-3, and lost the marking in the sequence that led to Juventus’ third goal.

Andres Iniesta (6): At times it seemed he was the only one trying to do anything for Barcelona in midfield. However, he does not have the pace or the agility he had a few years ago, and he can’t do things on his own anymore. Had a golden chance to score when the game was 1-0, but Gianluigi Buffon denied him with an incredible save from close range.

Ivan Rakitic (5): The Croatian playmaker was expected to help Iniesta in the creative department, but he was outmatched by both Sami Khedira and Miralem Pjanic. He was ineffectual during the entire game, and failed to make an impact when the team needed him the most.

Lionel Messi (6): The Argentinian superstar looked active in the final third, although at times he was forced to drop deeper on the pitch in order to associate with his teammates. Delivered a pair of key passes that could have resulted in goals had his teammates been a bit more accurate. No one can blame him for the loss, because at times it looked like he was playing on his own.

Luis Suarez (5): It is fair to say no one had a tougher game than Suarez. The Uruguayan had to battle against Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci all game long, and the CB duo annulled him. As a result, Suarez did not have a lot of chances to score, and ended disappearing off the game. Had one chance late in the second half, but his effort went wide.

Neymar (4): The Brazilian winger did not have a good performance. Dani Alves annulled him and Neymar couldn’t adjust. He did not cut inside once at all during the contest, and failed to win duels on the left flank as well. The team needs more out of him.


Andre Gomes (4): Another chance for the Portuguese midfielder, another game in which he struggles. Once again the former Valencia playmaker looked lost in midfield, and he could not change the game for Barcelona.


Juan Pablo Aravena

A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.



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