UEFA Champions League 2016/17: Barcelona 0-0 Juventus (Agg 0-3), Player ratings
Juventus make it to the CL semifinals at the expense of Barcelona and here's how each player fared in the match.
Juventus took their three goal lead into the second leg of their Champions League tie against Barcelona, knowing they would need to be mentally prepared for an onslaught of Barca attacks as the hosts tried to overturn a 3-0 defecit. But their defence showed the steel and togetherness required to not only hold firm and see the tie out, but also continue their impressive defensive record this season and keep a clean sheet.
Overall the game wasn’t exactly a Champions League thriller, with both teams doing enough on the night to justify winning the game and executing their game-plans with fair success. But unfortunately for Barcelona the damage was done last week and it was always going to be a tall order to overcome yet another significant deficit in 90 minutes.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen: 6/10
The game was set up for his opposite number to be the focus on the night. But he did look fairly calm and collected with what little he had to deal with and kept the ball moving quickly to try and give his side a chance to attack with pace.
Sergi Roberto: 6/10
Managed to get forward a bit more often than last week, he also didn’t get bullied by Mandzukic’s physicality as much. Unfortunately for Barcelona he couldn’t repeat his heroics of the last round but did have one notable effort in the second half that flew just past the post.
Gerard Pique: 6/10
Did well in his native defensive end of the pitch. Done well to stop Cuadrado in the first half and kept a clean sheet on the night. But when he went further forward late on in an attempt to find a goal he unsurprisingly looked lost and was generally ineffective.
Samuel Umtiti: 6/10
Managed to keep Paulo Dybala quiet most of the night. The French centre half can be happy with his performance overall in keeping Juventus from adding an away goal.
Jordi Alba: 7/10
Far better than Mathieu on the left hand side. He was happy to get forward and try and attack Juventus and also did enough to get back and defend. He may have been outpaced a few times by Cuadrado but was always aware of where he was. Should have done better with a chance early on however.
Sergio Busquets: 6/10
Not the type of game really for him to stand out in but did provide the platform for more attacking players to go and focus on their jobs. Considering Mascherano’s attempt to replace him last week, he looked head and shoulders above the Argentinian.
Ivan Rakitic: 5/10
On a night where Barcelona needed a spark he provided none. The Croatian international can be a fantastic footballer on his day but over the last two Champions League games he’s failed to live up to the standard he has set for himself.
Andres Iniesta: 7/10
Some lovely touches and passes at times from Iniesta. The heart was in his performance but it needed something a little bit extra to unlock the Juventus defence that he sadly couldn’t provide.
Lionel Messi: 6/10
Always looking for the ball and picking up passes that some of us can’t even imagine of when watching on TV. But in front of goal he was wasteful and should have found the net once or twice to give his side a chance of the comeback, especially after Buffon’s mistake from a corner late on presented him with almost an open goal.
Attacking wise he was the best player on the park, but at times he was running the risk of a sending off with his frustration beginning to show. But when he got on the ball he was direct and showed his ability to beat defenders.
Luis Suarez: 5/10
Very anonymous performance for the Uruguayan. Completely cancelled out by the presence of Bonucci and Chiellini. Barely got a sniff of the ball all night.
Paco Alcacer: 5/10
Came on for Rakitic but didn’t affect the proceedings at all.
Came on for Sergi Roberto in the 78th minute.
Gianluigi Buffon: 7/10
He wasn’t tested too much but he always looked ready and willing to deal with it when he was. Impressive to keep two back to back clean sheets against the famous MSN forward line of Barcelona. Is this finally the year he adds a Champions League winners medal to that collection?
Dani Alves: 7/10
He was signed for his experience and it all showed at the Nou Camp last night. An excellent all round performance. May have been beaten a few times but he won his fair share of the ball back.
Giorgio Chiellini: 8/10
Marked Luis Suarez out of the game and then when Pique came up the park he wasn’t shy to get involved with him either. A true warrior’s performance at the back from the veteran centre half and his partnership with Bonucci must be one of the best in the world at the moment.
Leonardo Bonucci: 8/10
Like his partner he didn’t give up space in his box to anyone. Dominant in the air and cut out cross after cross after cross.
Alex Sandro: 6/10
Proving to be a very good full back. Gets forward with vigour and defends will commitment. Got caught in possession once and forced Khedira into a silly booking trying to recover for him. But overall a solid night.
Miralem Pjanic: 7/10
He always showed for his defence to try and play out of trouble instead of throwing it forward instantly. Very classy in possession and his attempts at turning defence into attack kept Barcelona thinking about how many players they could throw forward. His off the ball work was more important however as he kept his sides shape well and closed down quickly.
Sami Khedira: 6/10
His use of the ball in comparison to his partner Pjanic isn’t as good but his off the ball work was just as important. Showed strength and discipline in his defensive work. Picked up a booking recovering for Sandro and took one for the team.
Paulo Dybala: 6/10
Not the same type of performance as last week from the former Palermo man but he was still able to link up well with Higuain and other forwards as they looked to attack quickly.
Juan Cuadrado: 6/10
He was the most threatening of Juventus’ attacking players but his lack of a final ball or accuracy in his shooting meant he made less of a mark on the game than he really could have.
Mario Mandzukic: 6/10
For a man more notable with his ability leading the line through the middle he has shown a great work ethic at left midfield in recent times. He was great a defending set pieces and closing down galloping fullbacks/wingers. Didn’t do much going forward but probably not what was required from him on a night like this one.
Gonzalo Higuain: 6/10
Would have been a 5 if it wasn’t for his final 15 minutes on the field. His finishing was largely poor but his movement was good at times. He gets the extra point due to his ability to hold onto the ball and his intelligence in bringing others into the game further up the field, and at that stage of the game it was very important to give his defence a break to regather and breathe.
But he needs to step up in a big game to justify that transfer fee.
Andrea Barzagli: N/A
Barzagli came on for Dybala in the 75th minute.
Kwadwo Asamoah: N/A
Came on for Higuain in the 88th minute.
Mario Lemina: N/A
Lemina came on for Cuadrado in the 84th minute.