juventus 0-2 barcelona

Mes de un Partido – Juventus 0-2 Barcelona

By Steve, 29 October 2020

The Pre-Match Low-Down: Both of these squads are in transition (new coaching staffs, substantial turn-over of players, injuries, the endlessly opportunistic virus threats shortening preparations for the season, and in our case, removing a certain big-time player from today’s mix, etc… Given that this is our home leg (devoid of fans, of course) we were expected to hold serve. As you probably already know, that didn’t exactly happen.

I have seen several matches in recent weeks that allowed socially-distanced partial crowds, due to favorable health conditions in the home region, and the difference is substantial in terms of intensity in comparison to playing to a dead house. We do not have that edge vs. Koeman’s Barça today.

Juventus arrived at the J-Stadium for this match with several uninspiring performances in Serie A immediately in our rear-view mirror, with injuries and virus cases contributing factors. Barcelona similarly came in seemingly not at the top of their game, and was missing Philippe Coutinho as an offensive threat, as well as #1 goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (replaced today by our amico, the Brazilian national Norberto Neto.)

Game (such as it was) Summary:
After a tentative start by both clubs, Barcelona began to create the greater and more frequent chances, and consistently pushed us back into our own end with sustained pressure and frequent chances. At the 14 minute mark Ousmane Dembele was fortunate to score a goal that clanged off Federico Chiesa (who had an absolutely woeful day: more on that later….) and caromed into Tek’s net.

We didn’t quite know it yet, but by this point the pattern of the match was already set. Barcelona maintained most of the possession, with Juve counterattacking, often capably, until we approached the opposition’s box. Alvaro Morata’s recent run of goals seemingly scored…while offside…continued with 3 new efforts chalked off at the hands of the dreaded VAR review, the last by perhaps 1 mm.

While Morata’s near-misses mounted up, Chiesa continued to demonstrate that growing up as the son of a great player and being gifted tremendous pace can’t always overcome a pronounced tendency to make the exact wrong move at the exact wrong time. At least a half-dozen promising runs up the field fizzled predictably as a result of the young man’s dubious choices once he found himself bearing down on Neto’s goal.

Some (including me, obviously) would say that Danilo has proved one of our most effective and consistent players so far in this young season and this match provided more evidence of that. He was my MOTM, which is both a tribute to his defensive efforts, physicality and focus, and also an indication of the rest of the squad’s inability to rise to the occasion. The scoreline flatters to deceive, as they say. Messi and the other Barça forwards had perhaps a half-dozen promising chances that weren’t converted.

Player Ratings

Tek 6.5 shaky at times

Leo B 5.5 playing hurt

Danilo 7.5 my MOTM for juve

Demiral 5 reckless, sometimes got timing right, sometimes not. His 2nd yellow closed the game out (for Barca, unfortunately.

Cuadrado 6.5

Rabiot 5.5 looked slow and indecisive at times

Bentancur 6.5 kept poise, key to many positive initiatives

Kulu 6, worked hard, but didn’t rattle the opposition as he can do

Morata 5.5 created space but consistently offsides (the 3rd one was an incredibly close call, even w/VAR

Dybala 5.5 mostly a non-factor

Chiesa 6.5 a few of his trademark runs, but no end product

Subs: Mckennie 6.5 in short run-out showed his capabilities to disrupt opposition and regain possession

Berna 5.0 seemed lost in late cameo

Arthur 5.5

Barca player ratings:

Neto 7.5 confident, untroubled

Alba 7.5 efficient

Araujo 7.5

Lenglet 7.5

Sergi Roberto 7

De Jong 7.5 subbing on back line, efficient & confident

Pjanic 7.5 some fantastic passes, steady all match

Pedri 7

Dembélé 8 lovely opening goal and consistently threatening

Messi 8.5 ran the show, always under control, never rattled while being roughed up frequently…..

MOTM Griezmann 7 a consistent threat, made the runs, opened up space for others

Subs’ Busquets 6 Andy Fati 7 Firpo 5 Braithwaite 5

follow me on twitter HERE