UEFA Champions League Group G: Barcelona - Juventus Player Ratings

Juventus traveled to Barcelona to take on the Lionel Messi-led Blaugrana in what possibly could be the final matchup of two of the greatest footballers to ever play the sport. The Cristiano Ronaldo-led Bianconeri defeated the home club handily serving a 3-0 win for the Turin side to win the top spot in Group G. The victory also marked the first defeat for Barcelona in 38 games at Camp Nou in UEFA Champions League play, the last loss was in May of 2013. A strong accomplishment for a young Juventus club


Notice: All ratings are calculated through a stringent process utilizing statistics and the eye test called My Opinion and are most certainly incorrect.


Starters


Gianluigi Buffon - 8

A living legend. The Bianconeri had two GOATs on the pitch for the match against Barcelona and The G(K)OAT himself showed early in the first half exactly why he is regarded by many as the greatest goalkeeper of all time. Multiple deflections tallying in three saves in the first half and two in saves from in the box in the first half alone. At the 65’ Buffon had another one of those miracle saves that longtime Juventus and Azzurri fans know and love him for. The Italian legend was a brick wall that refused to allow any of Lionel Messi’s shots past his reach. Buffon accounted for seven saves, two saves from inside the box, five accurate long balls, and thirty-four touches. Not bad for the Old Lady’s old man.


Leonardo Bonucci - 6

Not the strongest performance for the Juventus captain, but the defense held and anytime a Juventus defense turns in a clean sheet is a day to be celebrated. Bonucci had what appeared to be the fourth Juventus goal of the match at the 74’ called back after VAR determined the Italian captain to be offside for Ronaldo’s pass. Bonucci accounted for two clearances, one tackle, one ground duel won, one aerial duel won, and three accurate long balls.


Matthijs De Ligt - 7

After somewhat of a down performance against Torino, the Dutch defender returned to form as the human wall Juventus fans know and adore. De Ligt was clutch on multiple blocked shots from Lionel Messi that otherwise had a high percentage of finding the back of the net. Very few defenders have the combined awareness and physical ability to identify and shut down potential attackers that De Ligt possesses. You do not need me to tell you, but he is going to be one of the greats. De Ligt accounted for two clearances, one blocked shot, three tackles, four ground duels won, one aerial duel won, and three accurate long balls.

Danilo Luiz da Silva - 6

The third segment of the defensive wall that accounted for another clean sheet for Juventus and against one of the greatest players to play the sport also had one of the quieter performances. Possibly in comparison to the greatness of De Ligt’s performances and the unfortunate offside goal for Bonucci, the performance by Danilo can be described as serviceable. Danilo accounted for one blocked shot, four interceptions, four tackles, four ground duels won, four accurate long balls, and one shot off target. Danilo was penalized with a yellow card at the 69’.


Alex Sandro - 6.5

Since his return from injury Sandro has played at a higher level than a majority of last season, especially on the defensive end. As a winger opposite Juan Cuadrado the Brazilian was another solid defensive point for the Bianconeri squad that shut down an attacking Lionel Messi club. Alex Sandro accounted for one key pass, two accurate crosses, two accurate long balls, one blocked shot, seven ground duels won, one aerial duel won, two clearances, one blocked shot, five interceptions, and four tackles.


Aaron Ramsey - 5.5

The Welshman had the traditional Rabiot-style quiet match against Barcelona outside of a missed shot on goal that would have assisted in padding the scorecard. Aaron Ramey accounted for three accurate long balls, one shot off target, three ground duels won, two aerial duels won, four interceptions, and three tackles. Ramsey was penalized with a yellow card at the 29’.

Juan Cuadrado - 7

The Colombian is quickly becoming one of the most reliable cross deliverers and the assist king for Juventus. The delivery of the cross into the box that Weston McKennie took advantage of for the score in the 20’ was magnificent and was the second connection from the pair in back-to-back games. Cuadrado accounted for two key passes, one assist, three accurate crosses, three accurate long balls, one big chance created, four ground duels won, one clearance, one interception, and two tackles. Cuadrado was substituted off for Federico Bernardeschi at the 86’.


Weston McKennie - 6.5

The American is beginning to show all of the characteristics that Andrea Pirlo saw that called for him to bring the midfielder to Turin from Schalke. The Texan player exudes energy and enthusiasm for Juventus football and it can be felt even just watching him play on television. I am stuck with a similar feeling when I watch Federico Chiesa in games, as well. It is truly refreshing to see players arriving at Juventus truly be excited to play for the club fans care so much about. Weston McKennie had an equally exciting and beautiful finish to the Juan Cuadrado cross to score at the 20’. McKennie accounted for one goal scored, one key pass, one accurate long ball, one shot on target, two ground duels won, and one tackle.


Arthur Melo - 5.5

Similar to Ramsey, the Brazilian clocked seventy-one quiet minutes against his former club, but might be more of a factor of how well the rest of the club performed against Arthur accounted for two accurate long balls, five ground duels won, one clearance, and four tackles.

Alvaro Morata - 5.5

One of the most reliable players this season has been the Spaniard, but while not bad, probably had one of the lesser games of the team having lost possession sixteen times. Morata had a few opportunities fall short where he would start on a runout, but would halt his attack waiting for his teammates to catch up, but unfortunately more Barca players would be able to catch up quicker and take the possession away. Morata accounted for one shot on goal, one key pass, one accurate long ball, four ground duels won, two aerial duels won, and one interception.Morata was penalized with a yellow card at the 54’ for kicking the ball away. Morata was substituted off for Paulo Dybala at the 86’.


Cristiano Ronaldo - 7.5

After a forgettable performance against Torino, the real Greatest Of All Time capitalized early off of a Barcelona penalty at the 13’. The first handball called (and second true handball of the match) was given early in the second half following a VAR review at the 52’ that Ronaldo cooly delivered past Ter Stegen for the score. Ronaldo accounted for two goals, three shots on target, one penalty won, one key pass, one accurate long ball, one ground duel won, one interception, and solidified himself as the real GOAT.

Substitutions


Rodrigo Bentancur (↔️ Arthur Melo) - N/A

Not enough information for rating


Adrien Rabiot (↔️ Aaron Ramsey) - N/A

Not enough information for rating


Federico Bernardeschi (↔️ Juan Cuadrado) - N/A

Not enough information for rating.


Paulo Dybala (↔️ Alvaro Morata) - N/A

Not enough information for rating


Federico Chiesa (↔️ Cristiano Ronaldo) - N/A

Not enough information for rating


Coach

Andrea Pirlo - 7

A solid performance by the young manager as his club thoroughly dominated the Spanish side in their home stadium after seeking redemption for the 2-0 loss in the first leg in Turin. Gambling and putting faith in Weston McKennie in the midfield as well as lining up Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro on the wings. Juventus seemed to play their best and most balanced match of the season.



Follow Justin Soforo on Twitter @JustinSoforo



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