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Barcelona 1-1 Napoli: Player Ratings – 7.5/10 Pedri runs the show, 5/10 each for Alba and Garcia



Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Despite a brilliant performance at the Camp Nou, Barcelona came out with just a 1-1 draw against Napoli, courtesy of a penalty from Ferran Torres in the second half.

Their problems started when a lapse of concentration from the midfield left the defence exposed in the first half. Gerard Pique and Marc-Andre ter Stegen were left trying to pick up the scraps as Piotr Zielinski took two shots on target to score the opener.

The second half was a lot better for Barça, as they tried to work the ball through midfield more often. Adama Traore’s cross hit Juan Jesus’ hand on the way, and Torres made no mistake from the spot.

At the end of the 90 minutes, though, the hosts were visibly distraught. Eight days out of ten, the scoreline would have read 4-1 in their favour. Alas, it was not to be. Let’s take a look at how the individuals fared in the first leg.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 7

Did well to stop the initial shot from Zielinski, could not do much about the follow-up, though. Should have probably swept the ball late in the game to avoid any risk, but it was more or less inconsequential.

Oscar Mingueza: 7.25

A performance to build on. (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

Mingueza replaced Sergino Dest at right-back and did not put a foot wrong for most of the game. Barring that one nutmeg on him from Insigne, the Spaniard held his own defensively and whipped in some sweet crosses.

Gerard Pique: 6.75

Many expected Pique to be troubled by Victor Osimhen’s presence, but the veteran showed his experience, not allowing the Nigerian any space on the break. He was called into action twice in dangerous situations after the ball went through Eric Garcia and stepped up to the task.

Eric Garcia: 5

The faster, younger of the two centre-backs, Garcia, was on the getting cooked by Osimhen on the night. He was outpaced too easily on two occasions and caught completely out of position during Zielinski’s goal.

Jordi Alba: 5

An anonymous 90 minutes for Alba, who was only visible when he slid into outer space trying to block Eljif Elmas’ cutback for Zielinski’s goal.

Nico Gonzalez: 7

Arguably the best player on the pitch during the first half, Nico showed maturity on the ball and grit off it. He went toe-to-toe against Fabian Ruiz for 65 minutes, often coming out as the winner.

Frenkie de Jong: 6.25

As brilliant as de Jong is on the ball, his inability to show defensive intent means he cannot continue in the pivot. Was left ball-watching during the build-up to Napoli’s opener and found it difficult to cope with Zielinski for most of the 65 minutes.

Pedri: 7.5

The prince. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

The less said about Pedri at this point, the better. The 19-year-old runs this Barcelona team like a seasoned international, and is more often than not the best player on the pitch.

Made an astonishing 30 final-third passes, created five chances and completed 100% of his long balls. As Barcelona’s official Twitter account would remind you constantly, Pedri is a gem.

Adama Traore: 6

Napoli did their homework on Adama and closed him out brilliantly for most the game. Lorenzo Insigne and Juan Jesus often double-teamed him, with Ruiz also joining in. Despite that, though, the Spaniard got to send in a few crosses and eventually won a penalty for the team.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 7

On his first full debut for the club, Aubameyang ran the channels superbly, often dropping on the left side to create space centrally. Won the ball a couple of time’s in Napoli’s defensive third early in the game, and combined well with Torres.

Further, he showed incentive on the ball, driving in and attempting shots that have been missing from Barça’s arsenal. The Gabonese is clearly rusty right now, but expect a lot more from him in the coming games.

Ferran Torres: 6.75

Chin up, champ. (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

No performance better describes the saying ‘two sides of a coin’ than Torres’ tonight. For starters, he did well to convert the penalty, sending Alex Meret the wrong way.

The Spaniard boasted of world-class off-the-ball movement as the game went on, getting into scoring positions, but simply did not have his shooting boots on today. He clearly has the grip on what the coach wants from him, and this performance was a sign of better things to come.


Gavi: 6.5

Helped increase the tempo when he came on, adding layers of dynamism to the midfield. Careless off the ball, though, conceding three fouls.

Ousmane Dembele: 7

The Camp Nou may have whistled him with every touch, but Dembele clearly did not let that bother him. Improved on what Adama Traore brought to the wing with his unpredictability and would have walked away with an assist on any other day.

Sergio Busquets: 6.75

Napoli were slowly getting into the game in the second half, with Ruiz and Anguissa showing composure. Busquets’ presence changed that completely. Grabbed the midfield by the throat and controlled the game till the full-time whistle.

Sergino Dest: 6.5

A solid cameo for Dest, who created a chance for Luuk de Jong late in the game. Combined well with Dembele, playing short passes in the box and overlapping on the wing. Was called into a foot race near the end, and did well to defend.

Luuk de Jong: 6.5

Another brilliant outing for Luuk who came close to the winner in two different ways. First, he attempted an audacious bicycle kick that went wide. Soon after, through his anchor play, created a brilliant chance for Torres, who could not keep it on target.

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