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Barcelona 1–2 Osasuna: Player ratings

After a truly deceiving performance and outcome, how did the Barcelona players fare against Osasuna?

Shahraiz Sajjad

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Header Image by Cordon Press via Imago

Disappointment from start to finish. These are the ratings for each Barcelona player in Thursday night’s 1–2 loss versus CA Osasuna.


Barcelona needed to beat Osasuna at the Camp Nou on Thursday night to at least seize any small chances of winning the league they had left and, in case of a Real Madrid victory, show an improvement ahead of the Champions League. But it was all disappointment for the blaugranas, losing 1–2 and seeing how Madrid got a 2–1 win over Villarreal to be claimed La Liga champions.

Regarding the game against Osasuna, the second half was much better in comparison to an atrocious first half, and Sergi Roberto’s addition at right-back allowed Barcelona to be comfortable in possession after proceedings. However, in the last few minutes, Barça threw everyone up front to get a goal, which allowed Los Rojillos to hit the locals on the counter as they sealed a heartbreaking winner in the concluding moments of the game. Here’s how the players performed in their 1–2 defeat against Osasuna:

Marc-André ter Stegen: 6/10

Not Ter Stegen’s best of days between the sticks. He would have saved the second goal on any other day but the shot, which was straight at him, unfortunately deflected into the net.

Gerard Piqué: 6.5/10

Piqué was one of Barcelona’s better defenders and his positioning on the counter-attacks prevented the Catalans from conceding goals in excess. Nonetheless, he continuously pushed up the field in the last few minutes, which resulted in Osasuna scoring. While he saw his side concede twice, he was competent on the ground and above average in the air.

Clément Lenglet: 6/10

Lenglet struggled a bit since Osasuna preferred to play the ball through the air. Consequently, he was not as efficient at defending the crosses. It could well be argued that the Frenchman’s positioning for Los Rojillos‘ winner was poor as well.

Nélson Semedo: 5.5/10

Semedo was defensively mediocre and failed to continue his solid form. The Portuguese was mostly playing up the field, leaving the right flank exposed just for Osasuna to exploit on the break. He needs to work on his defensive positioning, especially if he desire to become a regular starter at the club.

Nélson Semedo Barcelona Osasuna player ratings

The full-backs left much to be desired in terms of their contribution in attack | Photo by Cordon Press via Imago

Junior Firpo: 5/10

Junior Firpo looked completely lost and out of the game. His tackling was poor and he was never really winning the ball back. In addition, he did not provide Barcelona with anything upfront and was a source of dispossession whenever the Dominican was on the ball.

Riqui Puig: 6.5/10

Riqui Puig was one of the few individuals trying to make something happen in the first half as he looked to create openings with his mobility on the ball. Even so, Osasuna’s compact defense made it impossible for Riqui to find a way through and eventually, he was brought off for Frenkie de Jong.

“I am going to count on Ansu Fati, Riqui Puig and Araújo. They are going to stay with us and won’t be involved with Barça B in the playoffs [for promotion to the Second Division]”

Quique Setién

Iván Rakitić: 5.5/10

Uninspiring, dull and, once again, throwing shades of his unwanted former self. Iván Rakitić had a promising start since the restart, though clearly lacks consistency and stamina to keep up with such demanding schedules. He received a yellow card as well, which means this was his last league game for Barça this season. An exit this summer is certainly on the cards.

Sergi Roberto: 6.5/10

One of Barcelona’s few reliable players, Sergi Roberto, was deserving of a better outcome. He tried to make piercing runs forward in midfield and was an instant upgrade to Semedo at right-back. While Mister Versatile may have failed to contribute much in attack, Sergi was, throughout the course of the game, a threat for the opposition.

Lionel Messi: 7/10

Messi, more than anything, looked exhausted. Physically and mentally. Leo’s frustration was evident throughout the game and his uncharacteristic celebration after scoring displayed that. In spite of him looking worn out, the Argentine was Barça’s only major threat in attack. Scoring an equalising free-kick, he proved his talent is simply limitless.

“I’ve already said that if we continued like this we wouldn’t win anything in Europe, and now we didn’t even manage to win the league”

Lionel Messi

Martin Braithwaite: 5.5/10

Braithwaite seemed to connect well with Messi on a few occasions, but he was ineffective in the final third as he struggled to break down Osasuna’s incredibly low block. Although the Dane forward scored a neat little goal, he was unfortunate to have Lionel Messi in an offside position. A disappointing game for a player fans had high hopes from.

Ansu Fati: 6/10

Atypical performance from Ansu Fati, who couldn’t provide his side with width and flare he normally does. Fati strived to find opportunities on the left flank as he frequently cut inside, but the 17-year-old lost possession a few times and couldn’t provide his usual impact.

Substitutions

Arturo Vidal: 5.5/10

Luis Suárez: 6/10

Sergio Busquets:

Frenkie de Jong: 6/10

Jordi Alba: 6.5/10


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Match Previews

Juventus vs Barcelona: Match Preview

Hariharan Balaji

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Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP

UEFA Champions League is back again as Barça travel to Turin for their most challenging game of the group stage.


Date and kick-off time: Wednesday 28 October 2020, 21:00 CET

Stadium: Allianz Stadium

Competition: UEFA Champions League, Group Stage, Matchday 2

Referee: Danny Makkelie


Overview

The first matchday of the UEFA Champions League was as eventful as it can get. Across eight groups, the teams displayed some impressive football kicking off this year’s tournament. In group G, the big guns played the underdogs of the group and walked away with comfortable wins. Now, in the second matchday, they face each other in one of the most exciting clashes of the week. 

Barcelona come into this game on the back of a disappointing defeat in El Clásico. While the Blaugranas won their first Champions League game last week, they are winless in three games in the league. The initial test for the new manager was to get past the three challenging games, and Ronald Koeman has failed in all three. The gruelling month finishes off with yet another testing game at Turin. 

Juventus, too are on the path to a similar season, adapting to a club legend as their new manager as Andrea Pirlo takes charge at the helm. While they opened their Champions League account with a two-nil win away at Dynamo Kyiv, they have struggled in their league. The Old Lady have had only two victories in Serie A, of which one got awarded to them as Napoli failed to turn up at the Allianz Stadium.

“There are great players in Barça, despite some absences. The keys for us will be desire and determination. It will be difficult, but beautiful.”

Andrea Pirlo

Both the teams have significant absences in their squads. The centre-back spot is especially on crisis mode as injuries and suspension have caused a severe lack of personnel at the position. Juventus miss Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs de Ligt to injuries with Leonardo Bonucci also a doubt as he got off the pitch midway vs Hellas Verona.

Alex Sandro (left-back) is also unavailable with Merish Demiral being the only fully-fit centre-half. One of the most vital absentees is Cristiano Ronaldo, as the Portuguese is yet to recover from COVID-19. 

Barcelona will be without the services of Gerard Piqué as the Spaniard is suspended after picking up a red last game. Philippe Coutinho is set for a spell away from the action with a muscle injury joining the likes of March-Andre ter Stegen and Samuel Umtiti. Ronald Araújo and Clement Lenglet are the only two centre-backs in the squad with B-team CBs also injured and not included here. On the plus side, all the fullbacks are back to full fitness. 

What to expect from Juventus?

Andrea Pirlo took over the reins from Maurizio Sarri over the summer as his first-ever coaching job at the top level. The Professor came into the job with a specific idea to play football and has been trying to implement it. The Italian has preferred a 3-4-1-2 system with two centre-backs, coupled with Danilo making the backline. The back-three helps in building from defence with able ball-carriers in either Rabiot or Arthur. But, with the centre-backs stretched thin, the Italian has chosen to go with a back four. 

“We’ll play with four in defence, it’s the only viable solution at this time. In midfield it will be a challenge between two very technical departments.”

Andrea Pirlo

New loan signing Federico Chiesa could start on the left-wing with Juan Cuadrado likely to be deployed as the right-back against Barça. Danilo could be on the left-back duties with the lack of options there. Adrien Rabiot, Arthur Melo, and Rodrigo Bentancur might make up the midfield to get a better balance. New signings Alvaro Morata and Dejan Kulusevski finish the teamsheet with Paulo Dybala slowly progressing his way into the starting eleven. 

Both Chiesa and Cuadrado are able crossers with both feet and with Alvaro Morata upfront, they could always find him at the end of their crosses. Dejan Kulusevski is an excellent prospect with quick feet and stinger of a shot, who came off the bench to rescue a point during the weekend for the Bianconeri. With players like Paolo Dybala and Aaron Ramsey, Pirlo has a lot of quality on the bench.

Pirlo would want his side to exploit the Barcelona defence by getting in behind their two-man midfield. With a different formation, the Italian would like his team to adapt quickly and get in the half-spaces. The 41-year-old might make his team pass the ball quickly to avert the press and get up the pitch as fast as possible.

What to expect from Barcelona?

Ronald Koeman has had a mixed response from the fans in these first few games. While he’s not afraid to bench the senior players when not performing, his in-game management has been nothing short of unavailing. The Dutchman has thrown in attacking players for defenders and midfielders when chasing the game. And that has resulted in an imbalance of the midfield leaving the defenders reeling due to numerical inferiority. 

Philippe Coutinho is injured, and there are a variety of players in-line to replace the Brazilian. Antonie Griezmann could get back into the eleven after barely featuring over the last two games. Or Koeman could continue with the impressive Pedri and play one of Trincao or Dembele in the right-wing. While Ansu Fati started as a nine over the weekend, he could return to the left-wing this time around. 

Ronald Araújo and Clement Lenglet are the only options at centre-back, and Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba might partner them in defence giving rest to Sergiño Dest. Miralem Pjanic could come into the eleven considering a dip in Sergio Busquets’ performance of late. With two mobile midfielders, Barça could cover the spaces the fullbacks leave and prevent the counter-attacks. 

Ronald Koeman would be hoping for that Lionel Messi, brings his shooting boots tomorrow. While the Argentine has been excellent in overall play, his output goal-wise has been surprisingly underwhelming. A big game like this would be an ideal time to get back his mojo in front of the goal and further help the team. 


Form

Juventus FC

Previous games: DWDWD

Juventus 1–1 Verona | Serie A
Dynamo Kyiv 0–2 Juventus| UEFA Champions League
Crotone 1–1 Juventus | Serie A
Juventus 3–0 Napoli | Serie A (Juventus awarded walk-over)
Roma 2–2 Juventus | Serie A

Position in Serie A

5th
9 points in 5 games
2 wins, 3 draws and 0 loss
10 Goals Scored, 4 Goal Conceded
+6 Goal Difference

FC Barcelona

Previous games: LWLDW

Barcelona 1–3 Real Madrid | La Liga
Barcelona 5–1 Ferencváros | UEFA Champions League
Getafe 1–0 Barcelona | La Liga
Barcelona 1–1 Sevilla | La Liga
Celta Vigo 0–3 Barcelona | La Liga

Position in La Liga

12th
7 points in 5 games
2 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses
9 Goals Scored, 5 Goals Conceded
+4 Goal Difference

Head-to-head record

Last 5 meetings

Juventus 0–0 Barcelona | UEFA Champions League 17/18
Barcelona 3–0 Juventus | UEFA Champions League 17/18
Barcelona 0–0 Juventus | UEFA Champions League 16/17
Juventus 3–0 Barcelona | UEFA Champions League 16/17
Juventus 1–3 Barcelona | UEFA Champions League Final 14/15


Match facts

• Juventus have won 7 of their last 8 matches (Champions League).

• Barcelona have scored at least 2 goals in 5 of their last 6 matches (Champions League).

• Barcelona are unbeaten in four of their last five meetings against Juventus.

• Juventus are unbeaten in all competitions this season.


Team News

Juventus FC

Absences

Injured: Cristiano Ronaldo, Matthijs de Ligt, Alex Sandro, Giorgio Chiellini
Suspended: N/A

Possible line-up

4-3-3 :

Szczesny
Cuadrado · Demiral · Bonucci · Danilo
Rabiot · Bentancur · Arthur
Kulusevski · Morata · Chiesa

Coach: Andrea Pirlo

FC Barcelona

Absences

Injured: Samuel Umtiti (knee), Marc-André ter Stegen (Tendon), Philippe Coutinho (Hamstring)
Suspended: Gerard Piqué

Possible line-up

4–2–3–1:

Neto
Roberto · Araújo · Lenglet · Alba
Pjanic · de Jong 
Trincao · Griezmann · Fati
Messi

Coach: Ronald Koeman


Predictions:

A big game for both the managers as they try to bring their sides back to form. A win here would help the winner get a sufficient advantage of finishing at the top of the group. Injuries have stretched both Barcelona and Juventus thin, and this is a chance for the deputies to perform and impress their respective gaffers. With both sides equally struggling for form, it is expected to go down to the wire in Turin. 

Barça Universal Prediction: 1-2 win for the Catalans.

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