As a draw against Rayo Vallecano at the weekend piled on to Barcelona’s miserable form of late, the latter hosted Porto in the Champions League in a bid to get over the line and qualify for the round of 16 for the first time in three years.
Having failed to make it out of the group stages for two years running, the pressure was high.
After resting several key names against Rayo, Xavi brought back the big guns for this clash, but the blaugrana did not perform up to scratch.
However, after a sluggish start, they managed to turn things around and seal a vital 2-1 victory that propelled them into the Champions League knockout stages for the first time since Lionel Messi’s departure.
Barça Universal brings you an analysis of the players’ individual displays from Montjuic.
Inaki Pena: 7
After a shaky showing in his first La Liga start on Saturday, Pena did turn in a more refined goalkeeping display.
While he still did not look too assured and misplaced a few passes, he still made a few decent saves and put in an important performance that will help his confidence.
Ronald Araujo: 7
Deployed at right-back as Xavi made switches to his backline shape, Barcelona’s skipper on the night was not at his usual brilliant best initially, but harnessed his warrior’s mentality to bounce back later on.
Jules Kounde: 6
Put in some vital challenges early on and covered runs well, but was at the end of some chaotic moments that he was lucky not to be punished for as the game went on.
Inigo Martinez: 7.5
Showcased his impressive passing range again at times and also made some crucial defensive actions, with four recoveries and two interceptions.
Joao Cancelo: 10
Started his first game at left-back for Barcelona and sprayed some quality diagonal passes to switch play and scored a sensational equaliser for the Catalans, which was crucial in not letting their morale drop immediately after conceding.
The second half was even better, as the Portuguese was absolutely everywhere and played like the second coming of Neymar in his prime. A simply faultless display, as he also assisted Felix’s winner after one of many great forays forward.
Frenkie de Jong: 8
While he can be faulted for not putting in enough effort defensively while tracking back for Porto’s opener, he showed once again how much his absence was felt.
He was superb in progressing the ball from the back and was very resourceful with his passing.
Ilkay Gundogan: 6.5
After an extremely underwhelming first-half display from the veteran, Gundogan put in a much tidier shift in the second period and was crucial in seeing the game out.
Nifty footwork, smart circulation of the ball, and chance creation; Pedri was great as ever in maintaining possession and distributing play.
Constantly made runs down the flank, worked his socks off and got himself into shooting positions and tested the goalkeeper.
While some of his decision-making in the final third can be faulted, it was a positive outing for the Brazilian overall, as he bowed out with a superb overhead kick attempt as well.
Robert Lewandowski: 3
Another shocking outing from the Polish veteran, who misplaced passes, got dispossessed far too easily and posed no other threat throughout the game, giving away the ball cheaply far too many times.
Joao Felix: 7.5
After a poor first half, Felix came flying out of the blocks in the second half and hit the bar soon after the interval.
His proactivity was rewarded as he eventually scored the all-important winning goal with a wonderfully deft finish.
Ferran Torres: 6.5
Made some great runs, showed some flashy footwork and showed good confidence to have a few pops at goal.
Alejandro Balde: 6
Kept things tidy after replacing Cancelo.
Lamine Yamal: N/A
Came on in stoppage time, so not enough minutes to warrant a rating.