Humiliation and disaster from the club, collective and individuals. In a horror night, these are the ratings for each Barcelona player in the historic 2–8 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Barcelona, once more, came crashing down like a house of cards on the European stage, where Bayern Munich handed the Catalans their most humiliating defeat in recent history. The greatest club to possibly ever exist fell from grace in the most demeaning and mortifying manner possible, but the worst part is: the decline had begun years ago. Roma and Anfield may have felt like the nail in the coffin, but in reality, they were just appetizers, a glimpse of what was ahead.
With structural changes desperately required and a surge of new blood, Barça must, at long last, revitalise and rebuild. The vibrant and lively football it once boasted of has now been sucked out to the core. Nevertheless, despite holding the one’s in charge accountable, this would have never been possible without the disastrous performances displayed by the blaugranas. Here’s how the Barça players fared in the fateful night in Lisbon:
Marc-André ter Stegen: 2/10
Barcelona’s most reliable and reputable player failed on the big stage as Ter Stegen spent 90% of the match picking the ball out of his net. Whilst he could have done a far better job in denying Bayern’s bloodthirsty forwards from feasting infront of goal, it was his dodgy distribution that truly deteriorated his performance. The German struggled to play out from the back and consequently gave the ball away on innumerable occasions.
Gerard Piqué: 3/10
Barça’s most trustworthy defender since the restart looked broken and in shambles as he let Bayern’s blistering attack open the defence up countless times. Despite the ghastly result, Piqué had a few moments to shine where he made some key interceptions and blocks. Woefully, it meant nothing in the grand scheme of things.
Clément Lenglet: 2/10
Arguably Clément Lenglet’s worst ever performance in a red and blue shirt. He was physically outmuscled and mentally outmatched. Lenglet, as did every Barcelona player on the field, floundered whenever Bayern pressed up high. The Frenchman gave away possession in dangerous areas, even failing to contain pacy wingers such as Serge Gnabry, who effortlessly slipped past him to beat Ter Stegen in goal. An awful day for a defender who was beginning to set a high bar for himself.
Nélson Semedo: 1/10
Shocking…Simply outrageous. Nélson Semedo’s career was tarnished at the hands of Bayern, more specifically, Alphonso Davies, who not only made him look like a fool in the second half, but a mere Sunday league defender. The Portuguese consistently went high up the field, leaving the right flank exposed and naked for Bayern, who repaid his lack of positioning with a barrage of goals. Semedo’s defensive capabilities, which are regarded as his best trait, proved to be his worst on the night.
Jordi Alba: 3/10
Jordi Alba was just another deer caught in the headlights, making a mockery of himself on the left flank, where Bayern ran rampant. Although he earned himself an assist, his defensive contribution was as minimal as it got. Infact, he contributed to the opposition more than he did to his team, which sums up the majority of the match for Barça. Jordi was caught out several times, proving why he has been a measly shadow of himself ever since that traumatic defeat to Liverpool.
Sergio Busquets: 2/10
The bridge that connected all departments was disfigured as Bayern bulldozed their way through him and constantly forced him into making errors or losing the ball. Sergio Busquets’ ageing legs and inability to distribute the ball caused him to frequently panic and malfunction, a very rare sight from the veteran. It was his performance that probably described Barça best: brilliant in his prime, but inept nowadays.
Frenkie de Jong: 2.5/10
De Jong’s influence against Napoli was a tremendously optimistic sign for Barcelona, but he disappeared on the grand occasion, giving possession away cheaply and barely building any sort of attack. Der FCB were, simply put, all over the youngster.
“How we played is a shame. A shame for a club like Barcelona, with the players we have. After half an hour they had already scored four. We were disappointed at half time, but believed there is a chance. In the second half we were even worse, however”
Frenkie de Jong
Sergi Roberto: 1.5/10
As has been the case several times over the years, Sergi Roberto failed to adjust on the right flank. His combination with Semedo was a severe factor that led to the culés‘ horrific demise. He didn’t bother to track back, nor did he complement Semedo in the attacking front. The Bayern midfield toyed with him through their lionhearted pressing. Sergi was just one of the many players that fell prey to their utterly unmatched intensity.
Arturo Vidal: 1/10
Arturo Vidal failed to walk the talk, just adding fuel to the fire with his needless words post match. Arturo’s attacking outlet was invisible, his defensive participation undetectable and technical quality, out of sight. Bayern bullied the Chilean throughout the course of the 90 minutes, making him eat his words in the worst possible fashion.
Lionel Messi: 4/10
Messi was melancholic and struck with horror as his biggest desire seemed to be to hear the full-time whistle blow. After a fairly energetic start to the game with him sending in some clever crosses and even hitting the post once, Leo lost all will to play once the German side started ensuing chaos in the final third. Messi cannot be blamed for such dismaying results, but should surely be questioned for his lack of authority and communication, especially when all eyes were on him.
A horrible display from the back to the top | Photo by Manu Fernández / Pool / AFP via Getty Images
Luis Suárez: 6/10
Who would have thought? Luis Suárez with Barcelona’s only goal –– excluding David Alaba’s own goal –– on the night. Football’s unpredictability is almost scary at times. Nevertheless, the Uruguayan owed this to Barcelona after his constant spells of disappointments and inconsistencies. With a sleek feint which left Alaba for dead, he buried the ball behind Neuer. Even so, a goal wouldn’t be enough to justify his clumsy touches and non existent pace.
Antoine Griezmann: 2.5/10
His arrival couldn’t impact Barcelona in any way whatsoever. He pressed valiantly and came back to even give his defence a helping hand, but his influence in the final third was nowhere to be seen. Barça’s mega star failed to assert his authority on the field, something he was originally signed to do.
Ansu Fati: N/A
With the game already done and dusted and the azulgranas‘ fate already sealed, Ansu Fati had no time to make an impact or turn the tides. Though, his bursts forward and energetic legs in the little time he had were what Barça needed right from the beginning.
Barcelona player ratings vs Sevilla — Hosts unable to get past Mingueza, the wall
Turning headless chickens into mature students of the game turned out to be Ronald Koeman’s biggest achievement at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, where the Catalan giants had recently just suffered a disappointing loss. On the score-sheet, the margin may not have looked considerable, but on the field, Barcelona were pretty much untouchable, courtesy in large parts to the structural change made by Koeman.
A performance this cohesive and harmonized was much needed after the countless defeats Barça have suffered on the big stage. Everything Cules have strived to see in this team, was present, and while consistency has been the club’s biggest hurdle, this win undoubtedly holds a great deal of significance.
The Blaugranas have arguably exerted more energy in other games over the course of the campaign, but the spirit Barcelona lacked suddenly came to life. The pressing was in sync, every move was calculated and well crafted. Playing the Barcelona way in hostile territory against a team as dominant as Sevilla brought back life into a team devoid of wins in high magnitude encounters.
Marc-André Ter Stegen: 7
Ter Stegen oozed confidence as he came off his line and claimed the ball several times. Not only did he display composure, but the German rushed out of his box on one occasion to clear the ball and remove any danger that Sevilla’s potential attack possessed. With the exception of a poor pass, his distribution was immaculate. Even so, it must be admitted that the Sevilla forwards barely tested ter Stegen in goal with dangerous attempts on target.
Oscar Mingueza: 8.5
Oscar Mingueza was a vital reason as to why the Blaugrana defence was impenetrable. Piementa’s prodigy did not allow Lopetegui’s men to advance into any areas on the right side of the field. He won 6 out his 9 duels along winning 5 tackles, proving the 21-year-old’s precise ball-winning abilities remain crucial. Not to mention, his exceptional ball-playing ability enabled Barça to play with a high line thus applying further pressure on Sevilla.
Pique was the nail in the coffin to Barça’s counter-pressing strategies. The players would press the Sevilla Keeper and force him to heave the ball away, and this is where Pique’s aerial ability flourished, which particularly authorized the Catalans to regain possession. The Spanish veteran won 5 out of 7 of his aerial duels, thus showing his dominance in that area of play. His distribution was reliable as always and allowed the Catalans to retain a high defensive line at selected times.
The Frenchman is on route to recovering the form he once had, and this performance should do his confidence a world of good. Still prone to making errors, he dealt with Sevilla’s threat in a respectable manner. An improvement was observed in his ability to stay ahead of his man, which led to his positioning being marginally better. His second-half performance was key to the win as he stepped up after Pique and Ronald Araujo had to be subbed off. Lenglet must be appreciated for his tackling as they successfully neutralized a few well-structured attacks from the hosts.
Sergiño Dest: 7
Despite typically being perceived as a full-back, Ronald Koeman handed Dest the responsibility to play higher up the field as a right-wing-back. The American speedster enjoyed his new role with piercing runs behind Sevilla’s defence and looked a lot more explosive, with defensive cover behind him.
Sergino Dest vs Sevilla:— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) February 28, 2021
• Touches: 58
• Accurate passes: 36/42 (86%)
• Shots: 2
• Ground duels (won): 4 (2)
• Fouls won: 2
• Clearances: 2
• Interceptions: 2
— SofaScore pic.twitter.com/IjN74fDwhc
Dest launched a couple of promising crosses, but a major issue was that he shied away from entering 1v1 duels and instinctively looked to send in crosses. The US international also came oh-so-close to scoring after striking the post on one occasion.
Jordi Alba: 7.5
Similar to his wing-back partner in crime, Jordi Alba raided forward at any given opportunity, stretching the play wide and utilizing his raw pace throughout. Without having to worry about his defensive duties, the marauding Spaniard looked a lot more imposing. He was just inches away from tapping the ball into the opposition net after proceedings.
Frenkie de Jong: 8.5
De Jong’s season just proceeds to take massive leaps as the Dutchman proved to be a defining factor in the Catalans’ applaudable 2-0 victory. In spite of not stamping his name on the score-sheet, De Jong’s performance was worthy of endless praise, almost making it seem as if he was carrying around an extra pair of lungs. The former Ajax wonderboy surged forward, breaking the opposition’s lines tirelessly and constantly squirming his way out of tight areas.
Sergio Busquets: 7.5
The ageing veteran appeared to be recreating glimpses from the past as his counter-pressing was absolutely decisive in the Catalans’ attacking plays. Sergio Busquets – unlike most big game he has participated in – was not cheaply bullied off the ball and made possession purposeful for the Blaugranas. With defensive aid behind him, Busquets was back to his brilliant best.
The cog in Ronald Koeman’s midfield was once again a trusty figure in midfield and managed to string together some impressive plays in what appeared to be a 3-5-2 formation. Though Pedri’s involvement was substantially lower than usual, his display was mainly impeded by an injury he suffered in the 71st minute, disabling him from completing the full 90 minutes.
Lionel Messi: 8.5
Against his favourite opposition, Lionel Messi savoured the occasion to the fullest. The Argentine was an influential figure in the club’s victory away from home, with his creativity and efficiency in front of goal second to none. In the 29th minute of the game, Leo spotted a raiding Ousmane Dembélé through on goal as he bagged himself an assist for the Frenchman’s finish.
To cap off his outing, Barcelona’s captain weaved his way past a couple of Sevilla defenders and, after failing to chip the keeper, delicately slotted it into the net.
Ousmane Dembélé: 8
Sevilla were haplessly left chasing Ousmane Dembélé’s shadows. The Frenchman – without having to worry about his defensive tasks – waltzed forward continuously and enjoyed playing as a secondary striker, making runs in behind the defence and eventually proving his worth with a beautifully placed goal just before the half-hour mark. A much more mature and composed exhibition from the electric winger.
Ilaix Moriba: 7
Ronald Araujo: N/A
Martin Braithwaite: N/A
Samuel Umtiti: N/A