A match report and summary of Barcelona’s Champions League win away against Juventus.
Barcelona had to win this game in Turin. They lost at Camp Nou a few days ago, and Koeman tinkered a lot. Five players were taken out of the eleven. Perhaps, two players could have felt hard done by their coach in Ansu Fati and Sergiño Dest. However, the Catalans had a game plan to beat Andrea Pirlo’s new-look Juventus side.
Antoine Griezmann, deployed as a center-forward, had a superb game. The Frenchman was unlucky not to put his team in front when he struck the goalpost in the first minutes of the game. His backpass to Leo Messi was delicious too, but the Argentine magician’s finishing was appalling. Griezmann, replacing Philippe Coutinho who was out injured, did a fine job in an unusual eleven.
One of the most significant additions to the side was Miralem Pjanic, who replaced the aging Sergio Busquets. The Bosnian played badly in the first half against his former team and nearly gifted Alvaro Morata a goal with his dangerous pass in the box. Also, Alvaro Morata had the ball in the back of the net twice after Barcelona’s opener, but the two attempts were disallowed. Unlucky for the Spanish man, who deserved to score in this half, in vain.
Perhaps the most significant talking point of the game was Ousmane Dembélé. The Frenchman, playing on the right, was superb and made Danilo’s head turn on multiple occasions. The winger opened the scoring for his side with a big deflection helping the ball on its way to the goal. This goal comes as a relief for Barça and Dembélé and might be the start of an excellent tournament for the Blaugrana winger. Along with his strike against Ferencvaros, Dembélé has now scored twice in two Champions League games for his club and looks strong this year.
Photo via Imago
Barcelona played a decent half overall, but things could’ve gone south. They had many chances, which they had to score. Missing so many opportunities, especially for a player of Leo Messi’s caliber, is unacceptable. Messi was instrumental in Dembélé’s goal, however. The Argentine’s peach of a pass was superb, and his assist capped off an unlucky half for him.
First-half: Juventus 0-1 Barcelona
Barcelona didn’t take their foot off the gas pedal in the second half. In fact, the Catalan giants were better than in the first period. The Blaugranas thoroughly dominated Pirlo’s side. However, they did not make them pay for their mistakes, and it could’ve backfired.
Ousmane Dembélé continued his encouraging first half with many flashes of brilliance. The Frenchman deserved a second goal in this half, but he has to work in the finishing area. He had the chance to score after Pedri had opened the way beautifully for Messi. Dembélé got the ball but didn’t shoot. Despite the fact, he came off, Dembélé was one of the best Culés on the pitch. His replacement in Ansu Fati gave a second life to the game. The youngster was lively in an open competition, and perhaps he should’ve had the opportunity to score. Fati provoked a penalty in the dying minutes and Messi converted it.
The Blaugranas were serene in defense even as Frenkie de Jong played center-back. They did not concede many chances and the most significant opportunity came when Morata found the net for the third time in the game. The former Atletico forward strayed offside, again. Barcelona frustrated Juve until the end with Demiral getting a red card near the end of the game.
Despite the result, the Catalans wasted many chances. They have to do better against more frightening oppositions. Messi had many opportunities to score but, had a great game overall. His highlight of the second half was when he made Demiral fall after turning quickly.
FC Barcelona won for the first time in history away against Juventus. pic.twitter.com/lKYnbXaR1Y— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) October 28, 2020
A special mention to Pedri, who at 17, is impressing and made Juve’s heads turn. The Spanish youngster is a superb talent, and this was his best game since coming to the club.
For Koeman, this is a serious performance that might propel Barça into contenders. This victory was superb and calm, just what Barça needed. Now, they have to focus on the league and win their next game. Vamos Culés.
First-half: Juventus 0-2 Barcelona
Barcelona 4-0 Athletic Bilbao: Match Review
A cup final has to be won. Barcelona and Athletic Club are the two clubs to have played the most Spanish Cup finals in history.
However, for the big occasion, one team was the most dominant. Barcelona kept the ball and ran riot on the Basque defence. The only aspect missing was the finishing, but the Catalans could be proud of their first-half display. The giants were so dominant that they had 82% of possession before the 40th-minute mark.
Marcelino’s men were nothing special apart from a few scares. The red and white outfit kept on defending their goal as if their lives depended on it. On the other hand, Barça could not crack the hermetic Basque backline, but Gerard Piqué tamed every attempt at a counter-attack Iñaki Williams tried to mount.
After a disappointing first-half display in El Clasico last weekend, Barcelona played some of their best football in the first half of the Cup final. Nonetheless, they still had to put their finishing boots on because the scare of getting beaten by an undeserved goal was too big.
Well, when Barça decided to lace their finishing boots, the game was over. The scoreline suggests the most inch-perfect of performances, and that’s precisely what Barça put on display for their fans.
Every player on the pitch put in a thorough performance and, in 12 minutes, the game was over. Frenkie de Jong and Lionel Messi were outstanding, much like Antoine Griezmann and Oscar Mingueza.
Along with the 6-1 demolition of Real Sociedad a month ago, this was perhaps the Catalans’ best performance of the season. What makes this performance better is that it came in a cup final, 721 days after Barcelona’s last trophy. This Spanish cup trophy is the result of months of serious work and beautiful emotions. Ronald Koeman deserves a lot of praise for what he has done with this Barça side.
5′ Sergio Busquets sends a beautiful chip towards Athletic’s area, and Lionel Messi connects with the ball. The Argentine finds Frenkie de Jong, but the Dutchman’s shot hits the post and Unai Simón before the Basque defence clears the ball.
47′ Lionel Messi kickstarts a counter-attack as Sergiño Dest is in acres of space. The American defender squares it to Antoine Griezmann, whose efforts end up in Unai Simón’s gloves.
52′ Barcelona play a short corner. Jordi Alba crosses the ball, and a deflection takes it towards Busquets. Unai Simón takes care of the holding midfielder’s effort.
59′ GOAL! Athletic Club 0-1 Barça: Oscar Mingueza intercepts an Iñaki Williams pass in the Blaugrana box. The youngster gets the ball to Messi. The captain spots Frenkie de Jong on the right who sends a great cross to Griezmann, who does not miss twice.
63′ GOAL’ Athletic Club 0-2 Barça: Barcelona play some great football at the edge of h
Their opponents’ area, and Alba sends another stupendous cross. Frenkie de Jong, after a brilliant run, heads in the ball and doubles the lead for his side.
68′ GOAL! Athletic Club 0-3 Barça: Messi goes on a beautiful run on the right and finds Frenkie de Jong. After a one-two, the midfielder finds his captain with little to no space. The captain does his usual magic and scores in the bottom corner.
71′ GOAL! Athletic Club 0-4 Barça: Pedri finds Alba, who plays the most inch-perfect one-two with Griezmann. The left-back’s backpass meets Messi. The Argentine legend finds the net at Unai Simón’s near post.
Man of the match: Frenkie de Jong
Of course, the leader of this demolition was the main man in midfield: Frenkie de Jong. The Dutchman’s first-half display was great, but it lacked the finishing touch, the end product.
After that, the 23-year-old took it upon himself to destroy Athletic and provided two assists while scoring one himself. This win does not come without a de Jong in the mood. The Blaugrana midfielder was everywhere in the second half, and he tortured a defence by being everywhere at any given time.
It is to no one’s surprise that Barça began being clinical when de Jong decided to play higher up the pitch and with more intensity. This Copa final was also de Jong’s most decisive in a Barça kit.