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Match Reviews

Royal Antwerp 3-2 Barcelona: Player Ratings



Photo by JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images

Xavi decided to rotate his Barcelona side heavily as they made the trip to Belgium to take on Royal Antwerp in the UEFA Champions League final game of the group stages.

Even a draw would secure first place in the group for Barça, but bouncing back from the disheartening 2-4 loss against Girona on the weekend was of utmost importance.

However, as is tradition at this point, the visitors did not start the game well, with Inaki Pena and Oriol Romeu combining to mess up the buildup as Antwerp scored in the second minute itself to take the lead.

Eventually Ferran Torres found the equaliser for the blaugranes just before half-time as a brilliant pass from Lamine Yamal found him inside the box.

Soon enough in the second half, though, Romeu was at the end of another mistake as Antwerp scored through Vincent Janssen.

Barcelona struggled through the second half, but eventually found the equaliser through Marc Guiu and a set-piece, only for it to be undone by Antwerp’s own 17-year-old George Ilenikhena within half a minute.

Barcelona knew they had qualified before the ball even kicked off, but should have put in a much better performance regardless.

Inaki Pena: 3

Was at fault for the goal Barcelona conceded as he tried to pick out a fully marked Romeu on the edge of the box.

Hector Fort: 4

Was neat and tidy in possession, circulating the ball around well and moving upfield when needed. However, had a tough time dealing with Chidera Ejuke, who found a way past him a little too many times for comfort.

Jules Kounde: 3

Another shocking performance from Kounde, who had trouble marking the Antwerp attackers. Was lucky that Janssen was offside for the first goal, otherwise it would have been an embarrassing mistake.

Could also be blamed for Antwerp’s winner, as he looked well out of position.

Andreas Christensen: 6

The only decent performer in the Barcelona backline and the victim of horrible defending by his peers, especially Kounde.

Alejandro Balde: 6

Did well on several occasions to beat the press with a marauding run forward, but all of it amounted to mostly nothing as he either did not release the ball on time, or found no one with his passes.

Fermin Lopez: 5

Fermin was expected to be the difference maker in midfield tonight, but went missing through the game and was unable to make any sort of mark on the game. Was eventually substituted out at the hour mark.

Oriol Romeu: 2

Another shocking performance from Romeu tonight. The Spaniard was not partly at fault for the first goal, and did not learn from his mistake as he got caught in possession for the second one, as well, despite having acres and acres of space at his disposal.

Sergi Roberto: 6.5

Did well to drop deep and help out a struggling Romeu, and progressed the ball on several occasions, but nothing to write home about.

Lamine Yamal: 7

Created the only goal Barcelona scored and hit the post in the second half from a half-chance.

Robert Lewandowski: 3

Lewandowski got the chance to start his redemption arc this season against an Antwerp side last in the group, but made absolutely no impact. His highlight of the game was applauding Yamal for a cross that sailed over the penalty area while he was standing on the edge of the box.

Ferran Torres: 8

Playing on the left-wing, Ferran was the only legitimate threat for Barcelona in the box, and he eventually delivered with yet another fox-in-the-box finish in an area you would expect Lewandowski to be in. Deserves better.


Ilkay Gundogan: 7

Joao Cancelo: 5

Pedri: 6

Marc Guiu: 7

Marc Casado: 5

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