A late strike from Lucas Moura deprived Barcelona from a victory in their final UEFA Champions League group game against Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday.
Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw by Premier League heavyweights Tottenham Hotspur in their last Group B encounter of the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League, at Camp Nou.
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde rung in the changes for the clash, with his side having already confirmed as group winners, leaving out the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets from the starting XI.
That did not stop the Catalans from starting on a strong note, as Ousmane Dembele struck a wonderful solo goal just seven minutes into the game to peg Spurs back. Tottenham had a few chances to come back into the game, but they were unable to breach the Barca goal before half-time.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men came back after the break with much more intensity and kept the pressure on the home team and were finally able to reinstate parity in the 85th minute, courtesy of a Lucas Moura strike. The result meant Tottenham made it through to the knockout stages at the expense of Inter Milan, while the Blaugrana maintained their unbeaten run in Europe.
Here’s how the Barcelona stars fared on the night against the North Londoners;
Jasper Cillesen: 8.5/10
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 11, 2018
Starting ahead of first-choice custodian Marc-Andre ter Stegen, the Dutchman put in a wonderful display in goal, making three stunning stops to deny Son Heung-Min, Christian Eriksen and Lucas Moura. Not a lot he could do about the Brazilian’s goal. Unlucky not to come away with a clean sheet his performance so richly deserved.
Nelson Semedo: 6/10
Showed good intent going forward, linking up well with Dembele on occasions. Defensively was suspect at times, as Spurs found a lot of space down his side, with Danny Rose threatening on the overlap.
Clement Lenglet: 6.5/10
Took over the mantle of the defensive leader in the absence of Pique and performed solidly. Positioned himself well to keep Tottenham at bay. Had a difficult moment in the second half going up against Harry Kane, but did well to force the Englishman to shoot over the bar. Not the best of the performances, but did just about enough.
Thomas Vermaelen: 6.5/10
Starting his second game in the space of a week, the Belgian international was troubled by Son Heung-Min’s pace early on, but recovered well. Fairly solid and showed he can be a handy option with Samuel Umtiti set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Juan Miranda: 6.5/10
The Barcelona B team defender made his Champions League debut, starting in place of Jordi Alba at left-back. Wasn’t the most standout performance by the youngster, but did what was asked of him well. Kept things tight at the back, although Son Heung-Min did cause some problems. Does not offer the same outlet as Alba going forward, however.
Ivan Rakitic: 6.5/10
Starting at the base of the midfield in place of Busquets, the Croatian international had a solid first half. Made decent contributions in both halves of the field, helping his defence out and driving forward when the opportunity presented. Forced a save from Hugo Lloris before being subbed off at half-time.
Carles Alena: 7/10
Making his UEFA Champions League debut, the Barcelona prodigy looked right at home in the midfield. Confident on the ball, as he showed some sleek touches and sharp distribution, linking up well with his partners in the centre of the park. Seemed to tire out as the game progressed. Nevertheless, a display filled with positives.
Arthur Melo: 6/10
The Brazilian international returned to the side after close to three weeks on the sidelines with an injury. Showed some signs of rust, as he was caught on the ball at times. Worked hard in the middle, but lacked the quality to open up the opposition defence.
Ousmane Dembele: 8.5/10
The Frenchman made the headlines prior to the game for all the wrong reasons, but ensured that all was forgotten with a scintillating display from the right flank. Won the ball from Kyle Walker-Peters and went on a mazy run, before showing great composure to finish for the opening goal.
Continued to pose a threat to the Spurs’ defence with his pace and movement, before being taken off for the final fifteen minutes.
Munir El Haddadi: 5/10
Starting in attack in the absence of Suarez, the La Masia academy graduate had a goal ruled out for offside, but that was as good as it got for him. Hardly caused any problems to the visitors’ backline and his all-round play was also a let down. Subbed off for Messi.
Philippe Coutinho: 7/10
Back into the starting XI after having been left out at the weekend, the Brazilian international threatened at times cutting in from the left flank and hit the woodwork on two occasions. However, with no Messi and Suarez, needed to take more responsibility.
Sergio Busquets: 6.5/10
Came on to replace Rakitic at half-time, making his 100th Champions League appearance. Was his usual calm and steady self at the base of the midfield.
Lionel Messi: 6/10
Replaced Munir shortly after the hour-mark. Looked sharpish, but could not help Barcelona find the second goal.
Denis Suarez: N/A
Came on for Dembele with less than fifteen minutes left to be played.