Lionel Messi was the only positive for Barcelona as the Catalans slump to a 3-0 defeat to Juventus, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a brace.
Juventus pipped FC Barcelona for the top spot in Group G table following a stunning 3-0 win over the Catalan giants at Nou Camp on Tuesday.
The Italian giants were simply the more dominant side in this fixture, especially during the first phase of the game as they had the lion’s share of possession. They deservedly found the opener as well when Cristiano Ronaldo was fouled by Ronald Araujo inside the box, with the Portuguese international making no mistake in converting the resultant penalty.
Ronaldo’s goal was followed by a majestic strike from Weston McKennie, adding to Barcelona’s misery, although the Catalans did start to dominate the possession as the game progressed. They were even threatening during the final ten minutes of the first half but were unable to break the shackles of the Juventus defence.
In the second half, it was evident that Andrea Pirlo’s men were playing on the counter and they did a decent job as well, causing all sorts of problems on the break. They even found their goal through another penalty, this time conceded by Clement Lenglet. Ronaldo once again were the beneficiary, as the forward netted a brace, effectively killing the game.
Here, at the Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the two teams in this one-sided contest at Camp Nou this midweek.
Marc Andre ter Stegen: 6.5/10
Marc Andre ter Stegen was perhaps the least culpable defender for Barcelona on the night. He even made one fantastic save to deny Aaron Ramsey from close range but couldn’t keep out the penalties from Ronaldo or the strike from McKennie.
Sergino Dest: 5/10
Sergino Dest looked lively on the right flank during the initial phases of the match. Unfortunately, the US international struggled to provide consistency while also lacking any sort of penetration.
Ronald Araujo: 2/10
Ronald Araujo was culpable for conceding the first penalty even though the decision was rather harsh. The youngster simply had no answer to Juventus’ attacking threat.
Clement Lenglet: 2/10
Clement Lenglet failed to impose his authority in the proceedings as Ronaldo wreaked havoc. The Frenchman conceded the second penalty and was later subbed off after picking up a yellow card.
After Ronaldo celebration
Messi; Lenglet Come here 😡
Put am for ur mind say u no go see match play again
Lenglet; but messi….
Messi; ur Fada pic.twitter.com/UDKyVyzvgy
— ‘OF KD (@Shazzy______) December 8, 2020
Jordi Alba: 3/10
It was yet another disappointing display from Jordi Alba. The Spaniard’s positioning was awful while he also didn’t manage to provide real attacking support on the left-hand channel. Subbed off early in the second half.
Miralem Pjanic: 5/10
Miralem Pjanic was another Barcelona player struggling to provide the craft and the guile to trouble the Juventus backline. The ex-Juventus could have also done a better job in dominating the midfield.
Frenkie de Jong: 6/10
Frenkie de Jong was certainly a better outlet compared to Pjanic. But even then, the Dutchman failed to produce any real clear cut opportunities for his side despite operation almost as a number ten in the second half.
It was a disastrous evening for Trincao, who had problems in troubling the Juventus backline. He was often isolated on the flanks and was rightly taken off at half-time.
Lionel Messi: 7.5/10
Lionel Messi was the only real spark for Barcelona throughout this game. He used his silky footwork and impeccable dribbling skills to test Gianluigi Buffon on multiple occasions, though the Argentine will be disappointed with his efforts on goal as most of them went straight to the palms of the goalkeeper.
If this was the last time we saw Ronaldo vs. Messi, it's been a fun ride ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/YZSmpOKS0q
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 8, 2020
Pedri was a much better attacking outlet when compared to Trincao. Nonetheless, the 18-year-old didn’t fare any better when compared to all the other Barca attackers.
Antoine Griezmann: 5/10
Antoine Griezmann looked lively during the early moments of the game. But, the Frenchman simply couldn’t provide a sustained threat to the opposition, looking sloppy at times as well.
Martin Brathwaite: 5/10
Martin Brathwaite came on for Trincao in what was a definite attacking move by Koeman. His physical and aerial prowess, however, was ineffective in the second half.
Samuel Umtiti: 5/10
Replaced Lenglet ten minutes into the second half and somehow looked more polish than his compatriot.
Junior Firpo: 6/10
Junior Firpo looked lively on the left flank after replacing Alba in the second half. Some promising runs but to no avail.
Riqui Puig: 7/10
Riqui Puig was an influential sub for Barcelona in the 66th minute. He offered the creative essence in the final third as Barcelona started to dominate during the final phase of the game. The youngster clearly deserves more game-time.
Oscar Mingueza: N/A
A late replacement for Araujo. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.
Gianluigi Buffon: 7.5/10
Buffon made a series of saves against Barcelona, though most of the attempt were shot straight at him. The Italian remained sharp nonetheless, clinching a well-deserved clean sheet.
— PauloMVP🔟 (@LaNostra_PD10) December 9, 2020
Danilo did take some risks in regards to his offensive endeavours, but the Brazilian was largely solid and offered defensive support to the centre-backs whenever it was necessary.
Leonardo Bonucci: 8.5/10
Leonardo Bonucci marshalled the Juventus backline with sheer quality and commitment. His imposing presence at the back made it difficult for the Barcelona attackers to cause any kind of problems.
Matthijs de Ligt: 8/10
Matthijs de Ligt fared well alongside Bonucci in the three-man backline. The Dutchman’s aerial prowess was key in dealing with Griezmann and Brathwaite, especially in the second half.
Juan Cuadrado: 7.5/10
Juan Cuadrado packed quite a punch on the right-hand side, particularly with his offensive forays down the flank. He also offered defensive support to the centre-backs.
Weston McKennie: 9/10
Weston McKennie scored a majestic goal to double Juventus’ lead in the 20th minute. It was an ideal reward for an action-packed performance as the US international provided the dynamism and aggression in the middle of the park.
STOP IT, WESTON MCKENNIE 💥
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 8, 2020
Arthur Melo: 7.5/10
Arthur Melo operated as a deep-lying midfielder for Juventus, preventing the likes of de Jong and Pjanic to distribute possession freely. It was a satisfying return to Camp Nou for the Brazilian.
Aaron Ramsey: 7.5/10
Aaron Ramsey was a menace for the Barcelona defence, particularly with his direct runs into the penalty area. Forced a great save from ter Stegen as well, but his influence did fade as the game progressed.
Alex Sandro: 7.5/10
Alex Sandro showed why he is regarded as one of the best left-backs in Europe with a clinical display on the flanks. He was solid enough to deal with the threat of Dest and Pedri while also offering the necessary support going forward.
Cristiano Ronaldo: 8.5/10
Cristiano Ronaldo may not have been particularly impressive in open play, but his combination play with Alvaro Morata was enough to unsettle the Barcelona backline. The Portuguese scored twice from the penalty spot and acted as a target man for Juve throughout the game.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 14 goals in his last 13 games at Camp Nou 🤯 pic.twitter.com/aziQtJBaja
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 8, 2020
Alvaro Morata: 7.5/10
While Ronaldo scored two goals, it was Morata who offered the creative essence and work-rate in the final third. The Spaniard was a vital cog on the counter as well and should have scored at least one goal.
Rodrigo Bentancur: 6.5/10
Replaced Ramsey in the 70th minute to add more solidity in the Juventus midfield. Did his job well, sitting just ahead of the central defenders.
Adrien Rabiot: 6.5/10
Adrien Rabiot offered more energy after coming on for Arthur during the final phase of the game. The Frenchman didn’t make any notable errors.
Federico Bernardeschi: N/A
A late replacement for the tiring Cuadrado. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.
Paulo Dybala: N/A
A late replacement for Morata. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.
Federico Chiesa: N/A
A late replacement for star man Ronaldo. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.