Barcelona continued their horrific form in Europe with yet another 3-0 defeat, with Gerard Pique and Eric Garcia dreadful against Benfica.
Barcelona suffered yet another defeat in the Champions League group stage, their second consecutive 3-0 loss, this time to Benfica. The Catalan giants looked out of sorts as the Portuguese side ran riot and left them rattled. The result puts a huge dent in the club’s hopes of qualifying to the tournament’s next stage.
German midfielder Julian Weigl pulled the strings for Benfica and produced a defence-splitting through ball for Darwin Nunez to open the scoring. The Portuguese side had plenty of chances to double their lead and had to wait till the second half.
Rafa Silva scored the second, and then late in the game, Benfica were awarded a penalty, wherein Nunez made no mistake from the spot. Eric Garcia was given his marching orders for a second yellow to cap off a horrendous night personally to make matters worse. Here’s how Barcelona players fared during their gutless defeat to Benfica in the Champions League.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 2.5/10
Typical to his form this season, but strangely off colour in this game. Understandably, ter Stegen was not at fault for any of Benfica goals, but he could have done better to stop the first one. There was also an incident when he misjudged a sweeping situation and was lucky to escape without incurring any damage to his team.
Ronald Araujo: 3/10
Despite an awful, morale-sapping performance by the entire defence, Araujo still somehow managed to keep his heart in the game. However, his tireless runs were unable to avoid piling further misery on Barcelona.
Gerard Pique: 2/10
Words won’t do justice to describe Pique’s horrendous display against Benfica. Two bad challenges that could have eventually resulted in a red-card inside 30 minutes defined the veteran defender’s night. Terrible display from the senior Barcelona player.
Eric Garcia: 2/10
Similar performance to Pique, only for his red card arrived in the second half. Abysmal should be the right word to describe it, as Benfica’s attackers shredded him at the back.
Eric Garcia for Barcelona:
—2 red cards
— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 29, 2021
Sergi Roberto: 3/10
Anonymous on the pitch for the most part, Roberto failed to get any grip on the game. Koeman should not have included him so soon probably and might need to give him some time on the sidelines to get the rhythm back.
Barcelona have clearly become so dependent on the youngster that it is baffling what the other senior players are doing in the team. It also looked like Koeman rushed him back into the side after his injury. Pedri is young and should not be burdened with so much responsibility for his sake.
Sergio Busquets: 4/10
Seniority in the team was on holiday, as Busquets showed a very slow and shaky side to his game when it mattered. If performances like these continue, his status in the team might be questioned.
Frenkie de Jong: 5.5/10
Probably Barcelona’s best player but unfortunate for him to not have the necessary influence on the side. However, his performance in midfield was still impressive, as he broke up play regularly, although chance creation was still begging questions.
Sergino Dest: 3/10
Dest is playing out of position, and more changes like these are wrecking his influence on the side, despite a brilliant display against Levante on the weekend. On the other hand, his attacking play needs massive improvement as Benfica defenders caught up with his rather predictable act.
Luuk de Jong: 3/10
Yet again, a performance that showed why he is not suited to Barcelona and proved why the club’s fans are still clueless about what he offers. Bad finishing all evening, and a striker of his experience and stature should have known to do better.
Memphis Depay: 5/10
Barcelona’s go-to man as the entire team was uninspiring. Depay still tried to make things happen in the final third, although mostly in vain. Tough night for him, but he was still a bright spot.
Yet another indication of Barcelona’s dependency on youngsters. Gavi, 17, was sent on the pitch in a high-pressure situation to mop up the mess created by the senior players, who ought to have had the task of steadying the ship.
Ansu Fati: 5/10
Then came another youngster to turn the game in Barcelona’s favour. Fati, though, could not do much despite a positive impact overall.
Nico Gonzalez: N/A
Did not play enough to receive a rating.
Philippe Coutinho: N/A
Coutinho was expected to start the game but strangely was reduced to the role of a late substitute.