The painful defeat at the hands of arch-rivals saw the Blaugranas step up their game and win 2-0 against Bianconeri. This is Barcelona’s first win at Allianz Stadium.
The team displayed a tremendous performance which will be examined by our editors in their words below:
Good win for Barcelona.
Koeman didn’t go with his best starting XI, starting Roberto and Griezmann was more like a rotation considering Dest, Fati can’t be playing every game. Juventus played with a high defensive line which Koeman expected thus the selection of Dembele was to showcase his speed, acceleration as Juventus defenders especially Danilo was unable to stop him.
The first goal came from a moment of inspiration from Messi and Dembele. Pedri was excellent; his decision-making ability goes beyond his age. He got his worth start following Coutinho’s injury. Pedri is, to be honest, better than Dembele when it comes to maturity, ball control, knowing those passes. Pjanic was brilliant; he often saw missed passes but with the way he plays, he’s trying to create chances, there’s always the risk of losing balls more. It was a good game considering the opponents; Morata saw hattrick of goals being called offside, which says Juventus were imposing threats too.
Alba did a good job defensively and offensively. And, what do I say about Messi, he is always the best. He was constantly making those runs, those passes including that outrageous ball to Dembele to open the score for Barcelona; Messi was a bit happier, motivated than usual considering the resignation of Bartomeu and co.
There still are defensive issues Barcelona needs to work on; Koeman needs to be timely with subs he makes; I would say, We will be there, real soon. Koeman needs some more time to shape this team in the perfect form.
MOTM for tonight’s game: Messi, one goal and one assist, Messi seems to be starting to take over charts again. Messi because take him out and this game would have either ended in a goalless draw or defeat.
A game to add onto the team’s momentum.
All eyes were on Barca for this fixture, especially since the loss to Real Madrid and the resigning of Bartomeu. Although Juventus are no pushovers, they certainly shaped up in less than ideal conditions for this match, the main issue being Pirlo’s tactical choices. Barca started with a decent rhythm, which only got better as the game progressed. The midfield battle was won by Barca, and they often found themselves dominating the central regions of the pitch.
The first half saw a beautiful switch play by Messi finding Dembele, which turned out to provide the lead to Barca. Messi’s free role throughout the pitch was made possible by Griezmann moving well in sync, covering up and complementing Messi’s movements. This has been particularly lacking in Griezmann’s previous games.
Griezmann had one of his best games at Barca, even though he doesn’t have a highlight reel to make it seem fancy. Crucial, and effective. The initial pairing of Lenglet and Araujo was a solid CB duo, and they showed how they could coexist. Lenglet was good enough acting as the outlet from the defensive third, while Araujo played a more ball-winning role which suited both profiles.
Pedri had a game that reminded everyone of a certain magician and club legend, Iniesta. His silky smooth movements saw him glide out of tight spaces, often discovering spaces that were exploited. Initially, he was very crucial in transitioning the ball from the defensive midfielders by dropping deep and linking the attacking line. Solid performance overall and the resignation of the board seems to have lightened up the squad.
To conclude, there’s still a lot of work to be done which very clearly will need more time to show. All this takes time to build, but this is a positive result that adds momentum to the team.
MOTM for tonight’s game: Pedri for me. He’s been amazing and made barely any mistakes. Almost perfect implementation of his duties and seems like a gem for the future. Tonight he was almost Iniesta on the pitch.
A BIG! BIG performance in Turin.
With the loss in El Clasico and the resignation of the board just a few hours before the game, the Barcelona players would have had a point to prove to get their rhythm back on track when they faced the Serie A giants, Juventus. A fixture which missed out on the return of Ronaldo v Messi clash, as the former has tested positive with COVID-19.
Ronald Koeman instilled faith in Pedri and gave chances to Dembele and Griezmann to start the game amidst the French duo’s lack of hitting the headline for performance issues. Barcelona was off the blocks on a high and Griezmann came as close to the post to giving the visitors the lead.
Messi being Messi, looked like his former self freely moving around the pitch makes chances. Dembele latched onto a brilliant pass from Messi to send the ball at the back of the net with 14 mins into the game.
Juventus didn’t look comfortable with the change of line-up by Pirlo, and the gameplay was a reflection on that. The De Jong – Pjanic midfield pair controlled the midfield smoothly, and the makeshift Lenglet – Araujo duo looked steady at the back as well. Barça could have scored more goals in the first half as Messi found his shots inches wide of the goalposts.
Ending the half with a 1-0 lead Barça were not really in the driver’s seat. Our defensive errors could cost us goals, but Juventus failed to capitalise on them. Moratta was found offside on three occasions to our good luck, and Dybala was far off his game. The home team missed Ronaldo, and he would be ruing his team’s missed chances.
The second half was evenly balanced out with both teams creating chances but none converting them. We had to wait till the 90 min for a spot-kick being awarded to Barcelona, and Lionel Messi scored with ease.
MOTM for tonight’s game: Lionel Messi, he played like the Messi we all love. The recent situation around the club may have just given the team and Messi a relief they have been seeking for.
Barcelona maul hapless Juve
Barcelona felt the positive vibe of the team after President Bartomeu’s resignation while trying to regain confidence after the Clasico result. With Fati rested, Pedri took over his role on the left while Griezmann and Messi combined centrally.
In the midfield, Pjanic took over from Busquets. Frenkie de Jong did well defensively especially to protect the central regions and shackle Dybala in his cover shadow, requiring the latter to drop deeper or wide on the right to pick up the ball. In the attacking sense, Roberto joined the backline to form a 3 while Dembele and Alba played higher as WBs. Pjanic and Frenkie played in the same line and slightly deeper to help progress the ball thus forming a flattish 3-4-3 shape.
Messi, as usual, had been given the free role, while Griezmann was allowed to drop deeper to play Pedri, Dembele or Messi in behind. One big highlight was the Messi-Griezmann partnership, which blossomed in this game.
MOTM for tonight’s game: Though Pedri had a brilliant game on the left (especially his duels against Cuadrado), Pjanic would be my man of the match. Played a brilliant defensive game that allowed de Jong to cover Dybala. While it was appalling the simple passes that he was misplacing (similarly against Getafe when his misplaced pass led to a goal), but other than that, he was really good.