Juventus – Barcelona: Wasteful Barcelona Jog Effortlessly Past Amateur Juventus (0-2)
What initially appeared like simple technical mistakes turned into a worrying trend that slowly sucked Juventus out of the game, into Barcelona’s grasp. A stale offense could not threaten Neto’s goal, while, repeatedly, a chaotic defense was effortlessly pulled out by the visitors, who only have themselves to blame for not scoring more.
Tactical analysis and match report by Kareem Bianchi.
After both sides were unable to win their league games, the weekend left Juventus and Barcelona with big disappointments that could be alleviated by a Champions League win. So, with a group first place in contention, the timing for the match suited both teams perfectly, as they could test their respective stages under new managers Andrea Pirlo and Ronald Koeman.
Significant losses hit both teams when the unavailable players were announced. Despite hopes rising regarding Cristiano Ronaldo’s possible return, the Portuguese still tested positive for COVID-19, making him unavailable for the match. Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs de Ligt did not make the cut either due to injuries.
Koeman, on the other hand, surprisingly left two starters out: Ansu Fati and Dest were replaced by Ousmane Dembélé and Sergi Roberto. Furthermore, the suspended Gerard Piquè was replaced by Ronald Araújo, while Busquets was also benched in place of Miralem Pjanić. Meanwhile, Neto kept his place in goal with the injured Marc-André ter Stegen still on the sidelines.
Barça play around Juve’s press
Barcelona started in a 4-2-3-1 shape that Juve challenged through a 4-4-2 structure. Barcelona’s shape was more of a 3-4-3 due to the fullbacks’ asymmetric positions. While Jordi Alba pushed up . . .