Barcelona 0-0 Benfica: Player ratings from exciting goalless draw in Group E

Barcelona and Benfica played out an eventful 0-0 draw at Camp Nou on Tuesday night, with second spot in Group E still to play for.

The hosts were by far the better of the two sides in the first half, although struggled to make their dominance translate in the final third. Despite Xavi’s men forcing a few opportunities to break the deadlock – including a Yusuf Demir effort curling onto the crossbar – it was Benfica who saw more action in front of goal.

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Roman Yaremchuk had a header saved sensationally by Marc-Andre ter Stegen, before Nicolas Otamendi saw the best finish he’ll ever produce chalked off as the ball exited the field of play in the build up.

Neither side found too much joy in what was a much quieter start to the second period – although the introduction of Ousmane Dembele raised the hosts’ intensity. Frenkie de Jong should have put his side ahead with 25 minutes remaining, failing to direct Dembele’s cross either side of Odysseas Vlachodimos.

Xavi’s side continued to press for the opener and thought they’d found it when Ronald Araujo converted Jordi Alba’s cross, only for the Uruguayan to be heartbroken at the sight of a raised flag.

Camp Nou then had its heart in its mouth when Haris Seferovic found himself in front of an empty goal having rounded Ter Stegen from a counter attack. Inexplicably, however, the Switzerland international prodded the ball wide and sent Benfica boss Jorge Jesus to his knees in disbelief.

In the end, neither side managed to get that elusive goal, having to settle for a goalless draw that leaves the door wide open to qualification for the knockout stage with just one match remaining.

Here’s how the Barcelona players rated on the night.

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Jordi Alba looking to get an edge on his opposition / LLUIS GENE/GettyImages

Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) – 7/10 – Stunning save to keep out Yaremchuk in the first half and was good value for his clean sheet.

Ronald Araujo (RB) – 7/10 – Tucked in to make a three-man back line in possession and did his job stoically. Devastating to see his ecstasy turn to heartbreak in seconds when the linesman ruined the fun.

Gerard Pique (CB) – 7/10 – A commanding and vocal presence at the heart of defence, dealing with Yaremchuk well as he won ten aerial battles.

Clement Lenglet (CB) – 7/10 – Defended resiliently, managing five ball recoveries and was typically steady with his distribution out of defence.

Jordi Alba (LB) – 6/10 – Practically a left-winger throughout, making some bombing darts forward. Saw an effort well saved in the first half, although uncharacteristically never managed to deliver adequate quality from wide.

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Nico Gonzalez had a good game in midfield / LLUIS GENE/GettyImages

Sergio Busquets (DM) – 7/10 – Visibly much more comfortable with Xavi at the helm. Gloriously silky and tidy in possession while also reading the play effortlessly, making seven ball recoveries.

Nico Gonzalez (CM) – 7/10 – Brilliant intensity in every facet of his game, making a thoroughly impactful contribution both offensively and defensively. Effective in his pressing while also building play well, making four key passes.

Frenkie de Jong (CM) – 6/10 – Made some fantastic surges upfield, bulldozing his way through opposition lines, but his influence was only periodical and was largely overshadowed by his midfield colleagues.

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Frustrating night for Memphis Depay / JOSEP LAGO/GettyImages

Yusuf Demir (RW) – 6/10 – Bright throughout and, although he often failed to produce an end product, he was desperately unlucky to see a lovely effort hit the crossbar. Certainly showcased his potential, even provoking commentator Guy Mowbray to compare him to Lionel Messi – how original.

Memphis Depay (ST) – 3/10 –
Linked play nicely in deep areas, but was dreadful otherwise. Pitifully sloppy in front of goal, constantly overplaying and passing up gilt-edged chances.

Gavi (LW) – 7/10 –
Bloody good to watch; a little terrier without possession and a little magician with it. Clinically sharp and creative as he feathered his way through his opposition, and pressed incessantly to register four tackles.

Ousmane Dembele (RW) – 7/10 – Immediately provided an injection of energy, dazzling for La Blaugrana. His side’s most creative player in the latter stages, but was let down by his teammates’ poor finishing.

Sergino Dest (LW) – 6/10

Eric Garcia (CB) – 6/10

Source of the article

Author: XenBet