UCL Matchday 1 Review: FC Barcelona vs Bayern Munich 3-0 At the Camp Nou. Barça and Bayern Munich faced off in the opening match of their 2021-22 champions league campaign. The Blaugrana started off with a 3-5-2 formation, showing Koeman’s defensive approach to the game. But they still leaked in 3 goals, giving up a loss at the Camp Nou. Barça were unlucky while at the same time not so great. The setup Koeman used was too dull, his main plan was to sit back, and counterattack. Needless to say this is not Barça’s philosophy or traditional style. Not to also forget that during the whole match, Barça failed to register a single shot on target. The second half, introduced a few bright talents, like Gavi and Balde, and it’s safe to say that Koeman should have took the risk and played the youngsters. The substitutions he made, since the start of the game. It provided some sort of spark, even though it was not much, it was more than of the first half. Overall a poor performance but some individuals played all right, it was not a team performance, the players were disconnected with each other.
GK: Marc Andre Ter Stegen – 7/10: An unfortunate night for the German goalkeeper, he made 3 excellent saves and played pretty well, but the defence didn’t serve him any justice or back his performance, conceding
CB: Eric Garcia – 4/10: The young Catalan defender didn’t have the best of nights as he turned his back onto the
shot Muller took, which was deflected into a goal. towards where the shot would’ve originally gone if the deflection had not occurred. It is safe to say that he wasn’t the best defender for the Blaugrana that night.
CB: Gerard Pique – 6/10: Pique initially played well in the first 45 minutes of the game well, blocking shots and doing
his defensive duties at a decent level, but it went downhill in the second half as Barça conceded twice from 2 rebounds from the sidebar. He timed his tackle wrongly as Lewandowski and Bayern scored their last before the full-time whistle was blown.
CB: Ronald Araujo – 6.5/10: In the first half Araujo showed his physical and defensive prowess, showing great attitude
and mentality fighting for the badge but the defensive unit slowed down a bit in the second half as Bayern scored their second, Araujo’s reaction was a little too late before he could prevent the goal and in the third goal scored by Bayern, Pique’s tackle was early and Araujo could’ve came off his line earlier as well as Balde, to lock the Polish striker before he could score.
RM: Sergi Roberto – 4/10: Hardly participated and certainly not in an attacking sense. Subbed once Barça went 2-0
CM: Pedri – 5.5/10: A stale performance from him as he couldn’t quite produce the quality, we expect of him, but
he was defensively trying his best, tracking down back to Davies etc.
CDM: Sergio Busquets – 5/10: Like Pedri, his presence was hard to identify as Bayern dominated, he couldn’t provide much on possession.
CM: Frenkie De Jong – 6/10: He drew an early yellow card for Kimmich but looked rather unproductive on the ball, like the whole midfield unit, but he produced and worked enough to do well on the other areas of the
pitch. Uneventful night for him.
LM: Jordi Alba – 5/10: Coming into the game injutred, having not slept at all, had a fever of 38.5 degrees and vomited before the game, Alba showed a warrior’s mentality, but Koeman however had to chance to not play him but did regardless. Alba looked somewhat like a threat towards Bayern. But end product was not their in the box. He did his usual pass but to no avail did it do anything. The receivers failed to finish or make a feasible shot attempt out of it. Near the hour mark, he signalled for a sub, as the Spanish fullback tried his best and hardest but
couldn’t be effective.
ST: Memphis Depay – 5/10: Our star signing and main man in attack, failed to deliver but you couldn’t blame him as his partner in crime, Luuk De Jong, failed to combine with him in a counter attacking set up. He didn’t receive the support he needed. So often he was dropping deep to collect the ball, giving the Bavarian side plenty of time to isolate him.
ST: Luuk De Jong – 3.5/10: The latest signing of Barça, Luuk De Jong made his debut on a big match against Bayern.
But unfortunately he failed to impress. He was often too slow which didn’t cause any problems for the pacey Bayern side. He offered nothing in the match, because in counter attacking football, pace is needed to break down the opposition. And this is clearly what Luuk lacks. He was often seen getting outduelled aerially as well. It was a bad decision by Koeman for starting him in this match, as well as using him in this system.
Gavi: 6/10: Made a visible impact in the match, as he came on for Busquets. His energy helped him make some strong tackles and challenges. But he was fortunate enough not to get 2 yellow cards on his official debut. Strong performance from the 17-year-old talent nonetheless
Mingueza: 5/10: Decent performance but not enough to stop Bayern from scoring
Demir: 5/10: Brought on some sort of freshness in the attack, but his loss in possession led Bayern to
score their third goal.
Coutinho: 5.5/10: Came on in the hour mark, had his trademark shot attempt but it just went over the bar, but
provided a different feel. Should’ve started and could’ve contributed more.
Alejandro Balde: 6/10: Like Gavi, Balde impressed a lot. His pace was great, and he made up for Alba in the left
flank, trying his best to make chances, making Sule look a bit uncomfortable. At such a young age he could certainly develop and since Alba could miss a few games due to a discomfort in his hamstring, Balde has the chance to pick up a few games under his belt and be a world class player in the future.