FC Barcelona was once again embarrassed in the Champions League, and this time it was by Benfica. Ronald Koeman, set up an unnecessary 3-5-2 formation and system, proving he didn’t learn from his mistake against Bayern. He left out several players that shined in the match against Levante, leaving out Gavi, Nico and Mingueza. Immediately placing Pedri in the starting 11 was also questionable as other midfield talents exist as well. Barça conceded very quickly, in 3 minutes from kick off, Benfica scored, as Ter Stegen was unable to stop the near post shot, and Eric Garcia was too incompetent to stay on his man and defend. Just from the first goal, Barça were looking like they already sold out the game to Benfica.
1-0 at half time meant Koeman needed to make some serious changes. But he instead opted to play Frenkie at CB, eliminating Barça’s source of creativity. Eric Garcia picking up his second red card of the season and Dest’s handball was enough for Benfica to win 3-0. The once strong FC Barcelona are now holding their heads low down to the ground in shame and sorrow, humiliated. This result also seems to be one of Koeman’s last matches as the manager of the club, in a matter of hours, days or weeks, a decision will be made.
GK: Ter Stegen – 3.5/10: Benfica scored their first goal from near post and was unable to save it. Before Benfica could score their second, he made a huge mistake as he tried to intercept it but was outpaced by Nunez, but Benfica failed to capitalise and punish Ter Stegen. A poor and off form performance by Ter Stegen.
CB: Araujo – 6/10: Made some reasonable challenges. Not his fault as one person can’t carry a defensive unit, he showed great passion and determination, but it came to no use, as Barca conceded 3.
CB: Pique – 2/10: Only lasting half of an hour, the Spaniard made some dodgy and poor challenges, racking up a yellow card and got taken off by Koeman before he could eventually pick up another card.
CB: Eric Garcia – 2/10: A disaster class, clearly at fault for the first goal, and that was the first of many mistakes. He also picked up a red card, near the final stages of the match. Horrible performance.
Midfielders + Wingbacks
RM: Sergi Roberto – 4/10: Played out of position once again, so his confidence was low. He made a few good runs and tried his best, but nothing worked out.
CM: Frenkie De Jong – 6.5/10: He tried his absolute best and tried to push Barca forward, but nothing could be done. Set up chances for Luuk De Jong and Memphis, only for them to miss it. After a good first half performance, Frenkie was shifted to a CB in the second half, and Barça missed his skill and talent in the midfield.
CM: Busquets – 4/10: The captain couldn’t handle the physicality and ultimately was too slow and ineffective to help.
CM: Pedri – 5.5/10: Coming back from his injury, he was quickly placed into the starting 11. In the first half, he looked decent. He created some chances for others and a few for himself but led to no goal.
LM: Dest – 3/10: Not as good as he was against Levante. Way too predictable when he was progressing forward and gave away a late penalty to Benfica to make it 3-0.
ST: Luuk De Jong – 2/10: A terrible performance by the Dutchman. Placed in an unsuccessful 3-5-2 system once again and showed no use for the team. Too slow, did nothing else other than missing his plate-served chances.
ST: Memphis – 4/10: Missed a huge chance that was served to him in the first half. His first touch was horrible, but he did try to make things happen for the Blaugrana.
Gavi: 5/10: Came on in the first half, but couldn’t do much to help Barca, as the game was already in the process of being thrown away.
Coutinho: 4/10: Not effective or useful at all.
Nico Gonzalez: 5/10: Made some passes through for the attack but didn’t lead to anything.
Fati: 6/10: Was isolated in the forward line and couldn’t do much to help as the game was already thrown away to Benfica.
Mingueza: N/A: Came on in the late stages of the game.
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