Eric Garcia and Jordi Alba were among the positives as Barcelona were held to a goalless draw at Camp Nou by Galatasaray in the UEFA Europa League.
Barcelona controlled possession for large parts but lacked the venom in their attacking play as they found it hard to create ample chances against a tenacious Galatasaray defence. Memphis Depay came close to scoring but found Inaki Pena in his way, with the Barcelona loanee making a fine stop. At the other end, Eric Garcia made a key clearance to deny Kerem Akturkoglu as the scoreline remained intact at half-time.
There was more edge to the game after the half-time break as Barcelona pushed to break the deadlock with Depay being denied by Pena again while Frenkie de Jong struck the post after some fine work by Adama Traore on the right flank. Minutes later, Galatasaray seemed to have taken the lead against the run of play when substitute Bafetimbi Gomis finished past Marc-Andre ter Stegen, but the goal was chalked off for offside by VAR.
Barcelona pushed and probed but could not find a way through as the game ended in a goalless stalemate, with everything now to play for in the second leg in Istanbul next week. The result also means the Catalans saw their four-game winning run in all competitions come to a halt. Here are our player ratings for Xavi Hernandez’s men after a disappointing result at Camp Nou.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 5/10
The German shot-stopper had precious little to do all night with Galatasaray hardly threatening his goal. Gomis beat him in the second half, but the VAR came to his rescue.
Sergino Dest: 6/10
Getting the nod at right-back, the USMNT international defended his flank well and made a few key blocks and interceptions. However, he was unable to offer much in the way of attacking support.
Ronald Araujo: 6/10
The Uruguayan defended well for the most part during his 45-minute stay on the pitch. He stayed alert at the back, but some of his passes from the back were sloppy and were usually cut out by the visitors.
Eric Garcia: 7/10
Eric Garcia appreciation tweet ? pic.twitter.com/6HcwSb4zDh
— Memphis DeGoat (@CuBanLinxs) March 10, 2022
The former Manchester City ace started a game after a long while and looked up for the challenge. Eric Garcia made a huge block to deny Akturkoglu towards the end of the first half. When needed, he showed good recovery pace and did his job well against a tricky opponent.
Jordi Alba: 7/10
The veteran full-back made his 100th European appearance for Barcelona and started brightly. He got forward well when the opportunities presented themselves while being assured and resolute in his defensive work, making several recoveries to cut out attacks.
Nico Gonzalez: 5/10
The youngster was handed a start with Sergio Busquets being rested. However, he failed to take his chance on Thursday. Nico tended to slow things down when in possession, allowing the opposition to get back into their shape, preventing the Blaugrana from carving out chances. Taken off at half-time.
Frenkie de Jong: 6.5/10
? Frenkie de Jong completed 30 of the 31 passes he made in the first half against Galatasaray.
✅ Successful passes 96.8% 30/31
✅ Winning duels 100% 4/4
✅ Successful tackles 100% 2/2
#BarcaGalatasaray #UEL pic.twitter.com/Wed5EL4Bwe
— Monalisa Simare mare (@Mare_leomessi) March 10, 2022
Moved into the deeper position in the middle of the park in Busquests’ absence, the Dutchman positively influenced the proceedings as he kept things ticking along nicely when in possession. He returned to his natural position as an interior midfielder after the half-time break and got forward well. He came the closest to scoring when he struck the post from close range.
Like de Jong, it was a mixed display from the midfield prodigy, who had his fair share of bright moments – playing three key passes. But at the same time, there were occasions when he was a bit sloppy. The 19-year-old was lively in the latter stages but could not help his team get over the line.
Adama Traore: 6.5/10
The January signing was tricky with the ball at his feet and gave Patrick van Aanholt all sorts of problems, constantly getting the better of the former Crystal Palace man. However, his end product was severely lacking on the night.
?? Adama Traore completed more dribbles (7/7), won more ground duels (9/10) and suffered more fouls (2) than any other player against Galatasaray.
Tough night. #Barca #BarcaGalatasaray pic.twitter.com/9nX1mz9d3G
— Mozo Football (@MozoFootball) March 10, 2022
Ferran Torres: 4/10
A poor game from the Spanish international who was reinstated into the starting XI after his goal against Elche at the weekend. Torres struggled to get into the game and hardly posed a threat. It was not surprising to see him get taken off half-time.
Memphis Depay: 6/10
The former Lyon forward made his first start post-injury and had his fair share of positive moments. Depay came close to scoring on a couple of occasions in the first half but saw an effort go wide and another get saved by Pena. He was denied by the Barcelona loanee again in the second half.
Sergio Busquets: 6.5/10
He replaced Nico at half-time and helped raise the tempo of the game while also shielding the defence effectively.
Ousmane Dembele: 5.5/10
On for Ferran Torres after the half-time break, the French forward had a sub-par outing. Dembele tried to make things happen but little came off for him.
Gerard Pique: 6/10
Came on in place of Araujo at half-time. Solid defensively, assured in his distribution.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 5/10
Sent on in place of Memphis at the hour mark, Aubameyang inadvertently created the opportunity for Frenkie de Jong with a bicycle kick.
Luuk de Jong: N/A
Late sub for Adama Traore.
Torres is not Barca class he is too poor as a player xavi should stop playing Spanish sentiment