Barcelona secured a narrow 1-0 win over FC Porto away from home in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, October 4.
Barca entered this game on the back of a narrow 1-0 win over Sevilla in their last league outing. An own goal from old foe Sergio Ramos gifted them the win as they kept pace with league-leaders Real Madrid.
Xavi Hernandez knew his team would have to beat Porto at least once to safely qualify as winners of Group H. He fielded a strong lineup for this game.
Barcelona made a strong start to the game and dominated possession in the first half. They had the ball for 62% of the time, attempting eight shots with three of those on target. Porto, on the other hand, attempted five shots with two of those on target. However, it was the visitors who ended the first half with the upper hand.
Robert Lewandowski’s injury was one of the low points of the first half for Barcelona as he was replaced by Ferran Torres.
The substitute came on and scored to make it 1-0 in the 46th minute as the visitors carried a narrow lead into the break.
The possession stats for the second half were slightly more level as Barcelona edged Porto 51-49. However, the Catalans managed just one shot on target from six attempts in a rather tame display. They were lucky not to concede as Porto first had a penalty decision reversed, before Mehdi Taremi’s wonderful bicycle kick goal was ruled out for offside.
The hosts pushed and tried until the last minute but could not find an equalizer despite six minutes of added time as Barcelona secured a 1-0 win.
On that note, let’s take a look at the visitors’ player ratings.
Barcelona Player Ratings
Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 8/10
Ter Stegen made a good start to the game and made two first-half saves. He made three more crucial stops in the second half to earn his clean sheet.
Joao Cancelo – 7/10
Cancelo was active going forward but was booked for a foul early in the game. He won seven duels, making three tackles and three clearances. He also played two long balls.
Jules Kounde – 7.5/10
Kounde looked solid at the back and had a good game. He won seven duels, making a whopping 10 clearances. He also played two long balls and was booked for a foul early in the second period.
Ronaldo Araujo – 7/10
Araujo made a decent start to the game but was booked for arguing with the referee midway through the first half. He won three duels, making one interception and one tackle.
Alejandro Balde – 7.5/10
Balde was highly active on the left flank and was heavily involved with his team’s attacking play. He won seven duels and passed the ball with 90% accuracy, including three key passes.
Oriol Romeu – 6.5/10
Romeu made a good start to the game and looked composed in the middle of the park. He won two duels and passed the ball with 82% accuracy.
Gavi – 6.5/10
Gavi put in a passionate display but was often drawn into silly tackles and was booked for a foul in the first half. His temperament did not get better with time as he was sent off for two bookable offences late in the second half.
Ilkay Gundogan – 7.5/10
Gundogan put in a dominant display in midfield and provided an assist for Torres’ goal with a silky pass. He won two duels and also played four long balls.
Lamine Yamal – 7.5/10
Yamal had a great game for Barcelona and looked confident despite being the youngest player on the pitch by some distance. He passed the ball with 77% accuracy, including one key pass, three long balls and one cross. He also won three duels.
Robert Lewandowski – 6/10
Lewandowski barely got going before he suffered an injury and had to be subbed off. He was replaced by Ferran Torres.
Joao Felix – 6.5/10
Felix made a slow start to the game and struggled to find rhythm. He was booked for a poor tackle early in the second half and was subbed off just before the 70-minute mark.
Ferran Torres – 7.5/10
Torres replaced Lewandowski midway through the first period and gave Barcelona the lead on the cusp of half-time, which turned out to be the only goal of the game.
Fermin Lopez – 6.5/10
Lopez replaced Joao Felix in the second period and put in a decent cameo.
Sergi Roberto – 6/10
Roberto replaced Romeu and was booked for a clumsy tackle late in the game.
Marcos Alonso – 6/10
Alonso replaced Yamal late in the game and put in a decent performance.