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Porto vs Barcelona player ratings as the Catalans claim an important Champions League win on the road. Ferran Torres’ goal in First Half Stoppage Time was enough for Xavi’s team who had to survive significant Porto pressure after the break.
Porto vs Barcelona: Timeline
34’ – Robert Lewandowski has to go off with an injury sustained after a strong challenge from David Carmo.
45+1’ (GOAL) – A big error from Romario Baro in midfield allows Ilkay Gundogan to release substitute Ferran Torres who provides a cool finish to put the visitors ahead.
53’ – Pepe races clear on goal but a brilliant recovery tackle from Jules Kounde denies him a shot at goal.
77’ – Joao Cancelo handles just inside the box and referee Anthony Taylor points to the spot. However it’s overturned for a previous handball after a VAR review.
90+3’ (RED CARD) – Gavi sees his second yellow card for persistent fouling.
The Big Stat
Ferran finding form at last
Ferran Torres hasn’t made a huge impact since moving to Barcelona from Manchester City. He was even strongly linked with a move back to the Premier League in the summer but he’s now hit 4 goals in his last 9 appearances for Barca.
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) October 4, 2023
Porto vs Barcelona player ratings: Star Player
Jules Kounde (Barcelona) – 8.30
Jules Kounde had to make do with a right back role for most of last season, but he’s starting to come into his own in central defence. Some vital Second Half tackles helped preserve Barcelona’s clean sheet and he also completed 94% of his passes.
Porto vs Barcelona player ratings: Hosts can’t find a way past Ter Stegen
Porto will feel as though they had enough of the game to warrant a point. An individual error cost them the game’s only goal but they pressed well for a leveller after the break, however visiting keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was equal to anything they could muster on target with the German making 5 saves.
Porto player ratings
Diogo Costa 6/10 – Could do little about the goal and wasn’t required to make any other big saves.
Wendell 7/10 – Frequently got forward with purpose as Porto doubled up on Cancelo on their left flank.
David Carmo 6/10 – First Half challenge forced Lewandowski off.
Fabio Cardoso 6/10 – Booked for a late challenge on Kounde in the First Half’s main flash point.
Joao Mario 7/10 – Caused early problems on the right and handled Felix quite well.
Alan Varela 6/10 – Steady midfield performance.
Stephen Eustaquio 6/10 – The occasional burst forward. Forced a smart save out of Ter Stegen.
Wenderson Galeno 6/10 – Lost possession too easily but caused problems for Cancelo.
Romario Baro 5/10 – A bad touch in midfield leads to the only goal.
Pepe 6/10 – Came alive early in the Second Half but denied by Barca’s centre-backs.
Mehdi Taremi 6/10 – Heads wide with his best opportunity in the 2nd Half. Spectacular overhead kick later ruled offside.
Evanilson (sub) 6/10 – Had little impact after his 64th minute introduction.
Chico Conceicao (sub) N/A
Danny Namaso (sub) N/A
Nico Gonzalez (sub) N/A
Ivan Jaime (sub) N/A
Resilient Barca see the job out
Barcelona dominated possession in the opening stages and got their goal despite the withdrawal of the player most likely to provide one. Strong performances from both centre-backs helped them over the line in the Second Half as Porto pressed for a leveller.
Barcelona player ratings
Marc-Andre ter Stegen 8/10 – Assured. Made some important stops after the break.
Alejandro Balde 7/10 – Pushed forwards into advanced positions and caused problems but faded after the break.
Jules Kounde 8/10 – A brilliant recovery tackle early in the Second Half to preserve Barca’s lead.
Ronald Araujo 7/10 – Some important challenges as his team held on for the win.
Joao Cancelo 5/10 – Booked early on which made him a target and a tough night continued with only VAR sparing his blushes for a needless handball.
Ilkay Gundogan 7/10 – Perfectly weighted pass releases Ferran for the opening goal as the German lives up to his pre-match billing as Barca’s key man.
Oriol Romeu 5/10 – A shaky performance, particularly early on where he frequently lost possession.
Gavi 6/10 – Tactical fouls helped his team see the game out but also led to his red.
Joao Felix 6/10 – Booed throughout on his return to Portugal but involved in some of Barca’s best moves.
Robert Lewandowski 6/10 – Withdrawn with a knock after a quiet half hour.
Lamine Yamal 6/10 – The occasional flash of magic in the First Half from the 16 year old.
Ferran Torres (sub) 8/10 – Replaced Lewandowski in the First Half and was soon on the scoresheet with a cool finish.
Fermin Lopez (sub) N/A
Sergi Roberto (sub) N/A
Marcos Alonso (sub) N/A
The Final Word
Barcelona are now in a strong position to avoid a third straight Champions League group stage exit with maximum points after two games. Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk look likely to scrap it out for 2nd place with three points apiece.
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