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 By Mina Rzouki

Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala shrink again on Champions League stage

Steve Nicol says Gonzalo Higuain didn't receive enough support from his teammates to be effective against Barcelona on Tuesday.
After their opening-round loss to Barca, the FC panel place part of the blame on Dybala's lacklustre showing for Juventus.

Comprehensively defeated by Barcelona 3-0, Juventus are a far cry from the balanced and solid unit they were the last time these two sides met.

Defensively vulnerable, offensively impotent, Juve produced a good first-half performance before they capitulated in the second half and allowed Lionel Messi to work his magic and overwhelm a side that has yet to recover its fluidity and strength.  

BarcelonaBarcelona
JuventusJuventus
3
0
FT
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Positives

Very few to speak of, but the fact that Juventus played a decent half despite the many absences and many new players on the pitch is worth a nod.

Negatives

Obviously Juve's defence proved horrendous as they failed to close down space and Barcelona's players effectively. However, it is the mental fragility that proved most concerning, with players losing concentration at important moments and then allowing their heads to drop when they conceded and showing little ambition to fight back. Juventus must show greater mental strength in these big occasions or they will yet again, lose to the big sides. 

Manager rating out of 10

5 -- Compact and narrow in midfield, Juventus proved good in the first half as they attempted to shut out Barca and create their own chances. However, the capitulation in the second half is worrying as Juve declined both physically and mentally and Massimiliano Allegri must address this quickly. However, it's vital to note the coach was without several first-choice players.

Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):

GK Gianluigi Buffon, 6 -- Showed great reflexes and instincts to produce great saves but simply didn't have a decent defence ahead of him.

DF Mattia De Sciglio, 6 -- Ter Stegen needed to produce a brilliant save to deny De Sciglio's strike in the beginning of the match. Won his duels quite often but made a shocking decision to pass the ball across the box that gave Ousmane Dembele an opportunity he shouldn't have had. Went off with an injury.

DF Andrea Barzagli, 5 -- Started the game well and acted as the wise head in the middle but like the others declined in the second half and lost Messi.   

DF Medhi Benatia, 3 -- Started the match well, making important interventions then collapsed spectacularly. Too many errors, too easily overwhelmed.

DF Alex Sandro, 4 -- Didn't play at his usual level. Wasn't able to push forward effectively and proved weak defensively. Must maintain concentration levels.

MF Rodrigo Bentancur, 5 -- Started the match well, demonstrating character. Played a neat and simple game in the first half but it was a shame to watch him collapse in such a manner in the second, missing his cues.  

MF Miralem Pjanic, 6 -- One of the better players on the pitch, especially in the first half where he recovered possession, initiated attacks, overcame his man and pressed effectively. Struggled more in the second half and was overcome too easily.

Gonzalo Higuain's critics will have something to talk about, as the Argentine again disappeared in a big game for Juventus.

MF Blaise Matuidi, 4 -- He covers ground and tried hard but failed to provide much more to either phase of the game.

FW Douglas Costa, 6 -- One of the better players in attack, accelerating well and exploiting space. His teammates are yet to fully understand how to afford him the right help and he's yet to fully grasp the team's style of play. Disappeared in the second half.

FW Gonzalo Higuain, 3 -- Higuain did little to merit a mention. No bite to his game, he didn't exploit space effectively, serve his teammates or attempt to bother the centre-backs that were tasked with hindering him. Disappeared on the big stage yet again. 

FW Paulo Dybala, 4 -- The player was simply a shadow of himself. While he had the right ideas, his execution was poor. These are the matches Juventus need the Argentine to influence and tonight, Dybala disappointed. 

Substitutes

DF Stefano Sturaro, 5 -- Played out of position and tried his best, not at the level required to play for Juventus or partake in such European nights.

MF Federico Bernardeschi, 5 -- Delivered a weak shot that was easily saved but couldn't impact a side that had already given up.

MF Fabrizio Caligara, NR -- Handed his debut but not on for long enough to make an impact.

Mina Rzouki covers Juventus and the Italian national team for ESPN FC. Follow her on Twitter: @Minarzouki.

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