opinions | 2017-01-23
Player Ratings - La Liga Round 19 - Eibar 0:4 Barcelona
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (7.5): Had a busy match to say the least, he really did keep us in it with a few key saves, mostly in the first half however. Passing today was brilliant, although some were inaccurate, for the most part they were accurate and allowed us to bypass Eibar’s press quite easily. Perhaps his best and most complete game this season. It was topped off with a clean sheet, his second in the space of a week. This will be a massive confidence boost for him.
Sergi Roberto (6): Pretty much the same thing we’ve seen in the last few weeks, not too involved going forward and more focused defensively although he did start getting the ball more often after Denis came on. Decision making in the final third has been questionable, something we’ve got used to at this point. His crosses and final passes rarely found anyone in the box. Got dispossessed easily a couple of times. Defensively, he looked good for the most part, Inui didn’t pose much threat to him in all honestly but Rakitić helped a lot defensively. Subbed off for Vidal in the 65th minute.
Samuel Umtiti (6.5): Usually plays in LCB position but in this game he played on the right because Mathieu was his CB partner. Solid passing throughout the game, but he had a bad pass at the start and Rakitić’s intervention saved Barça from conceding. It took him some time until he really got comfortable on that RCB spot. Some of his long passes have been terrific. He did well to carry the ball out the back a couple of times under pressure. Defensively, Eibar didn’t have the best of games but he did well and won most of his duels with their forwards. It wasn’t his best performance in a Barça shirt but he didn’t make too many mistakes either. Seems to be doing well no matter who his CB partner is, even when he plays on the right which is great to see.
Jeremy Mathieu (6): Shaky early on since it was first start in the past two or so months. Passing has been hit and miss. Misplaced more than 10 passes but since he has barely any match rhythm I think he can be excused. On the ball he was a bit sluggish and hesitant at times. One of his bad passes almost gifted Eibar a goal, luckily ter Stegen made a good save to prevent us going behind. In regards to his defensive side, he was impecable, managing three interceptions, winning all his aerial duels and completing all his clearances. It is nice to see him back on the pitch but on the ball he has to improve. It will happen with playtime though.
Jordi Alba (5.5): Not the best game for him, lost the ball easily and wasn’t great against the high press from Eibar. Passing has been on and off especially in our final third where he was hunted down by Eibar players quite effectively. In the final third he has been his usual self. Not even his defending was up to his usual level. He managed to create a chance but considering how he played I’m surprised he managed to even do this. Needs to do better in the future, we are going to come to the hard part of the season and consistency is key. With him we don’t have this at the moment.
Sergio Busquets: Only played 10 minutes and got subbed off after a horrible challenge from Eibar’s player. It was a leg breaking challenge and Barça weren’t even given a foul for it, something that really shocked me. It look horrible at first, but the latest reports say he’ll be out for about 2 weeks so he got really lucky there. Nonetheless, it’s a shame this happened now because he was getting better each game. Let’s hope the team can continue getting the results while he’s out.
Ivan Rakitić (6.5/7): Started as a RCM but after Busquets’ injury early on, he had to drop back to CDM position. He adapted very well though, did well on that position in this game. Usually he doesn’t contribute much in the buildup when playing as a CM, but he did well in this match when it comes to that. He doesn’t think as fast as Busquets so he did lose the ball a few times under pressure but other than that he was solid. What stood out yet again was his effort defensively, great throughout the game. He helped Sergi and other defenders a lot, had a couple of crucial tackles and interceptions. Going forward, he had a chance to score in the 2nd half after Messi’s pass, but the GK did well. Good to see him finally complete full 90 minutes, which didn’t happen in a long time.
Arda Turan (6): Hit and miss in this match. Early on he did his customary foul. On the ball, he has been a lot better than usual, normally he is a lot slower and takes more time. However, at times in the first half it looked like he was moving slower than Mertesacker which of course isn’t a good thing. Picked up a needless yellow. Surprisingly, his weakest part of the game is defensively yet that is what stood out for the Turk against Eibar. Managed to win five of his six tackles which is far more than he is used to. Normally he manages three at the very most. Great defensive performance but he needs to do more on the ball. For him it is either doing well defensively or going forward, but not both.
Lionel Messi (9): Magnificent performance for the best player in the world, from start to finish. His creativity and passing was on full display, I’ve failed to count just how many chances he created for his teammates in this match. It started with his great pass to Suárez, who couldn’t finish it off. His teammates wasted a lot of chances he created in the 1st half. Played more centrally yet again and combined well with the rest of the players, often dropped deep to help in the buildup. Got on the scoresheet at the start of the 2nd half after he did well to start the move and passed it to Suárez, who found him in the box with a brilliant pass. He seemed to be saving himself a lot in the 2nd half but he continued creating chances for his teammates. How he didn’t get a single assist in this match is beyond me. Man of the match yet again.
Luis Suárez (7): Got involved from the start but his finishing should’ve been better in the 1st half. Had 2 great chances to score and should’ve done better in both. He didn’t look as isolated in this game and combined well with his teammates. Wonderful pass to Messi inside the box, and the Argentine finished it off to make it 2-0. Got on the scoresheet later on after his constant pressure on Eibar’s back 4 finally paid off, he dispossessed one of their defenders and scored with ease to make it 3-0. He kept playing well and getting his teammates involved, created a chance for Neymar who couldn’t finish it off. Solid performance except poor finishing in the 1st half.
Neymar (6.5): Hot and cold performance for the Brazilian. At times, mostly in the first half he held onto the ball for too long and slowed down play significantly. This is something we would see from him in 2016. After some great play, he missed an easy 1 vs 1. Passing wasn’t the best as he misplaced far more passes than he should’ve, but he still managed to create two chances. There were still positives in his performance though; his defensive work rate once again was second to none. Completing 75% of his tackles and winning all of his aerial duels was impressive. Right at the end of the game, he finally got on the score sheet. His first league goal from open play since September. Not the best today after a great start to this year, he needs to put this past him and get back to what he has showed so far (excluding the finishing).
Denis Suárez (7): Subbed on for Busquets who got injured after 10 minutes. Played as a RCM after Rakitić dropped back to CDM and he did well. Early on he misplaced some passes and it looked like he wasn’t in the rhythm but it all changed after he opened the scoring in 32nd minute with a fantastic shot from the edge of the box. That goal seemed to have given him more confidence and he was great in the 2nd half. Passed the ball well, he’s done a great job in the buildup. Good pass to Messi to start the move for Barça’s 2nd goal. He worked and positioned himself well defensively. Another good performance, here’s hoping he’ll be getting more minutes in the rest of the season.
Aleix Vidal: Replaced Sergi Roberto in the 2nd half and did well. He got involved more going forward than Sergi did, but the game was already done at that point, it has to be said. Solid defensively when needed to react. Picked up an assist after a good counter attack at the end of the match, good cross inside the box and Neymar finished it off. He’s done really well whenever he was given a chance, definitely deserves to play more often for what he has shown on the pitch.
Paco Alcacer: Replaced Suárez with about 15 minutes left on the clock and he barely touched the ball in that time. There isn’t much to say about his performance, he moved well but never really got into chances even though Barça were enjoying themselves and played good football in that period of the game. Smartly left the Aleix cross for Ney who needed a goal as much as him which was the highlight of his performance.
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WRITTEN BY: Josip
23 years old, born in Split, Croatia. Football fanatic and a die-hard Barça fan. Currently studying tourism and communication.
WRITTEN BY: Sulaiman
Sulaiman is a Barcelona fan since 2005. He loves discussing anything related to the club. Sulaiman is currently studying Accounting and Finance and has a keen interest in Statistics.