opinions | 2017-01-30
Player Ratings - La Liga Round 20 - Betis 1:1 Barcelona
Barça draws away from home in a lacklustre display by most players
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (7): Wonderful today. He came up with a couple of big saves, especially that 1v1 with Ruben Castro which would’ve sealed the game for them. His distribution was very good it must to be said, some misplaced passes here and there but he managed to bypass Betis’ press relatively well. On the Betis goal, his punch wasn’t the best but he did punch it away from goal but poorly, it should’ve been into the air and away from goal but it wasn’t. Solid game overall, not much more he could’ve done in this game.
Aleix Vidal (5.5): Finally a starter today and it’s safe to say he should’ve used his chance better. Started well, looked very involved and had a great run and a cross to Suárez early on, but the shot was blocked. Positioned himself much higher up the pitch compared to Sergi when he plays in a RB position. As the game went on, he started getting worse. Betis were dangerous and he struggled under pressure, misplacing passes or getting dispossessed in dangerous areas. Betis were very dangerous down his side and he struggled trying to stop Ceballos who was very good in this match. Got slightly better in the last 15 minutes after Sergi came on, his crosses caused trouble for Betis. Weirdly enough, he was better in games when he was subbed on in the 2nd half than he was in this game despite playing for 90 minutes.
Gerard Piqué (6.5): Once again Barça’s best defender. Passing has been wonderful all game.long, breaking Betis pressing quite often. Completed 95% of his passes. Defensively, he looked solid and always found himself on the right place at the right time, had a few very important clearances and interceptions when Betis looked dangerous going forward and Barça struggled. Nothing he could do on the goal, poorly defended set piece from Barça. One of Barça’s best players in this bad team performance and seeing him in this form is one of the positives we can take from this.
Jeremy Mathieu (6): On the ball he wasn't too bad but made some very risky passes which could’ve cost us but, we’ve been accustomed to this. His passing decision making isn’t the best. Off the ball he’s been great, defending really well. Oddly enough, he only won 33% of his aerial duels which is usually a strength of his. However, he did win all his tackles and interceptions. Surprisingly, he managed to create a chance in this game. Not a bad game at all from the Frenchman but nothing too special either, he did his job well.
Lucas Digne (5.5): Looked a bit shaky. Early on he got an injury but was able to run it off. His overlap runs have been good but he didn’t do anything with them. The Frenchman didn’t even put one cross into the Betis box. Passing was consistent today but his defending wasn’t too good. Winning 25% of his tackles was not good enough especially since we were on the back foot for a fair amount of the game. Tracking back slowly like against Villarreal, although Betis didn’t attack down his side too much compared to the other side.
Ivan Rakitić (5.5): Started in a CDM position after he had a solid performance in that position in the last Liga match, but today it was a whole different story. Started very slowly and never seemed to find his rhythm. Didn’t look comfortable on the ball and made wrong decisions quite often throughout the game. If you look at stats, passing has been good as he completed most of his passes but he chose the wrong pass quite often. Defensively, he didn’t look as good as he usually does in a CM position and picked up a yellow card in the 2nd half so he had to be even more careful. A game to forget for Croatian international, it will be interesting to see who will start in CDM position until Busquets comes back.
Denis Suárez (5.5): Not a good performance for.the young.Spaniard. Slow start, kept.misplacing some easy passes which didn’t help the team find its necessary rhythm to dominate in this game. Betis pressed well and forced him into mistakes quite often. Defensively, he was solid and helped Vidal a lot, it was needed in this match against a very inspired Ceballos on that side. Didn’t look as dangerous going forward as he did in previous games, and his connection with Messi on the right side wasn’t as deadly. Weirdly enough, despite his poor performance Barça looked even worse in the middle of the pitch after he got subbed off in the 2nd half. In my opinion he was the last midfielder that should’ve been subbed off.
Arda Turan (5.5): Wasn’t great for the most part, his positioning wasn’t the best. Though he’s made some great interceptions and won 80% of his tackles he didn’t offer too much going forward. On the ball he has been nothing special. He had a chance to score but he took a dreadful touch and lost the ball. Of course he isn’t Iniesta but he didn’t do much at all to help us build from the back when we were struggling. One thing I found really odd is that he was playing LCM but drifted quite a few times to RW in order to get the ball when in actual fact he should stay in his position and the ball will come. I’m not a fan of him in midfield and it was another poor performance in Seville playing there.
Lionel Messi (6.5): Not the greatest of games for the best player in the world. Wasn’t on the ball often early on and that seemed to set the tone for the rest of the match. Once again dropped deep and wasn’t positioned wide. Looked very isolated for the most part. Even with him not getting the ball in dangerous positions, most of the chances Barça created were down to him. Wonderful pass to send Neymar 1 vs. 1 with the keeper in the 1st half, but the Brazilian didn’t finish his chance. In the 2nd half he looked even more isolated which was weird to see as the result wasn’t positive for Barça. Worked well without the ball at times, won 3 tackles in this game. Once again saved a point for his team after Suárez finally scored on a great pass from the Argentine. Not the best of games as he was isolated for the most part, but he was still a creative force for his team.
Luis Suárez (6): A game to forget for the Uruguayan striker despite the fact that he scored an equaliser to save his team from the defeat. Poor passing and decision making on a rare occasion when Barça were on the counter which was very frustrating to watch. Without the ball, he once again helped the team and he was everywhere on the pitch but going forward he looked isolated. Good finish after Messi’s pass to save Barça from the defeat in the 90th minute. He seemed to have gotten better over the last few games but in this game he got back to his poor form from the start of the season. Let’s hope he’ll put this behind him and continue where he left off before this this game.
Neymar (6.5): Another hot and cold game. He bottled an easy 1v1. No idea why his finishing all of a sudden has gone down the drain. On the ball he was good but lost the ball quite a fair amount. Only completing 54% of his take ons which against not such a strong opposition he should be doing better. Defended well but didn’t get as involved as he normally does, three defensive actions is pretty low for him in 2017. At times he went down easily but late into the second half, he got grabbed by the neck and thrown to the floor, no idea how this wasn’t a penalty and even worse in the same play the ball crossed the line and no goal was given. Passing was good but far better in the final third with his passes. In the middle of the first half he wasted a good FK chance. It was a favorable angle for him it must be said. He is doing well but he lacks consistency and composure in front of goal. Once he sorts this then he could on the road to reaching late-2015 Neymar.
André Gomes: Subbed on for Denis Suárez and played in the last 30 minutes of the game. Denis often drifted wide while the Portuguese stood deep but never really got into the rhythm, much like the rest of the team. Only attempted 18 passes and most of those were safe options, didn’t add much to the team going forward, in the last third of the pitch. He’s yet to fully adapt, and constantly switching positions and playing him in different roles certainly doesn’t help. Here’s hoping he can help the team in the upcoming games. Personally, I’d love to see him get a chance in a CDM position in Busquets’ absence.
Sergi Roberto: Played in the last 20 minutes and surprisingly made a decent difference on the game. His passing was fine and got the ball quite a bit. He played in midfield which allowed Aleix to operate higher and it caused Betis some problems. Defensively he was fine oddly enough. Won all his tackles and an aerial duels. Perhaps, playing him as a RCM and Aleix as RB could be something to test in future games.
Jordi Alba: Replaced Digne in the last 20 minutes. This change made no sense to me, why a like for like sub when we need to win this game. Passing was alright and somehow managed to create a chance. In the final third he was his usual useless self. He should’ve gotten on the scoresheet (assuming the ball didn’t come off the Betis player) but the linesman and referee somehow managed not to see the ball cross the line. Other than that, there’s nothing to note on his performance in this match.
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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.