opinions | 2017-04-25
Player Ratings - La Liga Round 33 - Real Madrid 2:3 Barcelona
The greatest of all time stand above all
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (8.5): Absolutely wonderful in his first game at the Bernabeu. Madrid managed plenty of shots but he was up everything they threw at him. So many crucial saves, the one against Asensio at the near post was the pick of the bunch. Perhaps he could’ve done better on the first goal but the defending was poor. He was let down on the 2nd goal by the defenders not tracking runners. His passing was very good and helped us get through the weak RM press. He completed 8 more passes than Ronaldo which isn’t a surprise these days. His saves played a massive part in keeping us in the title race.
Sergi Roberto (6): Started on the right side and he was shaky defensively. Madrid easily attacked down the wing most of the game and looked very dangerous. Rakitić helped him a lot defensively. Going forward, he wasn’t much involved, but passed the ball well. Only attempted 1 cross all game long. The best moment of the match came in the last minute when he completed an astonishing sprint with the ball and passed the ball to Gomes, with Messi finishing the counter and scoring the winning goal. Not the best of the performances, but once again made the game winning play.
Gerard Piqué (6.5): Had a solid performance despite Madrid creating a lot of chances. The whole team could’ve done much better defensively but he had some great plays in the heart of the defence. Won all of his duels, completed 4 important clearances and he was very strong in the air against this Madrid team that showed how dangerous they are in this aspect. Passed the ball well. Going forward, he had 2 great chances. The first one was a great header but Navas did well. The second one was a much easier chance from close range but his shot went straight at Navas. Solid performance.nonetheless.
Samuel Umtiti (7.5): Played really well in his Clasico debut. He was a bit slow early on and on another day could’ve easily given a penalty away. Truth be told, I thought it was a penalty. Defensively he was sound, Benzema and Ronaldo had a lot of trouble doing anything against him. He had a few misplaced passes but overall he kept his cool in such a high pressured match. After the first few minutes, I expected a poor game from him but he picked up really well and carried the defence for parts of the game. Very mature performance, his work this season should be rewarded with more than 2nd place and let’s hope it does.
Jordi Alba (6): Played relatively well. He was a lot better with his final balls than usual, created 2 chances and one of them was a great pick out for Messi to get the winner. Defensively he had an easier day than Sergi but still he could’ve done more to prevent Carvajal from getting good positions in our defensive third. Had a chance to score but Carvajal did well to put him off and his header went wide. With what he has shown this season, this was a very good game for him. If he can play well against the likes of Carvajal, Asensio and Bale, why does he struggle against much weaker players?
Sergio Busquets (7.5): Wonderful performance. They way he passed the ball under pressure was beautiful to watch, Barça needed his calmness in this match. Barely put a foot wrong all game long. Won most of his duels and managed to keep the great Madrid midfield quiet. Passing was great, completed 94% of his passes even though he didn’t have an easy job considering he didn’t always have many passing options available. After Messi and ter Stegen, definitely the best player on the pitch.
Ivan Rakitić (6.5): Solid game for the Croatian international. He drifted wide quite often again, but played a bit closer to his teammates in the middle than he did earlier this season. Passed the ball well, completed 96% of his passes. Worked tirelessly without the ball, great aspect of his game and this game was the best example. Helped Sergi a lot down that right side. His.moment of the game came in the 2nd half when he scored a brilliant goal from outside of the box with his weaker foot to make it 1-2. He looked tired at the end and couldn’t cope with Marcelo at times after his goal, but played a huge part in this win nonetheless.
Andres Iniesta (7): Wonderful performance. He had more of a controlling role and distributed the ball really well which has been rusty in the last few weeks (bar Sevilla). His retention was of a high level too. Casemiro, Modrić and Kroos had a lot of trouble dispossessing him. He created a brilliant chance for Suárez who should’ve scored. Everything but the finish was perfect on the play. Completed all his tackles and take ons, we haven’t seen this for some time now. All the talk of him being “finished” suddenly disappeared. It is a narrow minded thing to say as he showed. He’s bossed the Bernabeu the last 2 times he’s been there. Stepped up when we needed it, let’s hope he can do this in the last few Liga games.
Lionel Messi (10): What can you say? Simply astonishing. He was behind everything Barça created and managed to win the game with his goals too. He was driving Madrid midfielders and defenders crazy all game long, Casemiro in particular, who was lucky to stay on the pitch and could’ve been sent off in the 1st half. Wonderful finish to make it 1-1. At the start of the 2nd half, he didn’t see too much of the ball, but whenever he did, he made it count. Made Ramos go for a reckless challenge which sent him off. Finished the game with a winner in the last second, scoring his 500th Barça goal. You couldn’t write a script like this and it’s only fitting for the best player of all time.
Luis Suárez (6): Involved in the 1st half and he managed to get into some chances but his finishing should’ve been better. He was in promising positions a couple of times but it was either his decision making or his first touch that let him down each time. The best part of his performance was his work rate without the ball, which was great. His dummy before Messi’s first goal was crucial. Looked isolated in the 2nd half, but had a golden chance which he couldn’t finish after a brilliant pass from Iniesta. His shot was good but Keylor was on the right place. Here’s hoping his finishing can get better in this final stretch of the season.
Paco Alcácer (5.5): Replaced suspended Neymar. He played alongside Suarez in a 4-3-1-2. Managed 8 passes in 70 minutes which is really poor it has to be said. His movement on the other hand was really good, he managed to create space for Messi and Alba numerous times. Had a golden chance which really he should’ve scored from, just like Suárez. He couldn’t get the better of Carvajal when he drifted wide but did track back to support Alba. For me, Denis should’ve started over him but we’ve seen he can get a crucial goal when given the chance.
André Gomes: Replaced Paco with 20 minutes left. He was positioned like a left winger which was really odd considering he isn’t the fastest player. He created a wonderful chance for Piqué who should’ve scored, it would’ve been great if he did especially since it was right after the Ramos red card. On the 3rd goal, he waited for the overlap from Alba. Normally he’d rush it and get rid of the ball as quick as possible but this time he made the right decision. In 20 minutes he attempted 1 less pass than Paco who played 50 mins more.
Referee Alejandro Hernandez (5): Made 2 big mistakes, one for each side. Missed a penalty on Ronaldo early on, and then later on in the 1st half, Casemiro should’ve been sent off after fouling Messi on counter when he was already on a yellow. Other than that, he had a good game for the most part. There were some mistakes from the linesman, but that’s not down to him. 2 minutes of added time was strange though, but the game was decided in the last second.
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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.