opinions | 2017-04-27
Player Ratings - La Liga Round 34 - Barcelona 7:1 Osasuna
Party at the Camp Nou as Mascherano scores his first Barça goal as the signings André and Alcácer score twice each
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (6): Had a really quiet game. Osasuna posed next to no threat to his goal. Though he should’ve done better on the Osasuna goal, he was caught wrong footed. His passing was really good as we are used to by now. He’ll need to be more alert against Espanyol who pose a much bigger threat than Osasuna.
Javier Mascherano (7): Started on the right side of the defence in 3-4-3 and did well, even though Osasuna barely had the ball and tried to attack so he didn’t have much to do defensively. Positioned very high up the pitch, passed the ball well. Often found himself in Osasuna’s box. In the 2nd half, the team decided to let him take a penalty after Denis was fouled and he scored his first goal in a Barça shirt. Fully deserved it for his great Barça career.
Gerard Piqué (6.5): Had a relatively easy game. He didn’t have to do much in terms of defending because Osasuna barely posed a threat with one striker. He distributed the ball well as he has done these past few weeks. Like against Real Madrid, he should’ve got on the scoresheet. It was brilliant control, arguably handball but his shot went off the post and Gomes cleaned up and got his 2nd of the game. This chance was harder than the one against Madrid yet he somehow did better except for the end result.
Lucas Digne (6.5): Started as an LCB in a 3-4-3. I can’t recall how long it has been since he has started. His passing was good as you could expect, although Osasuna didn’t pressure our defenders much. He had a chance to score but it was deflected for a corner, the shot looked like it was going in. Wasn’t really needed on the overlap as we got into good central positions. He did very well to regain possession high up after we lost the ball. It was good to see him get some playing time.
Sergio Busquets (7): Another great performance for him. Much more involved than earlier this season, attempted 139 passes which is a huge amount considering how Barça have been playing so far this season. The way Osasuna were set up and their lack of pressing helped him and he faced no problems in this game, combined well with Denis and Rakitić who were positioned closer to him than usual. Defensively, he didn’t have much to do against the toothless Osasuna team, but he committed a foul which eventually led to Osasuna goal from set piece. Picked up his form in the 2nd half of the season which is great to see.
Ivan Rakitić (7.5): Positioned closer to the rest of the midfield as Gomes played on the right wing. He played well, passing was solid. Managed 4 key passes and 2 assists. The only underwhelming part about his performance was his crossing, only completed 3 crosses of 11 attempted. Worked well defensively but it was barely needed as Osasuna were poor going forward. His form is improving as of late and here’s hoping we’ll see more of this for the rest of the season.
Denis Suarez (7): Looked really good in this game. It is only Osasuna, but he did show some great signs. His assist for Paco’s 2nd goal was absolutely wonderful, Paco had a lot of work still to do but for me the assist was better than the goal. Some of his passing in the final third was off but he looked to get on the ball a lot and make things happen. Perhaps we will see more of him next season but I would’ve liked to have seen more this season.
Lionel Messi (8): Great start to the game, took the ball away from Osasuna’s defenders and finished it with ease to make it 1-0. Positioned in that attacking midfield role, he was distributing well but didn’t have to drop too deep as Osasuna allowed too much time and space on the ball for Barça’s midfielders. Amazing finish from the edge of the box in the 2nd half to make it 4-1. He didn’t even play to his full potential in this match but still scored 2 and dominated the game with ease, something only he can do. Subbed off after 63 minutes and got a well deserved rest ahead of the tough Espanyol game for the weekend.
André Gomes (7.5): Started on the right wing position and looked a bit shaky at the start, his passing and decision making wasn’t the best. But as the game went on, he improved. Scored from close range to make it 2-0 after Rakitić found him in the box, this helped his confidence a lot. Passed the ball well but his crossing wasn’t the best, completing only 1 of 5 attempted crosses. Scored another goal, his 2nd of the game, from inside the box in the 2nd half to make it 3-1 after Osasuna came back to life minutes before. He moved to the left after Aleña came on. Interesting to see him do well on the wing position, he played an important role in that win at the Bernabeu and did well in this match.
Paco Alcácer (7): Started the game in Suárez’ place, and did well. He wasn’t much involved in the build up and didn’t see much of the ball, but he looked dangerous inside the box. There’s not much to note about his 1st half, but he came to life in the 2nd. His first goal came after Gomes’ great pass, Mascherano touched the ball and it came to him for an easy finish. His 2nd came after a great counter and a wonderful pass from Denis. He dribbled past the keeper with ease and finished the move to make it 7-1. Very efficient in this match, scored 2 goals from 3 shots.
Arda Turan (5): Didn’t have a very good game. He managed to find himself in good positions but didn’t make enough of it. Like when he was played through on goal and barely made contact with his header. He did however win quite a few tackles as Osasuna looked to break down his side when they won the ball. It was odd to see him put in a defensive shift especially since his work rate and he was perhaps a wingback according to several stat websites. He has just come back from injury but I felt he could’ve done a lot more against such a weak Osasuna side.
Carles Aleñá: The youngster got a chance in the 1st team yet again, replacing Messi with half an hour left in the game. He played on the right wing and passed the ball well. Managed a shot on goal but didn’t hit the target. He looked very smooth on the ball and played with a lot of confidence considering he is a B team player who didn’t play on this level too many times. Here’s hoping he’ll keep getting called up and training with the 1st team, looks very promising.
Anything wrong? Send your correction.
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.