opinions | 2018-05-09
Player Ratings - La Liga Round 35 - Barcelona 2:2 Real Madrid
Barcelona conjures an heroic performance to keep the unbeaten streak alive
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (7): For the most part didn’t have too many saves to make. On the goals, there was not really much he could do, bad defending on our part cost him. His passing as per usual was good. Although we played with 10 men for 45 minutes, he didn’t really get called upon to often. The goals could’ve been prevented but that’s the Zamora trophy dream over I would say.
Sergi Roberto (5): Solid start to the game. Wonderful movement and an assist to Suárez, who made it 1-0. He was left with too much space to defend against Marcelo and Ronaldo at times and struggled. Bad decision to hit Marcelo off the ball. In fairness, the Brazilian made the most out of it and it didn’t even look that bad but he should know better than doing this in such an important game. Let his team down, but contributed to the result with a great assist.
Gerard Piqué (7): Defended well for the most part. Won most of his duels, even though Barça’s midfield got easily overrun at times, especially in the 1st half and he had a lot of space to defend. Nothing he could do on either of Madrid’s goals. First one was on Umtiti and the 2nd one was just a great move which was hard to defend with 10 men. Passing was solid as usual.
Samuel Umtiti (6): Mixed performance. Some parts he played really well and others really poorly. He was on the end of a nasty challenge at the end of the first half which should’ve seen Bale sent off. He lost the ball more than he usually does and on the first goal, he was ball watching rather than keeping an eye on what Benzema was doing. When he did improve, Real Madrid were rather toothless going forward but he hasn’t been the same since his injury. Let’s hope he comes back to his good form next season.
Jordi Alba (6.5): Like Umtiti, had a mixed game. He could’ve been sent off for grabbing Modrić by the neck. For the most part dealt with Bale really well, except for the goal where he just lost him for a split second and got punished. He didn’t have to do as much defending as the right side which was a target for RM. In the final third he didn’t contribute as much as he normally does but also didn't do much wrong. Lucky to stay and play all 90 minutes.
Sergio Busquets (6.5): Wasn’t the greatest of Clasicos for him, he usually dominates in those games but this time it wasn’t as great, even though he wasn’t poor necessarily. Passing was solid, completed 88% of his passes. Did well under pressure but Madrid’s midfield as a whole looked much better in the 1st half. Didn’t have the best reaction on Madrid’s 1st goal, he miscalculated a challenge and Madrid ended up scoring on the break. However, he won most of his duels throughout the game. Mixed performance, we aren’t watching the best version of him since the injury but he’s still a crucial player.
Ivan Rakitić (7.5): One of the best players on the pitch. First half wasn’t great, he took too many touches at times, but he got more comfortable as the game went on. After Sergi got sent off, he became a crucial player for the rest of the game. Solid on the ball and was the engine Barça needed in the middle of the pitch being down to 10 men. Managed 2 key passes and worked well off the ball.
Andres Iniesta (7): In his final Clasico, had a decent game. The circumstances made it hard for him to play to his usual level. His passing was immaculate, he completed 98% of all his passes. It was difficult bar the opening period for him as we were overrun till HT and then went down to 10 men. He did well in what he could compared to others on the pitch but it wasn’t to be for him. He was subbed off for Paulinho early into the second half. Would’ve been great if we could’ve sent him off with a win.
Philippe Coutinho (6): Didn’t play too well, maybe the occasion got the better of him. He was mostly on the right with Sergi but they still need time to be on the same wavelength. His sloppy play led to the first goal but we had chances to prevent the goal. At times in the final third, he tried a bit too much. Sometimes it came off, other times it didn’t. He was subbed off for Semedo at HT due to the red card.
Lionel Messi (8): Once again the best player on the pitch for Barça. Quiet start, but as the game went on, he became more dangerous. Passing was solid and he got his teammates going, especially after Sergi’s red card. Wonderful finish to make it 2-1. Madrid couldn’t stop him even with one extra man on the pitch. He found himself in good chances to score more goals, but Keylor had a great night. Worked well off the ball when needed, he was pressing a lot in the 2nd half.
Luis Suárez (7.5): Another great Clasico performance. Dangerous from the start, found himself in a good chance early on, but Varane blocked his shot. It didn’t take him long to make an impact, however. Scored to make it 1-0 with a great finish, after a brilliant team move. Worked tirelessly off the ball, and this paid off when he won the duel with Varane and assisted Messi, who made it 2-1. In fairness, it was a foul on Varane but this is the kind of play that makes the Uruguayan the player he is. Scored another goal but this one was disallowed because Rakitić was offside, which was a questionable decision.
Nélson Semedo (7): Replaced Coutinho at HT due to the red card. He played wonderful for the most part. He played as if he’s a veteran in clasicos, no fear in his play and willing to take risks. Although Sergi got an assist, Semedo had the better game even if we ignore the red card. Some of his defensive work was really good, RM caused less threat down our right when he came on even though we had a man less. Great game from the Portuguese and will now get a run in the team due to Sergi’s 2nd red in less than a month.
Paulinho (4): Useless for the most part, all he did was run around the pitch, trying to add defensive steel to 10 men Barcelona. Only things to note were him getting in the face of Lucas Vasquez and right at the death bottling a 4v2 chance because he couldn’t pass to an overlapping runner.
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.