opinions | 2017-09-20
Player Ratings - La Liga Round 5 - Barcelona 6:1 Eibar
Messi delivers four goals as the new signings Semedo and Paulinho stand out once again
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (7): Made some crucial saves early on as we started slow. As he does most games, keeps us in it. Passing was top class as always. On the goal he couldn’t anything as the defence let him down. For one of the Messi goals, his save initiated the attack. Lately, he’s been involved in a lot more goals than in previous years. Improving as the games go by but a letdown that he wasn’t able to get a clean sheet.
Nélson Semedo (7.5): Great performance yet again for the young Portuguese fullback. Eibar couldn’t cope with his pace going forward, lethal on counter attacks. Made smart decisions whenever he was on the ball and combined well with his teammates. Defensively, he did well and Inui didn’t cause much trouble down his side. Wonderful start to his Barça career.
Gerard Piqué (6.5): Hot and cold performance, had good periods as well as bad ones. Should’ve done better on Eibar’s goal. Had a couple of mistakes at the back which Eibar failed to capitalise on. Passing was fine but not as good as it usually is. Won most of his duels. Quite a slow start to the season, let’s hope he gets back to his best soon.
Javier Mascherano (6.5): His first start of the season, in place of Umtiti. It didn’t start well as he let Enric free 1v1 with ter Stegen but the German saved his blushes. Other than that he hasn’t made many other mistakes, passing the ball well but you can tell he’s rusty from lack of play time as on some plays he was slow in reading the play.. I felt he could’ve done better on the Eibar goal but Piqué should’ve also done a lot better. Made one or two great blocks but other than this he was quite untroubled in the 2nd half.
Lucas Digne (6): Quiet game from him. Got up and down the pitch occasionally but for the most part he was a bystander. Next to no play went down his side and when it has, it was Iniesta and Denis on the ball. He had a chance to score when put 1v1 with the GK but put it right at him. Defensively he wasn’t challenged too much as the game went on. He’s good enough to fill in against the lesser teams but that’s about it.
Sergio Busquets (6.5): Solid when he was on the ball, but that wasn’t happening often. Only attempted 35 passes, which is a stunningly low number for him. Barça often skipped the midfield, especially in the 1st half and when he was on the ball, he didn’t have many passing options. Eibar forced him into mistakes a couple of times but nothing too serious.
Paulinho (6.5): Delivered in some moments but didn’t look comfortable in general. Completed just 8 passes in the 1st half. If it wasn’t for his set piece goal (a great header), nobody would’ve noticed he was on the pitch. 2nd half was slightly better and he was involved more. Great dummy to leave the ball for Messi before Denis finished off the move. Soon after that assisted Messi for his 3rd goal of the match. Could be a solid option off the bench when Barça are trying to win in any way possible, but far from being a regular starter.
Andres Iniesta (7): Solid 60 mins on the pitch. In the 1st half he didn’t see too much of the ball as much as he should’ve since we lacked control of the game but when he did he was absolutely wonderful. Weaving past 2/3 players like the old days. Passing was crisp. The play with Messi and Busquets on one of Messi’s goals was vintage Barcelona. It’s nice to see that every now and then. He shouldn’t playing as much as he has since he’ll get burnt out soon at this rate. His game time needs to be managed well so he’s fit for the more important games.
Gerard Deulofeu (6): Movement was solid but on the ball he wasn’t too great. Was denied a goal due to a bad decision from the ref but then again most of his decisions in the final third have been as bad as the linesman’s decision. He looked nervous on the ball and this is caused him to make too many mistakes. It’ll take time for him to settle no doubt and Dembéle’s downtime will help him get more comfortable quicker. His work off the ball of wonderful but he needs to work on when he reaches the final third.
Lionel Messi (9): Man of the match yet again. Ended up scoring 4 goals but he’s had better performances all round, which says it all about him. Struggled in the 1st half for the most part just like the entire team. Second half was much better and Eibar simply couldn’t stop him. Wonderful finishing in this match, could’ve scored even more goals if it wasn’t for some nice saves from Eibar’s GK. Passing wasn’t as good as it is usually, didn’t manage to create much but he made up for it by scoring 4.
Denis Suárez (7): Barely visible in the 1st half bar his assist from a set piece as Barça struggled early on, but whenever he was on the ball he made good decisions and wasn’t wasteful. Calm finish to make it 3-1 after some great work from Paulinho and Messi. That was his only shot on goal and he made it count. Passing was good and he combined well with his teammates, though I prefer seeing him positioned closer to Messi as they understand each other well. Strong performances in the last 2 games, hope we see more of this in the coming weeks.
Ivan Rakitić: Subbed on for Busquets in the 65th minute. The game was done at that point and there’s not much to note. Completed just 10 passes but did well to help defensively without the ball as he was fresh coming off the bench.
Sergi Roberto: Replaced Iniesta with around 30 minutes left in the game, by this time the game was near enough done. He was better than Paulinho and Rakitić on the ball but it wasn't too special. He played Digne through 1v1 with the GK but he missed. A very good option to bring off the bench and should be used more in MF than at RB. He’s far more comfortable and less exposed than when he plays RB.
Aleix Vidal: Towards the end of the game he replaced Deulofeu and managed to get an assist for Messi’s 4th goal. It was a simple pass and we’ve seen this sort of play many times down the years. He didn’t see too much of the ball since there was little time left but it was good for him to get a run out.
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.