opinions | 2016-08-18
Rating the Spanish Super Cup winners after beating Sevilla 3-0
Messi lifts his first trophy as the captain with a masterful performance
Claudio Bravo (7): Made some incredible saves early on to prevent Sevilla going ahead. Distribution was great, the odd misplaced long ball was expected. Later into the half he saved a penalty from Iborra. As bad as the penalty was, credit must go to him. In the second half, he didn’t have too much to do but he dealt with the threat with ease when needed.
Aleix Vidal (6): Started the game with a nice block to stop Sevilla from scoring early. Took up the right position on pitch most of the time, but the decision making and passing wasn't always the best. Defensively, he wasn’t troubled for the majority of the game.
Javier Mascherano (6): Started a bit shaky as Sevilla pressed high in the first few minutes, trying to score an early goal. Got more comfortable as the game went on and didn’t have much to do, unlike the first match with crucial blocks. Second half was just getting the job done, but unfortunately he picked up an injury and will be out for a week.
Samuel Umtiti (7): Wonderful in the first half bar the penalty. Comfortable on the ball and making the correct decisions, solid in the air and, surprisingly, he topped his first half performance in the second half. Making the correct decisions, unafraid to make risky passes. Couldn’t have asked for a better game from the Frenchman.
Lucas Digne (7.5): The young Frenchman is building from where he left off. Wonderful in attack and in defence. Unlucky to not get an assist in the first half. In the second half delivered an assist after a wonderful cross to Messi to put Barcelona 5-0 up on aggregate. Subbed off after 61 minutes. Showed much promise since joining.
Sergio Busquets (6.5): Starting to pick up his form going into the season. Today’s performance was better than the one at Pizjuan as Sevilla’s pressing wasn’t as intense and he had more time on the ball. Passed well as Denis and Gomes in particular were offering themselves often. Did well defensively.
Denis Suarez (5.5): Started as a right interior and wasn’t as comfortable on the ball as he was in the first match, a couple of misplaced passes in the first half which is expected as he’s still trying to adapt to his new team. Combined well with Messi on the right side and worked well defensively. Second half was even better as Barça was just getting the job done. Subbed off in the 73rd minute.
Andre Gomes (6.5): Good in possession, linking with Arda and Digne well. Due to the new pairing in midfield there were a few loose passes, but this is expected as he is still adapting to his new teammates. Combined with Messi to create the first goal. Played a wonderful pass with his weaker foot to Digne who assisted Messi for Barcelona’s 3rd. Hard to find fault in his passing, but his shooting has much to be desired. Nonetheless, strong performance from the Portuguese.
Lionel Messi (10): Wonderful match from start to finish, highlighted by his incredible passing and vision. Started with a nice assist to Arda, who opened the scoring. Numerous brilliant passes throughout the game and was a constant threat for Sevilla’s defence, but his shots weren’t always on target. More of the same in the second half, and he finally managed to score a brilliant header after a great cross by Digne. Man of the match.
Munir (6.5): Started on his natural position as a striker and was very involved throughout the match even though he didn’t have real goalscoring chances. Made himself available for a pass and combined with his teammates, especially Messi. Looked very confident in his ability compared to last season, which is the biggest difference.
Arda Turan (7): Started of brightly, getting on the ball and linking up with Gomes on the left. Looked far more comfortable playing on the wing, compared to what he showed im midfield. His work rate was phenomenal compared to what we are used to from him, tracked back to help defend, pressing the Sevilla defence and causing them problems. He was rewarded with 2 very well taken goals. His second was arguably the best.
Ivan Rakitić: Replaced Denis in the 73rd minute and took up his usual position in midfield, but soon after had to cover for Mascherano in defence as the Argentinian picked up an injury after Barça already made all 3 substitutions. The result wasn’t in danger at that point and Sevilla wasn’t dangerous going forward.
Jordi Alba: Came on for Digne 61 mins in, much wasn’t expected of him since he has just returned from injury. His movement was good but at times he tried to do too much with the ball wasting possession. Not much else to note from his performance. Rustiness is expected at this point, but hopefully he gets match fit soon.
Sergi Samper: Subbed on in the last 15 minutes of the game when the game was already done, but he did well in Busquets’ role. Passed the ball with ease and had no problems defensively.
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.