opinions | 2016-12-06
Player Ratings - Champions League - Barcelona 4-0 Borussia Monchengladbach
Arda Turan stars with a hattrick as Barça thrashes the German club
Jasper Cillessen (6): Barely had anything to do all. Passing was good and most were short. The 2nd half was the same it has to be said. Not sure if we even had to play a goalkeeper today. Nice to see him pick up his first clean sheet for Barcelona.
Aleix Vidal (7): Impressive performance from start to finish. He got involved and combined really well with Denis and Messi on the right and didn't make many wrong decisions. Defensively, he didn’t have much to do, his positioning was questionable in a couple of counter attacks but he managed to react on time and used his pace well to clear the danger. Recorded a great assist for Arda in the second half. He can add a lot to this Barça team if he continue like this.
Javier Mascherano (6.5): Solid at the back, his positioning and reading of the game defensively was great. Later on he really didn’t have much to do as Gladbach didn’t pose much threat. Passing was good, his long passes could’ve been better in the first half but he was involved in the build-up, highlighted by his 138 attempted passes today with a 92% success rate.
Samuel Umtiti (6.5): Most of his work was passing the ball, attempted 117 passes, completing 113 of those. Defensively his work was mostly stopping a counterattack with using his pace against Hahn. It is nice to see him back on the pitch after a lengthy injury. It doesn’t look like he has been away at all.
Lucas Digne (6): Played well, nothing special but he didn’t make any mistakes as he has been prone to lately. His overlapping runs caused some problems as their defence got stretched quite easily. Managed to create a change from one of his crosses which hasn’t happened too much this season so it is nice to see him getting better. Defensively he was barely challenged even if this isn’t a match to judge him on, it does look like he’s adapting nicely to the team.
André Gomes (7.5): Started in Busquets’ role today and he was impressive. Calm on the ball, made the right decisions and worked well defensively. Iniesta and Denis were always close to him so he had passing options and thrived in that compact midfield. Passing was spectacular, completed 98% of his passes today as Barça dominated in the midfield. The Portuguese midfielder has shown his versatility this season and no doubt he can do well in defensive midfielder position when Busquets isn’t available.
Denis Suarez (7.5): Played in Rakitić’s place and he was one of the best players on the pitch. The midfield looked very compact unlike the last few weeks and Barça dominated in possession. Made right decisions, but never afraid to take risks and his runs in the last third of the pitch were great. Worked well with Vidal and Messi on the right, Barça’s right side was almost unstoppable. Great run in behind and a pass to Arda for 2-0. He got lucky as the ball bounced off the defender but his effort made that play. Impressive performance.
Andres Iniesta (7): Very good 60 minutes today. Dictated the play well, a lot like his usual self but his long passing was not good as it usually is. Misplaced a few too many but it’ll get better as he gets more rhythm back. Created 2 chances today, we have generally lacked this from midfield. Didn’t need to help much defensively as Gladbach rarely made it out their own half and also because our pressing was so good today, we won the ball almost instantly after losing it. Very nice to see him getting back to full fitness, we will see a lot more of him in the coming weeks and football will be more enjoyable again.
Lionel Messi (8): Looked very motivated at the start of the game, dribbling past Gladbach’s players with ease. Made great runs with the ball and one of those runs gave Barça the lead, passed it to Arda and got it back for 1-0. In the second half, he wasn’t as active as early on but he was still dangerous for his opposition. Got close to his second goal after the header inside the box but Sommer did well to stop. 10 goals in just 5 group stage games, impressive start to this European campaign.
Paco Alcacer (6.5): Continues to struggle in front of the goal but his performance was better than what he showed before. He tried getting involved, often drifted to wing positions and he didn’t look as isolated today. Only had a good chance to score but he should’ve done better as his shot went straight to the keeper. Recorded an assist in the second half after a great run inside the box and Arda made it 4-0. Still hasn’t scored his 1st goal but he did show more today and let’s hope this will continue whenever he gets the chance.
Arda Turan (8): This was possibly his best performance for Barça, certainly his most efficient in front of goal. Passing was not so good at times, but still managed to assist Messi to put us 1-0 up early on. Unlike Neymar, he didn’t try to force play or slow the attacking plays. Used André and Digne as pass options a lot more than what Neymar too. When he has the least amount of defensive work, he seems to do well so it seems that he should only play on the left wing for us. The late runs he made for all his goals were very good. Nice to see the Turk perform at a very good level, let’s hope he can do this more often.
Rafinha: The Brazilian replaced Iniesta with half an hour left of the game, but didn’t do too much. Had a solid chance to score but the shot was blocked, I was convinced that it would’ve went in as we’ve seen him score plenty from the angle he took the shot on from. I’d really like to see him get more game time over Rakitić who is going through a poor spell. Denis is another one who should be playing on the RCM if it isn’t the Brazilian. He's getting plenty of minutes this season and he’s making them count.
Marc Cardona: The young player got his second game with the first team in the space of a week, replacing Arda with 10 minutes left. He seemed to roam centrally rather than staying wide. Had a few loose touches but pressed really well to win those back. Completed two tackles but didn’t get in a position to score. I would like to see more of him in the future, but he should be used centrally rather than out wide since he is a #9.
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.