opinions | 2017-11-01
Player Ratings - Champions League Group Stage - Olympiakos 0:0 Barcelona
A frustrating draw away from home almost seals qualification to the knockout stages
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (7): Made one/two big saves but other than that he had nothing to do. The second half was more of the same. Could’ve made pineapple pizza from scratch and still wouldn’t have conceded.
Nélson Semedo (6): Done well at times, but the lack of playing time and continuity is obvious in his game. Made some good runs going forward but couldn’t do much. Defensively, he didn’t have much to do as Barça controlled the game and had most of the possession, kept Olympiacos left side quiet for the most part. He’ll get to play more now that Sergi picked up an injury.
Javier Mascherano (6.5): Barely had anything to do defensively as Barça dominated the possession and Olympiacos defended deep for the majority of the game. I honestly struggle to remember one defensive action from him, he was mostly positioned on the halfway line. Passing was very good, completed 11 out of 13 attempted long passes.
Samuel Umtiti (7): Vital sliding tackle to stop an almost certain goal early on. Passing was good but had an absolute howler when he failed to communicate with MAtS. It could’ve led to an own goal. Other than this he had a rather comfortable game, Olympiacos didn’t create much and their chances were mostly long range shots. Soon he’ll need a break but the lack of depth we have makes it hard to keep him fresh for this long season.
Jordi Alba (6): Alright in the first half, he passed well but didn’t contribute too much in the final third because his final ball is poor and due to lack of movement. Defensively he wasn’t called into action much but Umtiti did most of his work. The second half was more of the same but he was moving better in the final third. He got into some good positions in behind the Olympiacos defence but couldn’t make anything of it.
Sergio Busquets (7): Solid performance, done his job well and was one of the best players on the pitch. Very involved in the build-up in Iniesta’s absence and passed the ball well. Had a couple of solid passes between the lines early on. Did well defensively, positioning and his movement off the ball was great.
Paulinho (4.5): Started in Rakitić’s place and didn’t do much. It’s clear he doesn’t offer a lot in midfield, especially against teams that sit deep as he isn’t a creative player on the ball. Wasn’t much involved in the build-up and mostly passed sideways. Defensively, he did well. Subbed off after 62 minutes.
Denis Suarez (6): Bright in the first half but his second half was pretty poor. Passed the ball well and took good positions. He created some chances but we could not make anything of it as Olympiacos defended well and we didn’t have enough movement in the final third. It’s good to see him playing as it brings some creativity. He was subbed off with 15 minutes to go after a poor second half. Regardless of this average game, let’s hope he gets more game time.
Sergi Roberto: Just like Denis, had a good first half but he had to be subbed due to injury. Let’s hope it is not long though it does not look too good.
Lionel Messi (7): Not the best of the performances for his standards, but everything Barça managed to create (and it wasn’t much) went through him. Managed to create a couple of chances for his teammates, but none resulted in a goal. Finishing wasn’t the best, had a couple of chances that weren’t exactly clear cut, but on another day he probably would’ve finished them. Looked a bit tired near the end of the game, there has to come a point when he gets a well deserved rest soon.
Luis Suárez (4.5): Another wasteful display. His movement has started getting better in the last couple of games but his finishing has been absolutely dreadful and it isn’t getting any better. Had a few solid chances and didn’t even manage a shot on target from any of them. Link up play got slightly better lately but his decision making and finishing has to improve if Barça want to win anything this season.
Gerard Deulofeu (5): Replaced Sergi just before HT. On the ball he was poor, his decisions were very predictable and even if he did get a bit of space, his passes were not that good. He did however make some very good runs off the ball. It kind of summed his game up that he was better off the ball than on it.
Ivan Rakitić: Replaced Paulinho in the last 30 minutes of the game and didn’t manage to do anything significant. Wasn’t on the ball much, and when he was, it was the usual backwards and sideways passing we’ve been seeing all season so far.
André Gomes: Replaced Denis with 15 or so minutes left. He didn’t contribute too much as he was playing quite wide and he’s uncomfortable playing here. There wasn’t really too much to note about his game.
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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.