opinions | 2017-09-28
Player Ratings - Champions League Group Stage - Sporting Lisbon 0:1 Barcelona
Barcelona keeps marching on with now eight wins on the trot
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (7): Didn’t really have much to do all game, Sporting barely challenged him bar 1/2 chances though one of them were a big chance and he did well to close the angle well. Passing was top, though sometimes he could’ve chosen the easier pass option with a few of his passes. Has been one of our best players this season without doubt. It’s hard to imagine the condition we would be in without him.
Nélson Semedo (6.5): Solid defensively, Sporting couldn’t do much down his side. Passing was fine but didn’t do much on Sporting’s half of the pitch. Managed a couple of solid interceptions. Picked up a yellow card midway through the 2nd half but didn’t face much trouble for the rest of the game. Hopefully he starts the next game and gains momentum, he’s certainly the best RB option on the team.
Gerard Piqué (6): Started off shaky and didn’t look comfortable. Seemed to be too late running into challenges and commited a couple of fouls early on, lucky enough to escape a yellow card. Passing was fine for the most part. Improved as the game went on, managed 6 clearances but he’s yet to play to his absolute best this season, Umtiti had a much stronger start.
Samuel Umtiti (7.5): Top game from yet again. Some unnecessary fouls here and there but generally he defended very well, Sporting had shots outside the box from good angles but he did well to block them. Piqué played bad so he had to up his game to make up for Gerard being below his usual level. We can go on and on about him, singing his praises and such but what stands out is that he’s still improving which is a scary prospect for other teams.
Jordi Alba (6): Done well keeping Gelson quiet from counter attacking situations. Getting back into position he was good but when 1v1 with Gelson, he had some trouble. Going forward he didn’t done anything to note really. Into the second half, his tracking back got worse but it wasn’t too damaging as Umtiti was able to cover for him with ease. This manning the whole left flank doesn’t seem to be the best for him but results are there so no one will really care too much.
Sergio Busquets (6.5): Passing was great, didn’t always have passing options but managed to pass the ball well for the most part and only got dispossessed once. Solid work defensively, managed to stop a couple of Sporting attacks that looked dangerous. Linked up well with Iniesta at times but the right side looked quite isolated. On the verge of getting booked throughout the entire game but escaped it, luckily.
Ivan Rakitić (5): Quite awful in possession, gave the ball away too many times. Misplaced passes whenever Barça were on a counter attack. He had 2 nice final passes to create danger but that’s all he did in possession. Not too strong of a performance defensively either, but this was understandable due to Sergi Roberto and Semedo both playing. He has to improve on his game, or otherwise he might start seeing the bench more often.
Andres Iniesta (6): On the ball he’s been top but didn’t receive the ball too much and when he did, he barely had any options. More often than not, it was only a pass to Alba or Busquets he had on. I really do think he’ll burn out soon with how much he’s being played. Passing was good and didn’t lose the ball needlessly as he’s been prone to as of late due to his body slowing down. He was replaced with Paulinho which was bizarre but at least it wasn’t another 90 mins on the clock for him.
Sergi Roberto (6): Started off as a winger but was near enough useless then dropped back to MF in a 4-4-2 and played a lot better. He was comfortable on the ball but like Rakitić, made some wrong decisions. The right side was mostly being carried by Semedo but he didn’t really do much wrong. Could’ve be more decisive however when he was on the ball.
Lionel Messi (6.5): Similar to Girona game for the weekend, he didn’t look too dangerous and was marked well for the most part. Didn’t receive the ball in dangerous areas too often and even when he did, Sporting’s defence did really well to stop him with last ditch tackles. Even when we managed to dribble past a couple of players to create advantage, teammates (mostly Rakitić) managed to screw it up. Could’ve done better on two of the shots he had. Passing was solid but didn’t manage to create goalscoring opportunities.
Luis Suárez (6): Yet another game where he should’ve done better when it comes to finishing but there were some positive signs in other aspects of the game this time. Managed to link up better than in previous games, had a couple of clever dummies to start dangerous moves but it led to nothing. Could’ve done better on a great chance he had in the 1st half. Just like in Girona game, he was involved in opponents scoring an own goal but didn’t get the last touch. Still a lot of room to improve, he combines well with Messi at times but not the rest of the team.
Paulinho: Replaced Iniesta with around 10 minutes left or so. Didn’t do much really, Barcelona were just trying to close the game out but he did get forward a few times but wasted the opportunity with a long shot or a misplaced pass. I’m not of him but considering how useless Rakitić is, he better of starting however this brings its drawbacks.
Aleix Vidal: Subbed on for Suárez for the last few minutes of the game. Not much to note other than a yellow card he received for time wasting.
André Gomes: He replaced Sergi with around 4 minutes left. He did absolutely nothing.
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.