opinions | 2017-03-09
Player Ratings - Champions League Last 16 - Barcelona 6:1 PSG
The miracle happened and the players made it happen, now it's time to rate them!
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (8.5): As we’ve said a lot this season, top class from him. The ball barely reached his box in the first half, he was a bystander for the most part. On the goal he couldn't do much, poor defending from Rakitić. He made a crucial save at 3-1 which could’ve killed the tie, and even won the foul which led to the winner. Stepped up for the big occasion many times this season and it was the same against PSG.
Javier Mascherano (9): Amazing performance. Strong character at the back, and was crucial in some plays to keep our hopes alive. Passing was great, completing six interceptions as well. The highlight was his crucial sliding tackle on Di Maria inside the box, he brought him down after Di Maria took a shot and made it hard for him to finish the chance. The Argentine is such an important figure for games like this, and he was amazing on the biggest stage yet again.
Gerard Piqué (8.5): Greatness once again. He got booked pretty early on, and wasn't demanded much at the back. All his defensive work were mainly aerial duels with Cavani as PSG could barely get out their half. Read the plays well to stop any counters from PSG happening. Held Cavani down well though he got the better of him once. Another solid game from him but he has to be careful in quarterfinals as he’s one yellow away from missing a match.
Samuel Umtiti (9.5): World class performance. Stopped Cavani going 1v1 with the goalkeeper, and passing was been solid early on. PSG had plenty of problems closing him down and he didn’t put a foot wrong all game. It is just amazing how quick he has adapted and is able to deal with the some of the most in form players in the world. If this is just the start I can’t wait to see the heights he can reach.
Sergio Busquets (9): Absolute masterclass of a performance yet again when the team needed him the most. Felt no pressure at all, played out the back with ease even when he was surrounded by a couple of PSG players. Defensively, he was fantastic. Always positioned well and got the ball back to Barça’s possession so many times. Passing was great, and he even managed to complete 3 dribbles. Wonderful performances since Lucho’s decision to change the formation.
Ivan Rakitić (8): The Croatian international had yet another great performance after Celta for the weekend. He didn’t find himself under pressure too often and had no trouble on the ball. Defensively, he played a huge part in Barça’s comeback, always pressing and helped the team get the ball back to possession. Also covered the right side quite well, together with Rafinha. Should’ve done better on PSG’s goal as he let Kurzawa in too easily. Lack of concentration on that play, but it was a good performance.
Rafinha (7): Some poor decision making on the ball in the first half but the way he worked without the ball was impressive to watch. Completely shut down PSG’s left side, with some help from Rakitić. Barça’s first eventually came after his cross. Nonetheless, impressive performance considering what this meant for the team and the effort he put in to write the history books.
Andres Iniesta (8): Had a mixed game, it must said. Started off slow and then got into the game as time went on. Wasn’t doing too much on the ball as he didn’t receive it as much as usual. His backheel somehow managed to find its way into the goal to put is 2-0 up before half time, solid off the ball rather than on it, which is odd to say. He didn’t had to help out as much defensively due to PSG’s approach. Replaced by Arda in the second half, getting better but still needs time to return to his best.
Lionel Messi (8): PSG did well defending the best player in the world and making him receive the ball far from dangerous areas. However, this allowed Neymar more space and time on the ball which he took advantage of in the second half. Converted a penalty with ease to make it 3-0. Wonderful pass to Suárez who won the penalty before Neymar made it 5-1. Worked hard off the ball and PSG couldn’t control the game. It wasn’t one of those impressive performances but he still did a lot to make this comeback possible.
Luis Suárez (7): Great composure before heading the ball home inside the box to make it 1-0 and put PSG under pressure early on. Worked his socks off in this match, constantly hounding the opponents. Only had a shot on goal after he scored but his movement was great and he kept giving trouble to PSG’s back four. Perhaps he went down too easily in the box, winning Barça a penalty but there was contact with Marquinhos' knee. The Uruguayan didn’t have many chances and didn’t play too well but he still managed some crucial plays in Barça’s historic comeback.
Neymar (10): Perhaps his best performance in a Barça shirt. In the first half, he wasn't great. Decision making was iffy but it got a lot better and he took over the game single-handedly. A nightmare for Meunier, who could’ve been being sent off. Just after half time, he won a penalty and Messi converted it. Passing wasn’t as good since he took many risks, but he did link with more players than usual. His free-kick was sublime to make it 4-1 and later managed another goal quickly from the penalty spot. Right at the end after absolutely destroying PSG for 45 minutes, he played a delightful lobbed pass to set Sergi Roberto up for the winner. Since the turn of the year, he has been absolutely wonderful. If he carries on like this, we could easily go far in Europe and snatch the league from Madrid.
Arda Turan: The Turk replaced Iniesta half way through the second half and his influence on the game wasn’t huge. Misplaced quite a few passes but managed to create a chance. It is nice to have him back fit but except having fresh legs on the pitch, the sub didn’t make much of an impact.
Sergi Roberto: Subbed on in the last 15 minutes of the match. This turned out to be a crucial substitution, with wonderful movement and a finish in the last minute to complete the historic comeback for his team. A moment he’ll never forget.
Andre Gomes: Subbed on in the last five minutes, when Barça still needed three goals to qualify. He didn’t directly contribute to any of the goals but he passed the ball well. Perhaps the Portuguese was the lucky charm for Barça in this match.
Referee Deniz Aytekin: Eventful game for the German official and his assistants. He got most of the calls right, the second Barça penalty was the most controversial decision and it can be contested, it sure was. Not consistent with his bookings, Verratti and Meunier were lucky to stay on the pitch and he didn’t always respect the advantage rule. Nonetheless, it was a tough match for the official to keep the control over but he made most right calls when it came to major decisions.
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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.