opinions | 2017-08-21
Player Ratings - La Liga Round 1 - Barcelona 2:0 Bétis
Messi stands out along with Semedo, Sergi Roberto and Deulofeu
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (6): Quiet game for the German, I don't think he was even challenged at all by Betis. Passing was good as we expect from him. He could’ve done a Q&A session during the game and I doubt we would’ve conceded.
Nelson Semedo (7): Great La Liga debut for the Portuguese international. Passed the ball with ease and combined well with Deulofeu and the rest of the teammates on the right. This is the first time in quite a while it actually felt like Barça’s right side was alive. Defensively, he didn’t have much to do but showed awareness and great presence. It should only get better in the future as he’s yet to fully adapt.
Javier Mascherano (6.5): Didn’t have much to do at the back but he dealt well with everything Betis came up with, for the most part. The highlight was Betis counter attack in the 1st half when he wasn’t positioned well initially and this made Betis’ player go 1 vs. 1 with the keeper, but he somehow managed to recover and make a crucial challenge at the last moment. Barça scored to make it 2-0 in the very next move. Barely had anything to do in the 2nd half but passed the ball well.
Samuel Umtiti (7): Great showing for the French international. He didn’t put a foot wrong even though Betis had minimal chances. Passing was wonderful like always and he dealt with any danger that came his way. You can’t really draw conclusions from this game but it does seem like he’s carrying on from where he left off last summer.
Jordi Alba (5.5): Another average performance. Managed to get in very good attacking positions but then always passed the ball back which got rid of any danger to the Betis goal. It baffles me how someone can do so little with the ball yet gets it so much and so often. Picked up a yellow after a stupid foul from behind. I won’t draw too many conclusions but he really has to up his game this season.
Sergio Busquets (6.5): Solid performance. Very involved in the buildup and often had a lot of passing options as Rakitić stood closer to him in the middle of the pitch. Started the move for the 1st goal with a great pass to the right. Combined really well with Messi in the 1st half, one of those almost resulting in a goal. Defensively he did well, also had help from Rakitić and Sergi Roberto who worked a lot without the ball.
Ivan Rakitić (6.5): One of his best performances in a quite a while. His role was a bit different this time and he basically played double pivot with Busquets. Passing was solid, didn’t find himself under pressure often, but he kept it simple for the most part. Completed more passes than Busquets which is something we don’t see often. Defensively he did well, worked a lot without the ball and pressed well.
Sergi Roberto (6.5): Played really well. Though sometimes he lost the ball easily due to some bad touches, he was generally really comfortable on the ball which we don’t usually associate with most of our MF players. Scored after great work down the other end from Mascherano. It was a well taken goal. He can build from this performance and should stay in midfield as Semedo without any doubt should be the no.1 RB.
Gerard Deulofeu (6.5): Started on the right wing and played a huge part in both goals. Had a great chance to score early on from close range but his shot went just wide. Didn’t always make the best decision on the ball but he asked questions of Betis defence. Solid cross to Messi in the box which resulted in an own goal. Showed great work rate, and the best example is Barça’s 2nd goal when he pressed well, stole the ball away and assisted Sergi who had an easy job. Subbed off for Vidal after 70 minutes.
Paco Alcácer (6): Paco played more as LW and it didn’t really work too well. He barely saw the ball and didn’t manage to link up with anyone really. He was a bystander for most of the game. Everyone on the Betis team bar Leon managed more touches on the ball than he did. He did however make a nice run to open the space for Sergi Roberto’s goal. In the 2nd half it was more of the same and he was then subbed off for Denis Suárez.
Lionel Messi (8): Brilliant performance, but unlucky not to score. Started in a false 9 role and was involved in everything Barça created, including both goals. Looked very motivated and managed to get on the ball quite often. Hit the post 3 times on the day, the ball just didn’t want to go in. Found himself in good positions to hurt Betis which wasn’t always the case as of late. Had 8 shots but just one on target. Hopefully he’ll have more luck against Alaves next week.
Aleix Vidal: Subbed on for Deulofeu with 20 minutes to go and there isn’t much to note on his performance. Found himself in good positions a couple of times but the decision making was off. Should’ve scored when Messi played a brilliant pass inside the box but he tried going past the keeper instead chipping him.
Lucas Digne: Replaced Alba with roughly 10 minutes of the game left. Made a bad challenge which got him booked. That’s all he did.
Denis Suárez: Subbed on for Paco also with around 10 minutes of the game left. He linked with Messi rather well and almost managed to score but he got tackled just before he was going to pull the trigger. I’d like to see him on the left more in the future. Promising signs from him so far.
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.