opinions | 2017-12-03
Player Ratings - La Liga Round 14 - Barcelona 2:2 Celta
Officiating gets in the way again combined with Barça's wasteful finishing
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (6.5): Hasn’t had much to do really. On the Celta goal, he made an incredible save but it wasn’t enough to prevent the goal. Passing was very good, long passing a lot more accurate today. Same on the second goal, nothing he could do. Made himself big but the defending wasn’t great. He had a good game but it wasn’t to be.
Sergi Roberto (6): Started pretty well, even got involved going forward which doesn’t happen often when he plays as a RB. Created one chance and passed the ball well. Defensively, he looked solid throughout the game, won all of his duels and managed to keep Sisto and Mallo quiet as much as possible. He hasn’t done much going forward later on in the game.
Gerard Piqué (5.5): Struggled quite a lot throughout the game. On Celta’s 1st goal, he didn’t run forward and broke the offside trap which led to an easy Celta goal. It wasn’t entirely his fault, Umtiti shares some responsibility for how he reacted later on in that move, but he should’ve done better. He struggled trying to keep Aspas quiet, got beaten easily a couple of times but luckily his teammates saved the day. Missed a sitter after a set piece, he already got past the keeper but couldn’t keep his shot on target. He’ll have to improve a lot in Umtiti’s absence.
Samuel Umtiti (6.5): For the most part he’s been good but on the goal he was poor. He got caught out of position after trying to play offside but Piqué didn’t. After this, he jogged back and didn’t track Aspas. If he did, the goal could’ve easily been prevented. In possession he was assured. In the second half, he was more of the same but for the second goal, he unfortunately pulled up injured. It looks like a hamstring injury and was confirmed by the club’s medical team that he’ll be out for 8 weeks. It’s going to be a big loss but let’s hope we can stay 1st.
Jordi Alba (6.5): Done well. Couldn’t do anything on the goal since he pressed the ball carrier and there was space in behind. Passing in the final third been average but not losing the ball carelessly so far. His assist for Barcelona’s second goal was very good, most plaudits should go to Messi but Alba’s off the ball movement was very good and then a simple square ball. Though it could be seen as harsh, I think he could’ve done more on the second Celta goal. He made it too easy for Aspas.
Sergio Busquets (6.5): Passing was great as usual, even though he didn’t always have too many options when Celta pressed well. He’s done great under pressure, except for one instance when he lost the ball near Barça’s box, but that eventually led to nothing. Defensively, he’s done well, won most of his duels and managed 5 tackles.
Ivan Rakitić (6.5): One of the better performances he’s had in a while. It was nothing spectacular, but he looked better on the ball and didn’t shy away from it as much as he usually does. Combined well with Messi at times and had a few key passes. Still managed to get dispossessed and misplaced some easy passes a couple of times in a typical Rakitić fashion. He did well defensively, tracked back quite a lot. Subbed off with 10 minutes left in the game.
Andres Iniesta (8): Amazing again, it seemed like he was gliding across the pitch. His passing and dribbling has been amazing. This is the sort of Iniesta we know. Valverde has to be given props for getting the best of him again. Celta had a chance early on but he defended well in the box after Alba went walkabouts. He asked to be subbed off early in the 2nd half, let’s hope he’ll be fine for Villarreal.
Paulinho (6): Pretty poor from him. He could’ve easily scored 1/2 goals but he was wasteful in front of goal. His passing was fine but it was mostly safe passes. Even his pressing was not as good, he didn’t really track his runners many times and we were left quite often short at the back. Let’s hope for better games soon because it will hurt us big if he performs like this in the big games.
Lionel Messi (8.5): Fantastic performance, probably his best in the last 2 months but it’s a shame Barça couldn’t capitalise on it. He got the ball quite a lot from the start and started creating for his teammates. Created 4-5 clear chances throughout the game but none ended in the back of the net. Scored the equaliser after a solid team move, and started the move for Barça’s 2nd with a brilliant pass to Alba. The only bad thing about his performance was the finishing, he found himself in good positions but couldn’t finish some chances he usually finishes with ease, and Ruben Blanco did well in goal.
Luis Suárez (6.5): Compared to some of his performances this season, this was a solid improvement. Didn’t look as isolated as usual and saw a lot of the ball. Combined well with his teammates early on, involved in Barça’s 1st goal. He still looked clumsy and slow on the ball times, however. Found himself in good positions a couple of times buz decided to pass instead of shooting. Scored Barça’s 2nd after some great work from Messi and Alba. Hopefully this is just what he needed and he gets more confident in front of the goal going forward.
Denis Suárez (6): Came on for Iniesta who asked to come off Valverde revealed. In all honesty, he was poor. You could see the decrease in productivity from the MF when Iniesta came off. He seems to play better in a wide position but I’d also like to see him in either Paulinho’s or Rakitić’s position before writing him off as a CM player for Barcelona. He didn’t influence the game and lost the ball more than he should’ve. He should get more minutes soon but he has to step his game up.
Thomas Vermaelen: Came on for the injured Umtiti with 20 minutes left. He played decent, he wasn’t challenged too much defensively but picked up a needless yellow card tho it probably wasn’t one. Let’s hope he and when Masche returns, they step up in Umtiti’s absence.
Paco Alcácer: Subbed on with 10 minutes left in the game as Barça were desperate for a goal. He didn’t do anything on the ball but had a great chance after a cross from the right side, he couldn’t keep his shot on target with nobody around him. Could’ve done better but it would be harsh to put too much blame on him as Barça missed many chances in the game and should’ve won the game comfortably.
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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.