opinions | 2016-12-10
Player Ratings - La Liga Round 15 - Osasuna 0:3 Barcelona
Messi stars as the team puts out another impressive collective display
Marc-André ter Stegen (6): Pretty quiet game to say the least. He was beaten once by a wonderful lob from Sergio Leon and it hit the bar. Osasuna tried the same thing again late into the game but he did great to tip it over the bar Passing good as expected. Barely touched the ball compared to what he is normally used to.
Sergi Roberto (8): Fantastic performance, he was rested midweek and it showed today. Very involved going forward and he was positioned high up the pitch, combining well with Messi and Gomes on the right. Despite his positioning, he was fantastic defensively, winning almost every duel on the right side. Brought the ball to Osasuna’s half of the pitch numerous times in the seconnd half, dribbling past players and creating space. Decision making and crosses in the last third could’ve been better, but impressive performance nonetheless.
Gerard Pique (7): Didn’t have too much to do defensively, but he did well when he needed to intervene. Osasuna didn’t look dangerous but both him and Umtiti did well to stop some of their counterattacks. Good in the aerial duels. Great in the buildup, something we’re used to seeing at this point, completed 94% of his passes today. Another solid performance for Barça’s best defender.
Samuel Umtiti (7): Solid showing. Didn’t have much to do in terms of defending but on the only chance Osasuna had in the first half, he let a runner in behind him. Luckily they didn’t score. Passing was very good, his passes into Suárez to break lines have been really nice. It helped us get into more dangerous positions. Made one wonderful interception which led to a chance, his reading of the game helped us a lot when we did lose the ball. Almost managed to get on the scoresheet from a set piece. He should’ve done better but what he has shown since returning from injury is a lot more than what we expected.
Jordi Alba (8): Bar the terrible cross on the stroke of halftime, he was very good. Stretching the Osasuna defence well with the width he brings and was actually decent in the final third which is not something we say too often. This was shown by him managing two assists and creating a chance. Barely got dispossessed and when he did in the rare occasion, it wasn’t in a dangerous area. Passing well but not needed to defend much today. Very happy with how he’s done today, possibly his best performance since 2014/15.
Sergio Busquets (7.5): One of the best players on the pitch. Iniesta coming back from injury made his job much easier as the midfield no.looks more compact and he always has options when he is on the ball. Fantastic move that led to Barça’s first goal, took 2 players out with a dribble on the edge of the box and Messi, Alba did the rest. Passing has been great as per usual. Defensively, he did well to get the ball back to Barça’s possession numerous times. Great to see him perform like this again after he struggled at the start of the season.
André Gomes (7): Started in RCM position to replace Rakitić and he didn’t disappoint. In the first half he didn’t take risks but stood close to Busquets and Iniesta, passed the ball well and Barça looked solid in the midfield area. Excellent work defensively which was needed on the right side in Rakitić’s absence. Seemed to get even better as the game went on, did well to carry the ball to Osasuna’s half and started taking more risks. Strong performance from the Portuguese.
Andres Iniesta (8): Impressive showing by the Maestro today, dictated play with ease. All the play today came through him. Created a few chances and could’ve had a goal in the first half but he and the Barça strikers could not convert. Defended efficiently, it didn’t seem like he did much but he actually won 8 tackles and they were all in the Osasuna half of the pitch. This was his first 90 minutes back from injury and it doesn’t look as if he was ever injured. He holds this team together. Who knew one player could make a team able to transition from defence to attack with so much ease. It’s hard to describe in words, we’ve praised him for many years and it’s come to the point that only watching him does him justice.
Lionel Messi (8): Involved from the first minute and probably the best on the pitch again. Created the first chance with a sublime pass to Suárrez, who couldn’t finish. Had 2 chances to score in the first half after the Uruguayan returned the favor, but couldn’t find the net from the chances he usually converts with ease. Crucial pass to Alba which led to Barça’s first goal. His passing was fantastic today, always found teammates in dangerous positions. Scored Barça’s second and third goal of the day, his first one came after a good movement inside the box and the 2nd one was a highlight of the game after dribbling the entire Osasuna defence with ease. Perfect performance bar the finishing in the first half.
Luis Suárez (6.5): Much more involved in the game today compared to some games from earlier this season. Combined well with Messi. First chance of the game came after Messi’s brilliant pass but his shot went just wide. Soon after that, he had another chance after he did well to shake the defender off but his shot hit the post. Without the ball he worked hard as he usually does to apply the pressure on Osasuna’s back 4. Passing could’ve been better today. He finally scored in the 2nd half with an easy tap-in after a great team move. Wasteful in front of the goal in the first half but he looked much more involved today.
Arda Turan (5.5): Not the best game he has played for us. Could’ve scored but he completely missed the ball when attempting to shoot. Didn’t make too much of Oier being on a yellow early on. Drifted inwards to link up and was doing well in that aspect, but if he had stayed mixed up coming inwards and staying wide, we could’ve found more holes in the Osasuna defence. Passing has been decent, but isn’t working as efficiently as he was mid week. With this below par match he could have still managed a goal and an assist. Subbed off for Denis midway through the 2nd half. He normally plays well at LW, I’d think he should play there over Neymar and the Brazilian should take a more central role, closer to Suarez.
Denis Suarez: For the short time he was on today he was great, his pass to Alba led to Messi’s first goal. If Neymar was in that situation, I don’t think the goal would’ve happened. Played quite central, close to Iniesta. He looks like he is adapting very smoothly. I’d like to see more of him in the future. Maybe, he should be given a run of games at LW to see how he fairs since he plays CM quite comfortably.
Rafinha: Replaced Gomes in the last 15 minutes of the game and he couldn’t do much in that short period of time. Passed the ball well to keep possession and his intensity helped the team defensively, even though the game was already done at that point.
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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.