Player Ratings - La Liga Round 18 - Barcelona 3:0 Levante
Messi pulls the rabbit out of his hat once again as Barça grabs another win.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (8): Not troubled at all in the first half. Levante did have some chances but they couldn’t put any on target. In the second half, he was a lot more busier. If it wasn’t for him I think we would not have won, once again he steps up when we need him most. Another clean sheet in the bag as Barcelona continue to run away with La Liga.
Sergi Roberto (6.5): Solid defensively and reacted well whenever his reaction was needed, although Levante didn’t do too much going forward, especially in the 2nd half. Won most of his duels and managed 6 tackles. Combined well with Dembélé on the right side at times and assisted Suárez for Barça’s 2nd goal. Moved to midfield later on in the 2nd half after Semedo was subbed on.
Javier Mascherano (6.5): Started off a bit shaky and it was obvious he didn’t play much in the last few months. Got better as the game went on even though Levante didn’t create much. Passing was great at times, completed most of his long passes and some led to solid opportunities for his teammates. This might’ve even been his last game in a Barcelona shirt.
Thomas Vermaelen (7): The better of the 2 CB’s against Levante. For large parts he wasn’t troubled too much but Levante did get some opportunities to get some goals. Once again, his passing was great. This consistent run of games has done great for his confidence and he’s showing signs of his old self which is wonderful.
Jordi Alba (8): Very good once again. His running off the ball was too much for Levante, they struggled to defend it time and time again during the match. His assist for Messi’s first goal was great. Last season, he would’ve messed that pass up. He wasn’t called on to do too much defending but was good enough when he needed to defend. In the second half, he was quieter but still had a good game.
Ivan Rakitić (6.5): Started in a DM position in Busquets’ absence and did well for the most part. Passing and playing under pressure wasn’t up to Busi’s level but luckily Levante’s pressing wasn’t all that great. Got close to scoring after his volley from the edge of the box went inches wide of the left post. 2nd half was just getting the job done, and he didn’t do too much.
Andres Iniesta (7): Good performance. His passing and dribbling was of his usual level. He managed to run off a bad hit from a Levante player. He didn’t see too much of the ball as the game went on, we mostly attacked down our right side. Although when he was on the ball he was great. He was subbed off with 15-20 minutes to go.
Paulinho (6.5): Hasn’t done much in the build-up, mostly passed to the first player near him with not much risk involved. Should be doing much more as a starter for Barcelona. Managed to get on the scoresheet late on in the game after a great run from Messi. He knows where and when to move in opposition box and that’s certainly a quality Barça lacked from midfielders before, but he should be doing better in other aspects of the game.
Ousmane Dembélé (6): Started as a RM and it was clear he still has a long way to go in terms of fitness. Linked up with his teammates well at times and showed some positive signs but got dispossessed and lost the ball more often than he should early on. Done well in the build up to Barça’s 1st goal. Had a great run and a shot later on in the 1st half but Levante’s GK did well. Subbed off after 67 minutes.
Lionel Messi (8.5): Man of the match yet again. 1st half was sensational, he dribbled past Levante players with ease and caused havoc. Started and finished the move for Barça’s 1st goal, great pass to Alba who passed it back to him and he finished with a great volley. Second half was more quiet and it was clear he wasn’t at 100% and saving himself for what’s coming next week, but he still showed flashes of brilliance whenever he decided to. Brilliant run and an assist to Paulinho who made it 3-0.
Luis Suárez (6.5): Poor finishing early on, should’ve scored 2 goals from the chances he had but he couldn’t finish, which is something we’ve seen a lot this season so far. However, he redeemed himself later on and scored with a great finish to make it 2-0 and put Barça in a comfortable position. Didn’t get on the ball too often, only attempted 17 passes all game. Second half was very quiet.
Nélson Semedo: Subbed on in the 67th minute. Looked lively in the first few minutes on the pitch and tried to go at Levante’s LB whenever he had a chance to do so. Barely had anything to do defensively as the game was pretty dull later on.
José Arnáiz: Replaced Sergi in the last 5 minutes of the game. Didn’t do much but it was nice seeing him get minutes in Liga. Here’s hoping we’ll see more of him in the future.
André Gomes: Replaced Iniesta with around 15 minutes left. There isn’t too much you can really say since the game was nearly dead by this time. However, you could see he was looking more confident, he attempted dribbles. He was unlucky not to get an assist after some good work around the box but his cross couldn’t be converted.
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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.