opinions | 2017-08-27
Player Ratings - La Liga Round 2 - Alavés 0:2 Barcelona
Messi leads by example as Barcelona wins three important away points
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (6): Played well. Made a vital save after a blunder from Piqué in the first half. Other than this, Alaves didn’t really trouble his goal. Even on the ball, the few times he got it, Alaves didn’t pressure him to go long.
Sergi Roberto (6.5): Started as a RB, very active going forward in the 1st half, combined well with Vidal down the right wing. Barça controlled the game and he didn’t have much to do defensively so he was positioned rather high up the pitch. Passing was solid. Did well defensively when needed.
Gerard Piqué (6.5): Solid performance for the most part, except for one mistake in the 1st half which led to Alaves’ only clear cut chance. Misplaced a pass and then got outpaced easily by Sobrino, but ter Stegen was there to save the day. Won a penalty after he was fouled inside Alaves box. Picked up another silly yellow card for intentional handball in Alaves box. Barely had anything to do in the 2nd half, passing has been great as usual.
Samuel Umtiti (7): Calm and composed. Passed the ball well and was the better defender out of him and Piqué. Picked up a needless yellow card but didn’t do anything silly after that. Stopped Alaves attacks from developing as he does. Truth be told, Alaves didn’t really cause him too much problems. Rather it was Piqué who had to deal more with their attacks.
Jordi Alba (5.5): In the first half, he wasn’t involved much in possession. Kept width on the left side but hasn’t really received the ball much or done anything with it except pass it on to Iniesta. A few wayward passes in the final third but managed to get an assist for Messi’s 1st goal. Not challenged much defensively but when he was, he wasn’t too great. His shot was poor, it was harder to miss than score and we know what he did. This could be his 3rd bad season in a row, if this carries on he’ll need to be replaced.
Sergio Busquets (7.5): One of the best players on the pitch, barely put a foot wrong the entire game. Passing has been great, found Messi between the lines lots of times to start the danger. Defensively he was superb, always on the right place at the right time to return the ball to Barça’s possession. Looked comfortable in both Liga games so far, here’s hoping he’ll continue this way.
Ivan Rakitić (6.5): Put in a solid shift defensively and passed the ball well for his standards, had a couple of great diagonal passes in the 1st half, managed 3 key passes. Drifted wide at times but so far this season he’s looked a bit more comfortable on the ball as the right side looks better, he doesn’t have to do that RWB role anymore and plays closer to the middle of the pitch. Still lacked a bit of creativity in his passing but that’s a well known problem. Great defensively, won most of his duels.
Andres Iniesta (7): One of his better games in recent times. Great on the ball and managed to get players with some ease. Final ball was not the best in the first half. Had 1/2 chances to score but his shots were weak. He did well on Messi’s goal. I still think that he’ll need more help in MF if he is to put up top performances when he plays, but we can all see that playing two 90 minute games per week will be too much for his body after the rough last season he had.
Lionel Messi (9): Best player on the pitch. With Suárez out injured and Barça lacking quality down the wings, he carried a lot of weight on his shoulders and once again he delivered. First half wasn’t the best and he also missed a penalty, but he was very active in that false 9 role. Brilliantly taken 2 goals to secure another win for his team. Hit the bar once more (4th time in his last 2 games) and unlucky not to finish the game with a hat-trick. Showed great work-rate and pressed well in the 2nd half.
Aleix Vidal (6): Quite active early on, did well to run in behind Alaves’ back 4 but decision making when he received the ball wasn’t always the best. Combined well with Sergi and that right side was much more involved in the 1st half. He was far less visible as the game went on, didn’t make too much of an impact and was subbed off after 57 minutes.
Gerard Deulofeu (6): Not a bad game from him, movement was pretty good. He didn’t get the ball much, but when he did, he didn’t make the most of it. He should’ve scored late into the first half but his shot was weak and into the ground. In the 2nd half he did improve but not too much. It’ll take time for him to settle.
Paco Alcácer (6): Subbed on for Vidal and played the last 30 minutes of the game. Didn’t see much of the ball but his job was to open up the space for other players (Messi in particular) and he did that well at times, just like in the Betis game. Managed to pick up an assist after Alaves’ defender made a mistake and kicked the ball straight to him, he headed it towards Messi who volleyed it home to make it 2-0.
Denis Suárez: Replaced Deulofeu and has done really well. Got on the ball quite a bit and linked with Messi. He could’ve been more decisive in the final third but his willingness to get on the ball as much as possible was great. Let’s hope we see more of him this season than last.
Paulinho: Came on with around 3 mins left for Iniesta. It was his Barcelona debut. I really don’t think it’s possible to make an impact in such few minutes and it was the case here.
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.