opinions | 2018-03-05
Player Ratings - La Liga Round 27 - Barcelona 1-0 Atletico Madrid
Messi scores yet another stunner to decide the league once and for all.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (7): Generally had a quiet game, Atletico were unable to create any good chances. We defended too well for him to be called into much action. His passing was fine as we expect and another clean sheet in the bag. Not much else to say as it was a quiet day at the office for the German.
Sergi Roberto (6.5): Solid performance defensively. Atleti were quite weak down the wings but he did well at the back for the most part. Going forward, he made some solid runs in the 1st half but lacked end product in the final third, which has been the case for quite some time now. He didn’t have the best understanding with Coutinho when the Brazilian was on the right side early on. Passing was good.
Gerard Piqué (8): Barça’s best defender on the day. He didn’t put a foot wrong all game even though Atleti didn’t create much. Solid presence in the air, just what was needed against Atleti. Won most of his duels and passed well out the back, even when he was under pressure. He started feeling his knee in the 2nd half but he played through it and it didn’t affect his performance. Let’s hope it’s nothing serious.
Samuel Umtiti (7): Had a decent game, he did well to deal with the threat of Costa and Griezmann. His passing was good however he didn’t link with Busi too much and didn’t really get too many touches compared to other Barcelona players. Defensively he wasn’t troubled too much as Atletico created very little and only had 2 shots in the box all game. Some fouls here and there but nothing yellow card worthy. Good game compared to what he’s recently shown, let’s hope he can keep this up going into the Champions League game against Chelsea.
Jordi Alba (6): Alba had quite an average game, he didn’t do too much wrong if anything but attacking wise he didn’t offer as much as he usually does. He got space a couple of times but his cross hit the first man. He linked up well with Coutinho and Iniesta but they couldn’t get him behind the Atleti defence. Defensively, he wasn’t troubled too much, Atletico played with very little width and most of their shots came from the opposite side of the box.
Sergio Busquets (7.5): Strong performance. Did well under pressure in the 1st half and passed the ball well. After Iniesta came off with an injury, he had too much to do on his own when it comes to dictating the tempo, and it showed in the 2nd half as we couldn’t control the game as good as we did in the 1st. Defensively, he did well. Won most of his duels, completed 4 tackles and only committed 1 foul.
Ivan Rakitić (7.5): Strong performance, one of the best players on the pitch. Misplaced some passes early on but he started getting better as the game went on. He didn’t create much going forward, but he’s had worse games on the ball. Showed great effort off the ball, worked tirelessly and this helped a lot in the 2nd half when Atleti were trying to get the equaliser. Picked up a yellow card with 20 minutes left in the game but it didn’t affect him much, played well off the ball until the final whistle.
Andres Iniesta (8): For the little he played, he was magnificent. Atletico struggled to keep him off the ball and he was able to get in between the lines. He created a few chances but we didn’t score from them. Unfortunately he ended up injuring his hamstring and will be ruled out for some weeks. It’ll be a massive loss. Let’s hope he recovers quickly.
Philippe Coutinho (6): Had a mixed game, at times he was really good and other times it was if he wasn’t even on the pitch. He played quite high up, close to Suárez and Messi. He linked up well with Suárez a few times, one of which led to a shot at goal but it was saved. In the second half, he had a large period where he was quiet then all of a sudden he could’ve scored after beating 2 Atleti players in the box. He was later subbed off with around 5 minutes left.
Lionel Messi (8): Barça’s only creative spark for a large part of the game, especially after Iniesta had to be subbed off. He looked dangerous on the ball from the start even though Atleti did well marking him. Won a foul and scored from it with a beautiful curling free-kick for his 600th career goal. Atleti did well limiting him as much as possible and he didn’t receive the ball too often later on in the game, but whenever he did, he made something happen. Managed 5 key passes and worked well, applying pressure off the ball. Another big game, another match winning performance.
Luis Suárez (5.5): Looked quite isolated for the most part. Atleti didn’t allow too many chances, as expected. He worked well off the ball, but on the ball he didn’t do much. Got dispossessed quite a lot and decision making wasn’t the best. Had a goal disallowed in the 2nd half and missed a solid chance to make it 2-0 when he couldn’t hit the target from the edge of the box. Not the game he’ll remember but luckily the team managed to take the 3 points.
André Gomes (4): Came on for injured Iniesta. He did some nice plays but generally he wasn’t too good. He did win a lot of his aerial duels but for someone replacing Iniesta this shouldn’t be his main objective. An 82% pass accuracy was not bad at all. He didn’t really influence the game much but his runs off the ball were really good. Like most of his performances what he does off the ball is better than on the ball. It’s been said before but his biggest issue is his confidence and he’s not a wide player.
Paulinho: Replaced Coutinho with 5 minutes left, had very little influence on the game as you’d expect, broke up 1/2 Atleti attacks but nothing more than that.
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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.