opinions | 2017-03-13
Player Ratings - La Liga Round 27 - Deportivo La Coruña 2:1 Barcelona
The comeback hangover brings Barça's first loss in the league since October
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (7): Our best player. Made a wonderful save but from the following corner he made a blunder by spilling the ball, it led to the Depor goal. He should’ve done better regardless of the very wet conditions and Mascherano’s poor reaction on the corner. For the 2nd goal there wasn’t much he could do, there has been some debate whether it was a corner, I thought it was. Passing was fine as we expect with him. Late on he saved a 3v1 somehow, no idea how he managed to pull it off but he’s become a lot better in this aspect. Did what he could but most of the team let him down.
Javier Mascherano (5.5): Started again after his great performance against PSG but he didn’t manage to repeat that. Poor clearance on Deportivo’s 1st goal. Ter Stegen could’ve done better as well but his poor reaction didn’t help. Had some trouble dealing with Joselu at times. Passing was great, barely misplaced a pass all game long. He was positioned high up the pitch and Deportivo found lots of spaces for their counter attacks in the 2nd half.
Gerard Piqué (6): Play rather well but still below his usual level. He was calm and composed on the ball all game. On the goal, there wasn’t anything he could’ve done. It was on Mascherano and ter Stegen. Dealt with Joselu pretty well it has to be said, Mascherano was the one who had difficulties with him. 11/13 defensive actions completed for him, so it is hard to say he was at blame for the loss.
Jordi Alba (4): Dreadful performance. It’s odd because he didn’t start the game bad but got worse from the second half onwards. He was the player who saw most of the ball but didn’t do much with it. Wasn’t too bad defensively but when we conceded the second goal, it was as if he forgot how to defend from then on. When he pushed up he offered near enough nothing since his final ball was poor. I prefer him playing LCB than LB but he is useless on corners, it is as if he doesn’t know how to defend if the ball is not below knee height. Now I understand why he wasn’t used against PSG, too many mistakes and concentration lapses in him.
Sergio Busquets (6.5): One of the better Barça players. 1st half was great, passes the ball well and created a couple of solid opportunities for his teammates going forward. Good under pressure, barely put a foot wrong. However, in the 2nd half it was clear he lacked sharpness and he started getting tired, which was inevitable after a historic game on Wednesday. Couldn’t play for entire 90 minutes on the same level.
Sergi Roberto (4): Started in midfield and he should’ve done better. Positioned wide, often drifted to the right wing. Received the ball in dangerous positions at times but his decision making was rather poor. Crossing could’ve been better, failed to complete a single cross. The only thing he did right to some extent was defending, he dropped back without the ball and did well to help Mascherano at times. A game to forget.
André Gomes (4): Not great, it has to be said. He was very slow on the ball. Passed well but not always making the right decisions as we saw when he went for a curler in the box rather than picking a player out. He didn’t see too much of the ball for all the time he was on the pitch and positioned himself far too wide and close to Arda, perhaps Lucho instructed him but as we’ve seen this tactic isn’t good at all. Lethargic performance, we had worse performers than him but we’ll sadly expect him to be the scapegoat for this game.
Denis Suárez (6): Started on the right wing and looked dangerous at times, but decision making should’ve been better. He did complete 2 key passes though, and one of his crosses eventually led to Luis Suárez equaliser. In the 2nd half, he moved to the left side of the pitch and often received the ball but failed to make bigger impact on the game, his crossing and shooting wasn’t the best. Did well to help defensively. Subbed off after 77 minutes.
Lionel Messi (5): Poor performance by his standards. He looked very tired in this game and this affected his decision making, and especially his passing. Too many misplaced passes, it was clear what he was trying to do but the end product just wasn’t there. He did however managed to complete a few key passes which led to nothing, sadly. Looked very isolated, didn’t get the ball as often as we would want him to. He didn’t get close to scoring in this match, had 3 shots and only 1 on target. Let’s hope he will get back to his best soon.
Luis Suárez (5.5): Scored Barça’s only goal of the match, but missed 2 clear chances. Something we’re used to seeing at this point. Started the game with a clear chance he should’ve finished, but his header from close range went straight to the goalkeeper. Scored an equaliser right at the start of the 2nd half, great shot and Deportivo’s GK could do nothing about it. Later on he missed a great chance yet again, after some great team work he missed from close range yet again, although it looked like he was offside on this occasion. Other than that, there’s not much to note, he should’ve finished more of his chances.
Arda Turan (3): Barely did anything right regardless of what the stats say. Got his customary foul early on so that was his work for the game done. It baffles me how slow he is in both running with/without the ball and decision making. His passing has been fine but it was too risk adverse and then when he plays forward it was wayward. He slows counter attacks down, he allows teams to get back into shape. He doesn’t offer anything that Denis Suárez doesn’t. I struggle to see where he fits in and he should be sold in the summer. Though he can get on the scoresheet, he doesn’t do it when we most need it. It may sound very harsh but the best thing he did was getting subbed off, the team improved.
Andres Iniesta (6.5): Replaced Arda with just over 30 minutes left. Lucho got this sub right and he made an instant impact. We started playing more fluidly and started creating more chances compared to when Arda was on the field. A few wayward passes but still managed to create 3 chances. You can slowly see he is reaching back to the pre-injury. It will still take some time but he was brilliant. He and ter Stegen were our best performers.
Ivan Rakitić (6): Replaced Gomes at the same time Arda came off. Bringing him on was a good decision but it should’ve been for Sergi Roberto who was dreadful to say the very least. He didn’t receive the ball too much but helped anchor the midfield that was getting quite easily bypassed. His crossing was shocking but he didn’t have too much time in the game to stamp anything as he played as a wide CM because we reverted to the 4-3-3 which we don’t play well in right now.
Paco Alcácer: Replaced Denis in the last 15 minutes of the game, but didn’t offer much. He was positioned wide and far away from opponents box, which was weird to see. Tried crossing the ball into the box, which really isn’t one of his strengths and it obviously led to nothing.
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.