opinions | 2018-03-11
Player Ratings - La Liga Round 28 - Malaga 0:2 Barcelona
Dembélé finally lands in style at the team strolls to a easy win without Messi
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (6): Barely had a save to make all game, Malaga got 1/2 chances in the first half but didn’t put them on target. A quiet game was expected due to Malaga being down to 10 men early on. Another clean sheet on the road to the Zamora.
Sergi Roberto (6.5): More active than usual going forward. He got in behind Malaga defence quite a lot in the 1st half, but his crossing wasn’t the best. Passing was great, completed 95% and managed 2 key passes. Involved in the 1st goal, when he played Dembélé through. Didn’t have much to do defensively as Malaga were rather toothless going forward. Subbed off after 75 minutes.
Gerard Piqué (6.5): Didn’t have much to do defensively as Malaga were poor going forward, but he’s done well whenever his reaction was needed. Completed 8 interceptions and won most of his duels. Passing was good as usual, even though he misplaced some long passes. Always worrying to see him play after he didn’t have time to recover properly from his injury, but so far so good. We’ll need him at his best on Wednesday.
Samuel Umtiti (6): Looked quite composed for the most part unlike some previous games. Passing was good as expected and he had little defending to do, Malaga were poor going forward for most of the game. He’s brought the ball into midfield with relative ease throughout the game. The second half was more of the same. Quiet from a defensive standpoint.
Jordi Alba (8): Brilliant, a few inviting crosses early on which caused Malaga trouble. One led to the opening goal. Got a lot of space down the left side and linked with Coutinho well. Was lucky to be able to carry on after being on the end of a nasty tackle. His runs in behind caused Malaga all sorts of problems, sadly he couldn’t get more than 1 assist. His performance deserved more. It was a quiet second half as the team dropped intensity expectedly. Subbed off for Digne towards the end of the game.
Sergio Busquets (8): Barça’s captain on the day, and he didn’t disappoint. Pulling the strings in midfield all game long, completed 122 out of 129 passes he attempted. Malaga’s pressing wasn’t the best and he always found options too easily. He’s done well off the ball too, even though Malaga were rather poor. One of the best players on the pitch, just another day in the office for him.
Ivan Rakitić (7.5): Solid performance yet again on his 30th birthday. Very involved in the build-up, completed more passes than anyone on the pitch bar Busquets. Looked dangerous in the 1st half, made the difference on the ball which isn’t always the case with him. Worked well of the ball, won most of his duels and managed 5 tackles Fine form as of late, let’s hope he can keep this up.
Paulinho (6): Been better than his last few games but not too special. Passed decently and got a lot of space. Could’ve got a goal but put his effort wide. He didn’t get much touches on the ball like other players but always looked to go forward when he got the ball. Malaga with less men made it easier for him but largely ineffective in that LCM spot. However, he didn’t do a lot wrong at all but could’ve done more on the ball when he had it.
Philippe Coutinho (8): Played arguably his best game for Barça so far. Passing was decent but sometimes took too long to make a decision. He’s drifted inside quite a lot to link with players. At times he didn’t scan before he got the ball and therefore Malaga got into shape a bit easier and he lost his chance of a good pass. His goal was good improvisation after getting in front of Malaga defender. Could’ve had more goals with his efforts from outside the box. Second half was more of the same but he started taking a lot more shots which were generally saved with ease for Roberto. He didn’t do much wrong but needs to be aware of his surroundings better to make quicker decisions. For me, LW suits him better than LCM.
Ousmané Dembélé (8): One of the best players on the pitch. Very confident and looked to take on Malaga players from the 1st minute. He was releasing the ball quickly and kept it simple, his passing was great and often made the difference. Moved inside quite a lot and combined well with his teammates. Decision making was much better than what we’ve seen when he comes off the bench. Wonderful work inside the box and an assist to Coutinho, who made it 2-0. Wasn’t as active in the 2nd half but didn’t make many mistakes. Subbed off with 5 minutes left in the game.
Luis Suárez (7.5): Very active in the 1st half. He combined well with his teammates, especially with Coutinho and Malaga often couldn’t cope with them. Did well to test the GK early on after some solid work inside the box. However, he made Malaga pay from his 2nd chance in the game, brilliant cross from Alba to.find the Uruguayan inside the box, and he finished it with ease to make it 1-0. Wasn’t as active in the 2nd half but it wasn’t needed as Malaga couldn’t get back in the game. He picked up a yellow card near the end which means he’ll miss the next Liga game, against Athletic.
André Gomes: Replaced Sergi in a RB position in the last 15 minutes of the game. He’s done well for the most part, though he committed a silly foul near the box but it’s hard to blame him as this isn’t his natural position.
Lucas Digne: Replaced Alba with around 12 minutes left. He played high up the pitch and had a few chances to put in a good cross but each time he picked the wrong option. His passing was fine but crossing was poor. Other than this, he didn’t have much else to do. Linked with Coutinho decently.
Aleix Vidal: Subbed on for Dembélé with 5 minutes left in the game. The game was done at this point, he completed a few simple passes but that’s about it.
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.