opinions | 2017-04-06
Player Ratings - La Liga Round 30 - Barcelona 3:0 Sevilla
Messi tramples Sevilla as Iniesta looks back to his utmost best
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (7): Didn’t have much to do for the most part bar that save on N’Zonzi at 0-0. He made some a few more saves throughout the game but they were relatively easy ones to say the least. The N’Zonzi save was game turning save, no doubt. His long passing wasn’t as good as usual. Completing only 1 of his 5 attempts. Nonetheless, he has a solid game and it is nice for him to bag another clean sheet.
Javier Mascherano (6.5): Started off a bit shaky but got better as the game went on. Poor attempt of clearance led to N’Zonzi’s clear chance, but luckily ter Stegen did well. Passed the ball well and his accurate long passes out the back were a valuable asset for the team as usual. Received a lot of help from Sergi and Rakitić down the right side and they controlled that side of the pitch well. Great in the second half, managed some crucial clearances and tackles to help the team keep a clean sheet.
Gerard Piqué (7): Gerard will get some much needed rest against Malaga after picking up his 5th yellow card. He was great on the ball as per usual, only misplacing 2 of his 54 passes. Dealt with any threat Sevilla have posed but it wasn’t much. He didn’t need to defend much in the first half but needed to more in the second half and stood up to the challenge. There isn’t too much else to really say as everyone knew the game was over by half-time. He’ll need to be ready for the game against Juventus.
Samuel Umtiti (7): Another day at the office. Wonderful on the ball as we have become accustomed to. He had no trouble defending Correa. Sevilla barely caused him a problem all game. Umtiti completed 6 of his 7 defensive actions. Truth be told, I thought he would’ve had to do double this considering how good Sevilla can be. The record of us winning every Liga game he plays carries on. The games are coming thick and fast, he’ll need to keep this up if we are to win more than one trophy.
Sergio Busquets (7): Another solid performance. Great on the ball, passing was crisp and with Iniesta back to his best, they combined well in the middle of the pitch. Without the ball, always found himself on the right place at the right time. Completed 88% of his attempted passes. Perhaps it wasn’t as impressive as the Granada match but he looked sharp yet again which is a great sign going into a crucial stage of the season.
Sergi Roberto (6.5): Started on the right side and essentially covered the entire side as he was positioned high up the pitch when Barça were on the ball, often making dangerous runs but the end product wasn’t always the best. Without the ball, he dropped deep and delivered a solid performance defensively, helping the team stop Sevilla out wide. This sort of role suits him the best in 3-4-3 formation as covering a lot of the ground is his best quality and he doesn’t have too much responsibility on the ball, which is his weakness. Did his job well and proved he can be valuable for the team in this setup.
Ivan Rakitić (6.5): Started on the right side of the midfield and did his job well. Made dangerous runs in the final third at times but wasn’t as involved in the build up, that mostly came from Busquets and Iniesta who were inspired, especially in the 1st half. Had a nice chance early on after Iniesta’s cross but his header went wide. Helped the team defensively down the right side. Picked up a yellow card and will miss the game against Malaga next weekend. In the 2nd half, his level dropped and he looked tired. Subbed off in the 80th minute. Good to see him bounce back after a poor start to the season.
Andres Iniesta (9): Back to his best. Sevilla couldn’t get close to him. He was gliding past them with ease. Made the left side click. He, Neymar and Umtiti seem to be a very strong triangle on the left. Wasn’t needed too much defensively but did help when he was needed. 2 chances created, more than he has lately which is great. He was a threat every single time he’s got the ball. Great to see him fully fit in the most important time of the season, let’s hope he can stay at this level for the final 2 months. The rustiness from his injury seems to have been gone.
Lionel Messi (8.5): Dangerous from the start and once again the best player on the pitch alongside Iniesta. His first attempt from the edge of the box hit the bar but soon after that he played a huge part in Barça’s opening goal. His great run down the wing and a cross eventually found Suárez who finished it off brilliantly. Had an easy job after a great team move and he made it 2-0 after 28 minutes. Added another one after Sevilla failed to clear the ball from a set piece and he volleyed it home. Looked fresh and decided the game in the 1st half. In the 2nd half, he managed to create a couple of chances but mostly played it simple as the game was already done and we’re heading into the most complicated stage of the season.
Luis Suárez (7.5): Great game again for the best striker in the world. Sublime finish with a overhead kick to score the opener. That was also his only shot on goal in this match. Just minutes later, he found Messi in the box who made it 2-0 after a great team move. Worked tirelessly and pressed Sevilla without the ball, forcing them into mistakes. One of those almost resulted in another goal at the start of the 2nd half. Combined with Messi brilliantly, their understanding the pitch truly is one of a kind and it showed in this game. Subbed off after 65 minutes, well deserved rest for him.
Neymar (7.5): Played relatively well. Didn’t get as much as the ball as he did against Granada so he was more sharp with his decision making. On the 2nd goal he didn’t even look up when squaring the ball. Luckily, the ball wasn’t too bad and Suarez recovered it. His pressing was brilliant especially in the first half. Managed to create 3 chances and completed 10 of his 14 take-ons. A significant improvement from the last game. When he gets the ball less, he does better things when he gets it. Perhaps, he deserved a goal but how he is performing is enough after being poor throughout 2016. These next weeks will be crucial and he will need to put these performances in.
Paco Alcácer: Subbed on for Suárez with 25 minutes left in the game. He wasn’t involved much, only attempted 7 passes. He did however find himself in a great chance to score after a brilliant pass from Iniesta but Sergio Rico did well to stop his shot. That was the only thing worth mentioning, but it’s great to see him get some minutes again after the last game when he did well. Hopefully we can see more in the rest of the season.
Lucas Digne: Replaced Pique with 10 minutes left. He didn’t do too much it has to be said. Misplacing 3 of his 6 passes somehow. I doubt we will see too much more of him this season as rotation will only happen when it is needed.
Carles Aleñá: The youngster was subbed on for Rakitić in the last 10 minutes of the game. Passed the ball well and took up good positions on the pitch. Picked up a yellow card soon after he was subbed on which looked like a harsh decision to me. Fantastic to see him play 2 Liga games in a row, it shows the talent and commitment he has because not many youngsters were given a chance in the 1st team lately.
Referee Clos Gomez (7): Put in a solid showing. Usually he allows players to get away with many fouls so the game gets out of control, but it wasn't the case this time. Vitolo was rightfully sent off. Managed to keep the game flowing well with minimal stoppages. Perhaps he could've protected Neymar a bit more. All the yellow cards were correct. No controversial decision in the game which has happened a lot when he has managed Barcelona games this season.
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.