opinions | 2018-04-08
Player Ratings - La Liga Round 31 - Barcelona 3:1 Leganés
Messi scores a fine hattrick to make it 38 matches without defeat for Barça in the league
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (6.5): Didn’t have much to do, Leganes had 1 shot on target and they scored from it. Not much he could do on the goal as the ball took a deflection and ended up in the back of the net. Passing was good, completed all of his passes.
Nélson Semedo (7): Another strong performance from the young Portuguese. Very active early on, combined well with Dembélé and Messi on the right. Managed to find options even when he found himself under pressure. Didn’t have much to do defensively, but used his pace to his advantage when needed. Not as active in the 2nd half but had a great pass to Messi which almost resulted in an assist.
Gerard Piqué (6.5): Solid defensively. Leganes didn’t manage to create much but he was a solid presence at the back and defended well. On Leganes goal, he mistimed his challenge but it’s hard to blame him entirely as the team switched off collectively in that moment. Passing was solid. Found himself in some chances but unlike the Roma game, he couldn’t get on the scoresheet.
Thomas Vermaelen (6.5): Started his first game in quite some time and didn’t disappoint. Reacted well whenever he was needed, even though Leganes were poor going forward. Managed a few important interceptions and clearances. Passing was great, completed 95% of his passes. He would be a great 3rd option as a CB if he could just stay healthy.
Sergi Roberto (6.5): Started in a LB position which is quite unusual for him, but it’s not the first time he found himself in a situation like this given his versatility. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but he got.the job done in Alba’s absence. He wasn’t as active going forward as Semedo on the right and usually it’s Barça’s left side that’s more active. However, he created a couple.of chances for his teammates and did well defensively. Subbed off for Alba with 15 minutes left on the clock.
Ivan Rakitić (7): Another start and another solid showing for the Croatian international. Very involved in the build-up in Busquets absence, completed 100 passes at a 86% success rate. Involved in Barça’s 2nd goal. Managed to do an excellent job off the ball as well, won most of his duels and had a few interceptions and tackles. Let’s hope he can continue playing on this level, he didn’t rest much all season long.
André Gomes (6.5): Started in midfield alongside Rakitić and performed well. Passing was really good, he is a much better passer than Paulinho who gets more playing time. He got his teammates involved and combined well with Messi and Coutinho at times. Completed 95% of his passes. Did well off the ball. Personally, I’d like to see him get more playing time as he’s more than capable of performing to a decent level when he plays in the middle of the pitch rather than wing positions.
Ousmane Dembélé (7.5): Great game. Involved from the start and showed a great understanding with Messi and Semedo on the right. His passing was excellent, created 3 great chances for his teammates from difficult positions. Still gets dispossessed more than we’d like but his game clearly started to improve the more he plays. Could’ve had 2 assists in the 1st half, but finally got one after a great pass to Messi, just before he got subbed off.
Philippe Coutinho (6.5): Had a mixed game. Some great moments but he was rather quiet at times. Barça’s left side of the pitch wasn’t as active as the right side, which is quite unusual. It’s clear he’s yet to fully adapt and his decision making could improve but the potential is there. Great pass to assist Messi, who made it 2-0 in the 1st half. He was quiet for the most part in the 2nd half and got subbed off for Iniesta with 10 minutes to go
Lionel Messi (9): Another MOTM performance. Looked more fresh than few days ago against Roma. Passing was excellent, finished the game without an assist but he could’ve had a few to his name. Fantastic free-kick, his 40th career FK, to open the scoring. Made it 2-0 after some great work from Rakitić and Coutinho. He wasn’t as active in the 2nd half, conserving his energy but he still managed to complete a hat-trick and put the game to bed in the 87th minute.
Luis Suárez (5.5): Quite wasteful in front of the goal, should’ve done better on numerous occasions. He worked well off the ball and his movement was good but his finishing can be frustrating. His chance in the 1st half was the best example, he should be finishing chances like that. Barely did anything in the 2nd half as Barça weren’t trying too hard and he looked isolated. Here’s hoping he redeems himself on Tuesday.
Jordi Alba: Came on for Sergi for the last 15 minutes of the game. Not much to note, El Zhar did get past him easily at times but nothing came of it, luckily. Picked up a yellow card as well. Not the greatest of performances coming off the bench but the most important thing is that he got some rest and didn’t start from 1st minute.
Andres Iniesta: Replaced Coutinho with 10 minutes left as Barça were trying to put the game to bed and Leganes started asking questions. He did well on the ball and worked off the ball, Barça gained a bit more control towards the end of the game as a result.
Denis Suárez: Subbed on for Dembélé for the last few minutes. Not much note, he completed 2 passes and got dispossessed once.
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.