opinions | 2017-04-09
Player Ratings - La Liga Round 31 - Malaga 2:0 Barcelona
The entire team fails as we wave goodbye to Barça's league chances
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (5): On the goal perhaps he should’ve done better. He decided to stay on his line rather than rush out. His anticipation was poor to say the least. 1v1’s is an area he has improved on lately but he can still get better. Passing been decent bar a few misplaced ones. Malaga had a few more chances to kill the game off and he did well to keep us in it. Nothing he could do on the 2nd goal.
Javier Mascherano (5.5): Started as a RB today and didn’t really impress. As expected, he rarely offered anything going forward and Messi had to drop deep because the right side was almost non-existent on the ball. Defensively, he did some things right but this experiment with 4-3-3 formation with him as a RB clearly didn’t work. He did however created a great chance near the end with a beautiful pass, but Sergi’s shot went straight at Kameni.
Samuel Umtiti (7): Once again solid defensively, even though he played as a RCB which isn’t his natural position. Passing was great again, completed 90% of his passes. Malaga didn’t really force him into mistakes defensively, managed to complete 5 clearances. Nothing he could really do in any of the goals Malaga scored. Barça’s best player alongside Messi in this disappointing performance for the team.
Jeremy Mathieu (2): Dreadful. His passing was alright but his decision making was horrific. In 45 minutes he only completed 1 defensive action. Poor to say the least with how many counter attacks Malaga had. Ridiculous on the 1st Malaga goal. Why would he try to play offside when Sandro was in his own half? Sandro and Fornals were running rings around him. One of his worst game in around a year or so. The timing was impeccable. He’s got to go in the summer no questions about it.
Jordi Alba (3): Played well for small parts but by in large poor once again. Wonderful pass to Suárez early on who should’ve scored but didn’t. Those long balls he’s played have been really good lately. Picked up a really stupid yellow. Most of his work with the ball was passing to Neymar. Normally he used to attempt 5/6 crosses into the box, these days it is like two or three. He added some good width but it came to nothing because he wasn’t good on the ball. Didn’t help too much defensive and caught out too high on the 2nd goal after Busquets lost the ball. Let’s hope he doesn’t play against Juventus.
Sergio Busquets (5): Not the greatest of performances for him but the way Barça’s midfield was set up, this wasn’t a surprise. Denis often drifted too wide and this midfield 3 combination never really worked together. In result, he struggled and wasn’t much involved in the build-up. Only attempted 60 passes which isn’t all that much for him. Without the ball he did well in some parts of the game, reading the game well. Managed 4 interceptions and 3 tackles. Late into the game, he got dispossessed and Malaga scored after this mistake. We’ve seen better from him but it wasn’t possible in this game.
Denis Suárez (5): Didn’t have much impact in the 45 minutes he played. He should’ve been kept on and Gomes should’ve come off for Iniesta. His passing was fine but he barely did anything in the game. He was a bystander for the most part as was the whole right side for most of the game. He’ll be needed since Rafinha is injured and Neymar is banned for a minimum of 2 games.
André Gomes (4): Played on the left side of the midfield and once again he failed to impress. Just like Denis on the right, he offered very little in the build up, the midfield 3 just weren’t positioned close to each other. On the ball, he could’ve done a lot better. Got dispossessed a couple of times and committed 5 fouls. His biggest mistake was the chance he should’ve scored from, Messi played a perfect pass and he didn’t even manage to take a shot, got pushed by Malaga’s defender way too easily. In situations like this it really looks to me like he lacks confidence. Subbed off after 60 minutes.
Lionel Messi (7): Once again dropped very deep because the team couldn’t find control in midfield. He played numerous perfect passes in behind the Malaga defence but all were wasted by his teammates, the Gomes one was probably the most important. Him playing deep meant he couldn’t get in too many chances to score, most of his shots came from free-kicks which were the only disappointing part of his performance, could’ve done better on 3 occasions. Frustrating match for him because he played well but the team didn’t manage to get the result.
Luis Suárez (5): Poor performance for him. Started off with a great chance after Alba played a perfect pass but Kameni did well. After this, his decision making was very poor. Found himself in good positions numerous times but didn’t manage to even take shot or pass to his teammates at the right moment. He worked well without the ball, which is something that we see often but had to do better on the ball
Neymar (2): Awful. His first yellow card was stupid. He knew what he was doing so it was deserved. The red card challenge was beyond stupid. There was no need for him to foul the player, Barça were pinning Malaga back at the time. Very poor decision making for the time he was on the pitch. 3/12 take ons is not acceptable. He will now miss a minimum of 2 games in the most vital month of the season. He played as if he was back in 2016. This sort of stuff is not on especially since he is not a young player anymore.
Andres Iniesta (6): Replaced Denis at HT. He no doubt made a difference but his final ball lacked. He made our play more fluid but he was unable to get us back in the game. Truth be told, he should’ve started so we could kill the game early rather than try to come back. Juventus next, we’ll need him to be on top form.
Sergi Roberto (5): He replaced Mathieu at HT. No idea why we stuck with Lucho’s broken 4-3-3 system. Made a positive impact as he was able to get forward unlike Mascherano. He had a shot on goal and managed to create a decent chance. Completing three of his four take ons and managing 3 interceptions. But it wasn’t enough. He should’ve got a penalty however. He’ll be needed against Juventus let’s hope he is as impactful as he was against Malaga.
Paco Alcácer: Subbed on in the last 30 minutes of the game but this substitution didn’t change much. Perhaps the idea behind it was to strengthen the right side but it didn’t really add much against Malaga’s deep block late into the game. Positioned wide, he wasn’t a threat and didn’t find himself in good positions. Only attempted 11 passes and misplaced quite a few of those. A game to forget.
Referee Gil Manzano (4): Very poor showing. A couple of huge decisions he didn’t manage to get right. Malaga got a perfectly fine goal disallowed, Sergi Roberto was fouled inside the box and perhaps the worst part was his inconsistency with bookings. Allowed Malaga players to get away with way too many fouls. Perhaps the best example was the foul on Messi on the edge of the box, how that wasn’t a yellow card is beyond me. Red card on Neymar was correct, however. A game he’ll want to forget soon nonetheless.
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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.