opinions | 2018-04-15
Player Ratings - La Liga Round 32 - Barcelona 2:1 Valencia
Barcelona breaks La Liga's unbeaten record under the shadow of the Champions League knockout
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (8): Wonderful performance. Made many vital saves in the first half otherwise we would’ve been 3/4 goals down. He made a bad pass but made up for it with a great save at point blank. Passing was in general fine even his long passing. It was the same in the second half, some vital saves to keep us in front but on the penalty he was unlucky, the ball rolled under his arm even though he did well to save it. The game would’ve been lost if it wasn’t for his saves.
Sergi Roberto (6.5): Solid defensively. Valencia were dangerous at the start, but as the game went on, he got more comfortable and didn’t allow them to create much down his side. Managed 2 clearances and 3 tackles. Going forward, he didn’t do much, crossing was bad but his passing was good, completed 93% of his passes. Subbed off in the 90th minute.
Gerard Piqué (7): Great performance. Shaky at times early on, but he improved as the game went on and was the leader at the back. Managed 4 clearances and was a solid presence in the air. He picked up a yellow card in the 1st half but didn’t get close to 2nd as he defended well. Managed a crucial clearance off the line after Umtiti slipped and gave Valencia a chance to equalise. Passing was solid.
Samuel Umtiti (6.5): Wasn’t too bad. A lot better than other games but nothing too special. His passing was fine as it always seems to be. Defensively, he didn’t have as much to do as Piqué but has done decently, other than a play when Piqué was left 2v1 but still managed to prevent the goal. He scored from a corner which was nice but he still didn’t play his best game.
Jordi Alba (7): Brilliant for the most part. Our best player along with MAtS, his defensive work was brilliant especially on counter attacks, he’s dealt with the likes of Rodrigo and Guedes really well on multiple occasions. Without him I’m sure Valencia could’ve easily got a goal or two from counters. Going forward not too good, his decision making a bit off as he could’ve easily squared it to Suárez for an easy goal but decided to shoot. His running off the ball was good and this all carried on in the second half. One of his better performances in recent weeks.
Sergio Busquets (6.5): According to some rumours before the game, he started the game on painkillers but he did well for the most part. Passing was great as usual, very involved in the build-up, completed 93% of his passes and rarely gave the ball away. Did well off the ball, managed 4 tackles and blocked a couple of dangerous shots from Valencia in the box. Here’s hoping he gets back to 100% quickly.
Paulinho (5): Useless for the most part, offered very little and didn’t help too much defensively. With him on the pitch it seems like 10 men especially, in the first half. He improved in the second half, he pressed a lot better but still wasn’t too good on the ball. Nonetheless, his movement going forward was good. He shouldn’t be a starter as it has been said all season but he can offer some help as a rotational player and off the bench.
Andres Iniesta (7): Had a good game for the most part. It was clear he was tired due to how much he’s played lately but he still managed some good moments in the game. Some of his passing in the final third was a bit off but he made up for it in other areas. He managed 6 dribbles in the game, completing every one of them. More than anyone managed on both teams. He helped out defensively when needed and winning fouls to break up Valencia’s rhythm but, as the game went on you could see he was getting tired. Even a tired Iniesta brings a lot to this team, let’s hope he doesn’t decide to leave.
Philippe Coutinho (7): Started in the right side but he often cut inside and combined well with his teammates in the middle. Wasn’t as careless in possession as he was in some other games and didn’t give the ball away too much. Brilliant assist to Suárez for Barça’s opener. Picked up another assist from the corner in the 2nd half. Almost got on the scoresheet himself with a solid effort, but his shot went just wide. Subbed off after 80 minutes. Shame he wasn’t available in the CL this season as he could’ve certainly helped in the Roma tie.
Lionel Messi (7): Rather quiet 1sr half by his standards, he got on the ball but Valencia defended well and surrounded him with a few players whenever he received the ball. Got better as the game went on and he looked great in the 2nd half. Had 2 solid chances to score, but none of his shots went it. Fantastic volley from the edge if the box went just wide, and so did his solo effort after getting past a couple of Valencia players. Passed the ball well and created a couple of chances for his teammates, as usual. Completed all 5 of his attempted dribbles. Wasn’t the best of the performances but he influenced the game without scoring or assisting.
Luis Suárez (6): Very poor on the ball, the way he plays it’s obvious he’s struggling with fatigue. Passing and decision making was was poor. Had a great chance to score early on after a great work and a pass from Alba on the left, but he somehow managed to miss the ball. Managed to make up for it after a great pass from Coutinho, solid.movement and a finish to make it 1-0. Everything about his performance except this goal was poor, he needs some rest as soon as possible.
Ousmane Dembélé: Subbed on for Coutinho with 10 minutes left on the clock. Managed to complete 1 dribble but other than that, he couldn’t do much going forward. Poor challenge inside the box to give away a penalty. Should be doing better than that but this is the result of him trying to prove too hard that he can be useful defensively so he gets more minutes, which is something Valverde obviously demands from him. Let’s hope this penalty he gave away won’t result in him being benched in the upcoming games.
Denis Suárez: Came on for Iniesta with very little time left, he had a golden chance to make it 3-1 but he shot it right at Neto. It was actually harder to miss than score. Other than this, he held the ball well and didn’t dwell on it too long as he sometimes does.
Nélson Semedo: Replaced Sergi in the final minute of injury time. Nothing to say as he didn’t even touch the ball.
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.