opinions | 2017-05-16
Player Ratings - La Liga Round 38 - Las Palmas 1:4 Barcelona
Neymar nets his first league hattrick of the season as the conclusion draws near
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (6.5): Had a really good game. His passing was good even considering the pressing of Las Palmas. He made 4 saves though he conceded once again, he couldn’t do much at all. Las Palmas countered really well and we couldn’t get back into position quickly enough. I’m not sure if he is still 1st in the Zamora trophy standings but he out of all Liga GK’s deserves it the most. He’s really come along this season.
Lucas Digne (5): Started on a RB position which isn’t natural for him and it showed. Looked shaky for the most part. Very lucky to stay on the pitch after he fouled Jese 6 minutes into the game while being the last man. Soon after that, he elbowed one of Las Palmas players and could’ve seen a red card on that occasion as well. He didn’t look comfortable on the ball on that right side and was a liability for the most part, except for a few solid clearances and tackles he had. Didn’t offer much going forward. Subbed off after 58 minutes. Poor performance for him, but playing on the right side certainly didn’t help him.
Marlon (7.5): The youngster made his first team debut after Mascherano got injured warming up. The way he responded was amazing, didn’t put a foot wrong in this match and one would think he was a first team member for years judging by this match. Very comfortable on the ball, completed 95% of his passes. Great interception and a pass to Busquets to start the move for Barça’s 1st goal. Won most of his duels and had a couple of important clearances and interceptions, always finding himself on the right place at the right time. Impressive debut for the Brazilian, here’s hoping we’ll see more of him in the first team next season.
Samuel Umtiti (7): Another solid game from him. He had a new CB partner in debutant Marlon and they looked really solid together. Completed 72 out of his 74 passes. Just another day at the office for him. Defensively he wasn’t troubled too much. Though on the goal, he was caught out of position but Las Palmas countered very quickly and precisely so blame can’t be put on him. It seems likely that his first season at Barcelona won’t be rewarded with a Liga title. He deserves to win one for such a great season, same with a select few players in the team.
Jordi Alba (6.5): Surprisingly, he was pretty good. Still carrying on his Clasico form. He operated more like a left midfielder than left back, leaving space in behind. The Las Palmas goal came from this area. He managed to complete 54/59 passes which is very high for him. On top of this, he managed 1 assist and 2 chances created. A lot better in the final third than what he’s shown over the past year or two. He wasn’t called into too much defensive work but failed to win the only tackle he attempted. It’s a strong end to the season for him but I would’ve liked to see this more consistently throughout the season.
Sergio Busquets (7.5): Another great performance for him. Passing was brilliant even under pressure, always managed to find a solution. Completed 93% of his passes. His reaction and a pass to break Las Palmas press and take their entire midfield out to start the move for Barça’s 1st goal was simply incredible. Not the first time we see this from him in the last few months. With Iniesta and especially Rakitić playing a bit closer to him than usual, Barça had no problem dominating for the most part in this match.
Ivan Rakitić (6.5): Solid performance for the Croatian international. Early on, he wasn’t involved much going forward but he worked well off the ball, forcing Las Palmas players into mistakes. He didn’t move wide as often as he did in most games this season, this was possibly done to help stop Roque Mesa and Viera in that midfield area. He lost the ball quite a few times in the 1st half die to a great Las Palmas press. In the 2nd half, he was more involved going forward. Nice cross to find Neymar, who made it 1-3. Soon after that, he started the move for Barça’s 4th goal with a brilliant pass to Alba out wide. Subbed off with about 10 minutes left.
Andres Iniesta (7): Another great game. His pass was absolutely vital in the first goal. Even more important than the actual assist. His passing was fine as we know. He brought stability to the midfield and all players looked to get the ball towards him which hasn’t always been the case. Defensively, he wasn’t great it has to be said. Winning only 20% of his tackles. It wasn’t too detrimental though, we managed to score at vital times in the game. It would’ve been nice to see him fit for more of the season because he is so vital to the team. The Busquets, Messi and Iniesta trio is an absolute joy to watch and are so effective on the pitch. Let’s hope we see him more next season.
Lionel Messi (6.5): Not the greatest of performances for the best player in the world, but he was still involved and had chances to get on the scoresheet. He hasn’t created any clear cut chances for his teammates which almost never happens nowadays. Combined well with his teammates until the last third off the pitch, but his decision making was surprisingly off in this game. Found himself in 2 solid chances to score but his shots were blocked well by Las Palmas defenders in both occasions. Later on when the game was already decided, it looked like he was playing in first gear conserving the energy, just like the majority of the team. Not the game we’ll remember for his brilliance, but it was finally the time for the rest of the team to respond when he had an off game.
Luis Suárez (7): The Uruguayan striker was very active in the 1st half, making dangerous runs in behind Las Palmas defence. He was caught offside a couple of times but it didn’t stop him from keep making those runs. Eventually, it paid off after a brilliant work from Busquets and Iniesta, he broke through and passed it to Neymar who had an easy job and made it 0-1. Two minutes later, he got on the scoresheet after a fantastic pass by Neymar and another great run in behind Las Palmas defence, finishing it.off with a brilliant chip over the GK. That was also his only shot on target. He wasn’t as involved in the 2nd half, but he’s done his part in the 1st to set the tone for the rest of the game. Subbed off with 10 minutes to go.
Neymar (8.5): Brilliant performance. Along with Busquets he was our best player in the Canaries. He managed to get on the scoresheet 3 times, which we haven’t seen in a long time since his finishing hasn’t reached the heights of 2015. His assist for Suárez’s goal was absolutely wonderful, a Messi-like assist. Normally, he would dribble the ball in this situation but he picked the right option this time round. He wasn’t hesitant on the ball like in other games, he knew what he was going to do when he got the ball. We need him to perform like this more often than not. Consistency has been a problem for him but not in large parts of 2017. He did however, lose the ball on for the Las Palmas goal which he shouldn’t have. Other than this, there wasn’t many faults in his game.
André Gomes: Replaced Digne with around 30 minutes left. It felt weird seeing him on that RB position and he looked a bit shaky in the first 10 minutes or so on the pitch. Perhaps could’ve done better tracking the run on Las Palmas goal, he was late and couldn’t block the shot. Didn’t look too comfortable.on the ball, but luckily, Barça managed to scored 3rd and 4th goal to put the game to bed which made his job easier later on. Playing on a fullback position is definitely not an ideal thing for him and here’s hoping he won’t have to see it again in the future.
Paco Alcácer: Subbed on for Suárez with 10 minutes left in the game. There’s not much to say as he wasn’t involved much in that short period of time. He did however manage to get himself in a good.position to score,but his shot was blocked by one of Las Palmas defenders.
Denis Suárez: Replaced Rakitić in the last 10 minutes. Passed the ball well, but the game was already done at that point and he didn’t have many chances to get involved before the final whistle. I expected him to get more minutes this season which he probably deserved in some games. Hope the next one will be a breakthrough season for him.
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.