opinions | 2018-01-15
Player Ratings - Spanish Cup Last 16 - Barcelona 5:0 Celta
The entire team stands out as the Messi-Alba connection thrashes Celta
Jasper Cillessen (7): Barely touched the ball all game. Celta barely got into our box. Been a bystander for near enough all the game. Played some nice long passes but that’s about it.
Nélson Semedo (7): Solid performance. Got involved from the start and did well in the build-up. He moved well without the ball and his energy was key when pressing Celta in their half. Got dispossessed a couple of times but done well on the ball for the most part. Had a few important last ditch tackles to stop Celta from scoring. He has so much potential on both ends of the pitch, here’s hoping he starts more games going forward.
Gerard Piqué (6.5): Only played the 1st half and barely had anything to do as Barça dominated the game completely. I can’t remember one defensive action from him. He passed the ball well out the back. After the game Valverde said he was subbed off for precaution, here’s hoping he’ll be good to go for Anoeta.
Javier Mascherano (7): On what seems to be his final game at the Camp Nou, he was good. Didn’t put a foot wrong defensively although he wasn’t asked to defend that much. Passing was good but hasn’t been pressed well by Celta. He did what he had to do without any problems. Great game for the Argentine to go out on assuming it is his last game for the club.
Jordi Alba (9): Magical. His off the ball movement is on another level, he kept getting in behind Celta’s defence, they were unable to stop him and this was rewarded with 2 assists and 1 goal. Defensively he, like most of the team, wasn’t troubled. 1/2 wayward passes here and there but by far his best performance in maybe 3/4 years. He’s getting better as the games go by which is incredibly promising.
Sergio Busquets (7.5): Another great game for him. Brilliant on the ball, always found the solution and made the right decision every single time. He moved further up the pitch at times and that worked well. Managed 3 key passes. Great off the ball, always on the right place at the right time, as usual. Managed a couple of interceptions and tackles and won most of his duels. Just another day at the office for him.
Ivan Rakitić (7): Very good performance, he’s picked up his form as of late and this game was another proof of that. Passed the ball well, even tried some between the line passes we don’t see often from him. Moved well and got into dangerous positions quite a lot. Crossing wasn’t the best, didn’t manage to complete a single cross and he attempted quite a few. Got on the scoresheet in the 2nd half after a well taken corner from Dembélé.
Andres Iniesta (7): Another game, another great performance. Gliding over the pitch, linking with Messi as he usually does. The Celta midfield couldn’t get close to him. Perhaps, Busquets Messi and Alba had more standout performances but his can’t go unnoticed. Didn’t put a foot wrong all game and was then subbed off for Arnaiz as the game was over and Celta had nothing to play for.
André Gomes (7): Great like rest of the team. He’s playing with more confidence as the games go by. Passed well, held the ball up well. He didn’t overthink and take too long on the ball as he’s been prone to doing. Took players on with dribbles too which is promising since he was afraid to do that not too long ago. Things are looking on the up for him, let’s hope it stays this way.
Lionel Messi (9): Simply superb. He gave Celta nightmares from the very first minute. Scored 2 very similar goals in 2 minutes after some great work from Alba and then returned the favor by assisting Jordi for Barça’s 3rd goal. It was one of the best passes I’ve ever seen, simply breathtaking. He had a few more key passes and could’ve easily had more assists to his name. Subbed off after 59 minutes which is great considering we visit Anoeta this weekend.
Luis Suárez (7): More involved than usual, moved well and found himself in good positions. Caught offside quite a lot but caused panic in Celta’s backline. Scored to make it 4-0 after a gift from Celta’s defence. He had 7 shots in the game but only 2 on target, could’ve scored more goals but he definitely looks way better than he did at the start of the season.
Thomas Vermaelen (6.5): Replaced Piqué at the start of the 2nd half. The game was done at this point but he continued with his solid performances. Reacted well whenever he was called into action, managed a few important tackles and clearances. Passing was great, completed 98% of his passes.
Ousmane Dembélé: Subbed on for the last 30 minutes of the game and showed sparks of greatness. He was great on the ball, always looking to take on Celta defenders and looked very confident. Moved well off the ball and passed the ball well. Assisted Rakitić for Barça’s 5th goal with a brilliantly taken corner kick. He was limping at the end of the game, but Valverde said it’s nothing serious and hopefully he’s ready to go for Anoeta.
José Arnaiz: Replaced Iniesta with around 20 minutes left. He played some nice passes here and there but didn’t get involved too much. However, he still could’ve gotten on the scoresheet after some nice movement and a great pass from Dembélé. Nice to see him get some minutes for the first team as he’s good enough to play.
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.