opinions | 2016-10-16
Rating the Barça players after the win vs Deportivo la Coruña
A refreshing win after the two week break with Rafinha and Messi starring
Ter Stegen (5.5): Didn’t have much to do all game since Deportivo barely reached our box with anything dangerous and didn't even shoot on target. On the ball he has been his usual self. Didn’t even need to play today honestly, that’s how toothless Deportivo were going forward. Nice for him to get a clean sheet after criticism from the last league game.
Javier Mascherano (6.5): Looked better than the last time we played with a back three, mostly because Deportivo didn’t press high. The right side wasn’t attacked as much as the left so he didn’t have to do as much today as in the previous games. On one instance, he misjudged a situation which put Depor through but Mathieu came to the rescue. Deportivo seemed to foul a lot and oddly enough he was on the end of them more than Neymar.
Gerard Piqué (7): Hasn’t put a foot wrong defensively yet again, even though Deportivo never looked dangerous. Passing was crisp, did well to build from the back and joined the attack quite often. Did well to pass to Paco in the box and he should’ve gotten the assist but Paco couldn’t finish.
Jeremy Mathieu (7): Got more comfortable in a back three as we progressed. At times he looked really solid but he was the player Deportivo looked to focus on most when we tried to build up. It worked for them a few times but no clear chances came of it. Defensive work was great especially in the second half but at times needed Digne to clean up for him. Impressive performance today but needs to stop trying to dribble, more often than not he gets dispossessed or plays a poor pass.
Sergio Busquets (7): After he struggled to find his form earlier this season, he looked back to his usual. Deportivo didn’t press and he always had time on the ball to make the right decision. Defensively, he looked good, did well quite often to get the ball back to Barça’s possession. Got a well deserved rest in the second half, when Messi replaced him.
Arda Turan (5.5): Looked rather lost as a right sided midfielder, doesn’t seem comfortable playing as a wingback sort of player. Link up play was good but he was rather anonymous throughout the first half especially. In the second half he got more into the game but didn’t do anything too special as he has done so far this season. He didn’t do much wrong but didn’t make an impact either.
Ivan Rakitić (6.5): Passing was hit and miss today, he misplaced the simple passes quite often which doesn’t happen, but his long passes were excellent all game long. He found himself in a slightly different role, he occupied the left side of the pitch more often and played a bit closer to opposition’s box.
Lucas Digne (7): Excellent display defensively. Deportivo mostly tried through his side but they couldn't get past him. He reads the game well and today it seemed like always found himself on the right place. Helped Mathieu out a couple of times in the buildup when Depor tried countering down his side. Going forward, he wasn’t as involved and his crosses and decision making could’ve been better but it was a fine performance nonetheless.
Rafinha (8): Brilliant, got involved early on and created danger down the right wing, often dropping to the middle of the pitch to combine with his teammates. His first goal came after he did well to get the ball back to possession and then finished with a great shot with his weaker foot. Soon after that he got his second after Neymar’s shot was saved but he was there on the rebound.
Luis Suárez (7.5): Much better than he was in previous games in Messi’s absence. He missed a great chance early on, but got involved from the start and he combined well with Neymar throughout the first half. Fantastic reaction after Neymar’s pass to make it 3-0. He was close to his second goal soon after that, but his great shot hit the post. Lucho decided to rest him in the second half.
Neymar (7.5): Superb , very much like what he showed us in the first half of last season. Direct with the ball rather than messing around with it. He bagged two assists and they were both wonderful. Due to the team playing 3-4-3, it allowed him to play more centrally with Digne providing the width and it for sure allowed him to play to his best. Without doubt his best performance this season.
He did misplace many passes but these were generally the final ball in the Depor box so it isn’t much of a concern. If he can replicate these sort of games then we won’t have trouble scoring in the tougher games this season.
Paco Alcácer (5): Replaced Suárez at the start of the second half and he had a bad day in front of the goal. His movement to get into chances was good, but he should’ve scored a hattrick with the chances he had. A player of his price should be finishing those easily. It’s clear that he needs to score his first goal soon because he probably feels a lot of pressure, and there is no doubt that he’s better than what we saw today.
Lionel Messi (7): Finally made his comeback after he was injured for three weeks and it looked like he was never injured at all. Subbed on in 55th minute, and 3 minutes later he was already on a scoresheet after a great pass from Neymar. Dribbled past Deportivo players with ease, and his passes were sublime. Could’ve easily scored more goals today but he was trying to find his teammates, especially Paco later on. Great boost for Barça ahead of a big game against Manchester City.
Denis Suárez (6): Subbed on later on in the second half, and there really isn’t much to say about his performance as the game was already done at that point. He played as a RCM and kept it simple most of the time, didn’t take too many risks but his passing was fine.
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.