opinions | 2016-09-29
Rating the players after the win at Borussia Park
A rough away day wields a win with Arda and Rafinha changing the outcome to our favor
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (6): Honestly, Gladbach barely reached our goal therefore he didn’t have much to do for majority of the game. On their goal he couldn’t stop it after a string of errors. Distribution was wonderful and it will be needed against Celta for sure. It was a good return to his home. Consistent performances will be key for him Barcelona if we are to win trophies.
Sergi Roberto (6.5): Good performance defensively, did well to minimize the threat down the left wing. Going forward, he wasn’t as active as in last match, but that was expected from a contest like this. With both Paco and Suarez on the pitch, Barça lacked width on the right side and he didn’t go deeper into the opponent's half, often found himself in good positions but the ball wasn’t played to him.
Gerard Piqué (7): Not much to do much on the goal conceded, Busquets and Alba reacted poorly. Reliable defensively, winning all the important duels in the air and passed the ball well when Baça couldn’t find solutions upfront. Often joined the attack, and that proved to be key when Neymar found Suárez from the corner and his shot was saved, but Piqué was on the rebound to make it 2-1 and win it for Barça.
Javier Mascherano (5.5): Poor performance from the Argentine, always went for the ball when Gladbach countered, leaving plenty of space behind him. Did well in terms of passing but, doesn't seem to be having the best of starts to the season. Later on in the game he got better as Barcelona as a whole improved, we weren’t caught out unlike the first half but he did have to make one last ditch challenge to keep the score level. A drastic improvement is needed as he was great in the second half of last season.
Jordi Alba (4): Dreadful, came up against someone who is faster than him and lost most contests easily, letting Traoré advance easily. Caught out of position too often without the ball and wasn’t able to recover even with the pace he has. Later on he got better just like the whole team, but still lacking. Gladbach attacked mostly down his side and he was left stranded at times but he didn’t help himself either. Digne looms.
Sergio Busquets (5.5): Made a crucial mistake which Gladbach made sure to punish straight away with the match first goal after he lost it. Often that he had no passing options and support by his teammates in the first half. This changed later in the game. Positive reaction from him among other teammates in collective pressing to dispossess Gladbach right before Arda’s equaliser. His form has been poor this season, let’s hope it can change soon.
Andres Iniesta (6): Good on the ball but unable to create much as the Barça weren’t taking up good positions, especially early on. Passing was consistent as later on his influence on the game increased, Gladbach’s intensity dropped and he was able to combine with players easier.
Ivan Rakitić (6): Often drifted to wider positions as Barça didn’t have a natural winger on the right side. Didn’t combine much as the team look rather toothless down the right side. His work defensively was once again excellent, something we see almost every match. Tried his luck twice, but Sommer did well to stop him. Created a great chance for Suárez with a brilliant long pass, but the Uruguayan striker couldn’t finish. Lucho decided to replace him with Arda.
Paco Alcacer (4.5): Started up front alongside Suárez and that didn’t prove to be a good decision. Drifted wide, barely touched the ball (four touches) and as a result, Barça didn’t pose any threat down the right wing. Found himself in a good position for a tap-in in the first half, but Suárez’s final pass wasn’t good. That’s probably the only time we ever saw him in this game. Lucho replaced him with Rafinha after 54 minutes.
Luis Suárez (6.5): Didn’t score, but was dangerous all game long. First chance came after Piqué’s long ball, he got rid of the defender brilliantly, but his volley went just wide. Soon after that, Rakitić’s pass found him in the box, but Sommer did well. Later on, his shot after a corner was saved again, but this time Piqué was on the rebound and finished it. Occupied wider positions, but passing could’ve been better. Let’s hope he’ll find his goalscoring form soon in Messi’s absence.
Neymar (5.5): Rather poor from the Brazilian. Held on to the ball for too long with his back to goal when he had many options, shocking decision making. Later he improved but it was not drastic: attacked the fullbacks and looked to cut inside or take on his marker.
Superb assist, could’ve easily rushed the pass considering how he played, but he waited and played it with the perfect touch to Arda. Gained in confidence after the goal but still wasn’t able to make too much happen. This kind of performances have been happening far too often this year, very frustrating. Important on the win in an off day.
Rafinha (7): Replaced Paco Alcácer in the second half and together with Arda changed the game. Barça got more active down the right wing and looked more dangerous. Gave the team a much needed width on the right and worked tirelessly without the ball which was great to see.
Arda Turan (7.5): His substitution was the game changer. It took him 5 minutes to make an impact, great pass from Neymar found him inside the box after his clever movement and he finished it off with a perfect shot. Continued in the same tone later on, tried a brilliant chip for a wonder goal that Sommer parried. More dangerous on the ball than Rakitić was, and this proved to be crucial.
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.