opinions | 2016-05-23
Rating the players in the Spanish Cup final win vs Sevilla
Andrés Iniesta pulls one of his best ever performances alongside Piqué to hold the team together as Messi makes two final winning assists
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (6.5): Strong game. Distributed the ball well other than 1 or 2 errors. After Mascherano got sent off he made a wonderful save to save Banegas free kick. The extra man advantage for Sevilla didn’t make him work too hard, but when he was called upon he rose up to the challenge and dealt with it just fine.
Dani Alves (6.5): A good game. Passing was surprisingly poor, but in the 2nd half he put in a great shift defensively even though Rakitić was off and Sevilla couldn’t find a way past him very often. Almost scored a stunner from around 30 yards of his 2010/12 days but Sergio Rico dealt with the shot well.
Gerard Piqué (9): Fantastic defending throughout the whole game, possibly one of the best individual performances in his career. Huge after Mascherano’s red card when Barça had to keep the game alive. It felt like he won every aerial duel in the box. Almost scored to make it 2-0, but Sergio Rico stopped it.
Javier Mascherano (4.5): Only played 36 minutes today due to preventing a clear goalscoring opportunity which led to a red card. In the time he played, he wasn’t bad at all. Defended well against the pacey Gameiro, but the only time he didn’t get the better of the Frenchman was the red incident.
Jordi Alba (7): Great display defensively, just like the entire team. Did well to minimize the threat from Sevilla’s right side and combined well with Neymar on the left, even though Barça played with 10 men for the majority of the match and couldn’t create much. Scored a crucial goal to make it 1-0 in the extra time after a great run and a fantastic pass by Messi.
Sergio Busquets (8): Masterful performance, especially in the defensive phase without the ball. Key player after Rakitić was subbed off. He was everywhere on the pitch, breaking Sevilla’s plays and recovering possession for his team.
Ivan Rakitić (6): Great work-rate and defensive display, as per usual. Good passing when he was on the ball and Barça had control with 11 men. However, things changed after Mascherano’s red card and Lucho replaced him at half time to make place for an extra defender. Not a bad performance for him by any means, and not the first time he took one for the team.
Andres Iniesta (10): Absolutely mind blowing performance, one is his best 3 performances ever. He was gliding past Sevilla players with ease and they couldn’t get close to him. Always had an answer to whatever they came up with and when we were under pressure, he stepped up like he always does in finals. He also put a shift in defensively and almost everything Barça created went through him. It is really hard to describe his performance in words, no one can do it justice.
Lionel Messi (8): Looked fresh when he was on the ball, but always surrounded by a couple of players and couldn’t do much. Lost the ball more than usual in the first half, but this changed in the 2nd half. Did well drawing the fouls and dropped deeper when Barça played with 10. The highlight of the game were his game winning assists that won the game. It wasn’t even his best game individually, but he still decided it with 2 moments of his individual brilliance.
Luis Suárez (6): Great movement to get himself into a good chance after a brilliant pass from Iniesta early on, but couldn’t finish it off. No chances for him other than that, but his work-ate was great. Subbed off in tears after a muscle injury at the start of the second half.
Neymar (7): His first half and the rest of the game was very contrasting. In the 1st half, just more of what we are accustomed in 2016. His work-rate was wonderful, the pace he was playing at did not drop once in the 120 mins. Late into the 2nd half, he was put through on goal but was fouled which led to the 2nd red card of the game. Right at the end of extra, rewarded for his improved performance with a goal.
Jeremy Mathieu (6.5): Came on at half time for Rakitić, since we were a defender short, put in a great shift. Took no risks on the ball today. Solid defensively as he won every tackle he attempted and made 5 clearances. Reliable since his recovery.
Rafinha (6): Replaced the injured Suárez in the 2nd half and took up his usual place in midfield after Barça lost control of the game when Rakitić was subbed off. Passing wasn’t the best, but he did well to hold onto the ball and worked well defensively.
Sergi Roberto: Replaced Jordi Alba a minute before the game was over just to feel the final after his great contribution to the team this season. Can’t say much about his performance, but we hope he’ll continue to be a valuable asset for the squad next season.
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.