Barcelona’s first match at the Camp Nou post lockdown and the table toppers are still 5 points clear of rivals Real Madrid. A lot of talking points and analysis are to be discussed in another article. Right now let’s check the match ratings of Barcelona players. Quique Setién: “I knew the game was going to be difficult especially if you don’t have the fortune to score at the beginning. Leganés could have been ahead, things have been like this.” Junior Firpo: “The five substitutions are positive. So it’s better for those of us who have fewer minutes.”
Marc Andre Ter Stegen (7.0/10):
Another clean sheet for Ter Stegen and a good performance from the German. Ter Stegen wasn’t disturbed much by the opposition in this match and he was calm like always. What’s astonishing is that he has completed 94.4% passes with accuracy and 4 out of 5 of his long balls are accurate. The supposed “3rd CB” of Barcelona is able to show his distribution skills under Setien.
Sergi Roberto (6.6/10):
Sergi Roberto has again put up a decent performance which is not as remarkable like he used to put initially. For most of the time during buildup, he stayed close to touchline and also provided as inverted fullback to midfield. He wasn’t overlapping much like Mallorca match. Roberto was subbed of during the 53rd min for Semedo.If Sergi doesn’t improve his performance than he has to again go back to become 2nd fiddle.
Gerard Pique (6.7/10):
Pique has always found it difficult to put up rock solid performance after the winter or summer break and the exact same thing happened. He wasn’t much active on the pitch but he faired a good amount of time when the team built from back. He has 95.6% pass accuracy and has 98 touches in 73 minutes. He will find his rhythm slowly and slowly.
Clement Lenglet ( 7.8/10):
The second best player on the pitch for Barcelona. Lenglet initially under Setien was finding it hard to adjust but tonight he was on fire. In the first half, his trackbacking saved Ter Stegen from a direct 1 on 1 from opposition forward and seconds later he made goal line clearance to keep the score 0-0.
Since Alba was out due to suspension, it was Firpo’s chance to shine and he did exactly the same. He showed tremendous improvement since his game against Napoli at San Paolo. He was combining well with Ansu Fati on the left and also got an assist to his name. He showed keep up with such performances.
Ivan Rakitic (6.9/10):
Another okayish game from the Croatian. Setien started him in place of injured Frenkie De Jong. Rakitic was picking up Griezmann’s run perfectly and provided him 2 to 3 good chances. Still this can’t change the fact that he is out of Setien’s plan and will be placed on the transfer market for sale.
Busquets found his old self under Setien before the pandemic but he again was very off in the game. He had to be taken out in the 63rd minute of the game and his passing quality also decreased. It was a disappointing game from the Spaniard and we will see how Setien works on his form.
After a mix of injuries and off form, Arthur finally found himself in the Barcelona eleven. But it was a poor performance from the Brazilian. He did well in one-two’s on the left and also covering the wider space but it looks like he has lost his spark. He is working hard on his weight loss but the game against Seville might be a turning point.
Ansu Fati (7.7/10):
The golden boy of La Masia has done it again. He opened the account for Barcelona with a perfect shot. He just played 54 minutes due to his injury issues but what a performance it was. Initially he wasn’t getting much into the game but as the time passed he was becoming sublime. His one on one’s were dangerous and he partnered well with Firpo to score. Remember, he is just 17 and also the second youngest player to score in La Liga. Rakitic: “Ansu Fati is doing a spectacular job. He has to be patient and he will have have opportunities”.
Antoine Griezmann (6.6/10):
It is true that Griezmann thrives when he plays as false nine. Today he played as number 9 and he underperformed badly. He was missing a lot of good chances and neither did win any duels. Can’t really blame him for playing out of position. I hope Setien plays him in his preferred role.
Lionel Messi (8.1/10):
Another match, another MOTM for the G.O.A.T. His first half was cold and he wasn’t able to find players in good spaces but in the second half, as the time passed he was getting dangerous. He scored a penalty by dribbling from one-third area and also created key chances. His big chance was denied when he perfectly played the ball to Semedo who was offside and the goal had to be cancelled by VAR.
He came in during 54th min. He failed to create the impact which the fans thought he would deliver. He hardly got 13 touches on the ball and lost possession 5 times.
He hardly played for 17 minutes. Positive is he looked sharp in those 17 minutes but he did pick up a yellow card making him unavailable for selection against Seville.
Riqui Puig (N/A):
He also played for more 17 minutes. But his cameo was just too good. He brought the much needed intensity and energy to the game. Though he struggles defensively but he covers up with his workrate and ability to press constantly. Tonight, he was close to scoring twice but keeper denied him. He should get more minutes.
Arturo Vidal (7.5/10):
Vidal again proved why he is the best bet for Barcelona in both La Liga and Ucl. Despite playing for only 27 min, he won 4 out of 5 ground duels and has 2 key passer and 1 big chance creation alongside 3 tackles. There is a reason why he is Barcelona’s best presser. *All stats were taken from SofaScore