La Liga holders Barcelona fielded a much-changed starting XI against newly-promoed side Alaves on Saturday and Luis Enrique has to pay a big price for it. Alaves, who started their season with an upset by managing to salvage a draw at Vicente Calderon against Atletico Madrid, came up with the biggest shock so far this season by seeing off the Blaugrana 1-2 at their home Camp Nou.
Luis Enrique’s team selection will come under scrutiny after this major upset as the Barcelona boss left out the likes of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba and Andrés Iniesta on the bench and Gerard Pique and Sergio Roberto in the stands. The first half was horrendous for the Catalan giants as too many missed passes, lack of understanding between the players and torrid finishing was all the Barcelona players did.
Alaves did not get too many chances but made use of the ones they had as Deyverson gave the visitors a crucial lead in the 39th minute. Jeremy Mathieu pegged one back in the 46th minute but Ibai Gomez sealed the game with his winner in the 64th minute. Even the likes of Messi, Suarez and Iniesta could not inspire Barcelona to a comeback as Alaves held their ground firmly.
Here are the player ratings for Barcelona against Alaves
Jasper Cillessen: 5.5/10
Could not do much for either goal and was mostly a spectator but what he witnessed on his debut was one of Barcelona’s worst La Liga showings in many years.
Aleix Vidal: 5/10
Had plenty of the ball but his end product was poor as was his defensive duty.
Javier Mascherano: 2/10
One of the worst ever games from the Argentine. Was at fault for both Alaves goals.
Jeremy Mathieu: 6/10
Did much better than his partner in defence and also scored a crucial equaliser. Came close to scoring a second too.
Lucas Digne: 5/10
A poor display from the Frenchman and lacked chemistry with Neymar. Improved in the second half, though.
Sergio Busquets: 5.5/10
Was the skipper for the night and did not really let his manager down. Tried his best to provide a defensive screen for his back four and passed well.
Ivan Rakitic: 5/10
The Croat missed his drive against Alaves. Had two good chances but failed to convert either.
Denis Suarez: 4/10
A poor game from the youngster as he lacked any kind of creativity. Defensively, he was poor too.
Arda Turan: 5/10
Unlike his teammates, the Turk started brightly but faded later. Lacked the dynamism expected of him.
Paco Alcacer: 3/10
Looked too isolated in the box. Handing him a start right away was a poor decision from the manager.
Tried to make things happen on his own but could not really provide the inspiration.
Lionel Messi: 5.5/10
The Argentine failed to take his chance late in the game as time ran out for Barcelona.
Luis Suarez: 5/10
The Uruguayan could not really make an immediate impact as he did not get the ball much.
Andres Iniesta: 5.5/10
Gave his all for the team after coming on but could not inspire a stunning comeback.