Barcelona managed to keep up with league leaders Real Madrid after an impressive performance against Granada. The pressure was immense on Luis Enrique, who rested key defender Gerard Pique ahead of the game. Luis Suarez anchored Barcelona’s attack and he also opened the scoring for the Blaugrana just before the first half whistle.
Ivan Rakitic and Paco Alcacer then followed up before Neymar hit his 100th goal for the club as Barcelona completed a 4:1 riot over Granada despite Messi’s absence. Here are the player ratings for Luis Enrique’s men in their emphatic win over the Nazaries.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen(7.5/10): Had a decent game between the sticks. Although he would have liked a clean sheet, but couldn’t have done much for the goal.
Sergi Roberto(8/10): Barcelona’s hero a few weeks ago, Sergi Roberto started as a right back once again for the La Liga champions. He didn’t have many problems going forward and overall, had a peaceful night.
Javier Mascherano(7/10): Had to lead the defence in the absence of Gerard Pique. The Argentine wasn’t as much effective as he was basically flat footed for Granada’s goal. Should have done much better in keeping up with Boga in the first place.
Jeremy Mathieu(7.5/10): The Frenchman, who deputised for Gerard Pique, was pretty solid at the back, unlike his Argentinian partner. A little more offensive quality could have meant much more for Luis Enrique’s men as he wasted a few good opportunities when in the opposition’s half.
Jordi Alba(8.5/10): Was a beast going forward as always, he parked himself on the opposition front. Was the architect behind Suarez’s all important opener and Neymar’s last minute goal. However, he could have done a much better job defensively.
Sergio Busquets(8.5/10): A great game for the 28-year-old midfielder. Very efficient in passing, Busquets also made some key interceptions to prevent Granada from breaching Barcelona’s rather weak defence. His offensive play was pretty good as well.
Ivan Rakitic(7.5/10): The Croatian midfielder was like the glue that kept the Barcelona’s midfield ticking in the first half. His performance, however, did fade away as the game progressed. Although the late goal from him did seal Barcelona’s victory.
Rafinha(NA): Was unfortunate to take an early blow as he had to leave the pitch due to an injury. He was replaced with Paco Alcacer.
Andre Gomes(7/10): Not a good game for the new signing. Andre Gomes completely failed to showcase his talents in the final third especially.
Neymar(9/10): Scored his 100th goal for the club with a smooth finish in the final minute. The Brazilian was in stunning form throughout the game and showed his mettle, especially when it came to set pieces. Most of the good deliveries were wasted by his teammates, though.
Luis Suarez(9.5/10): Was the star of the night. The former Liverpool striker opened the scoring for Barcelona just before the interval with a neat effort. Also turned provider for Alcacer in Barcelona’s second goal of the night. A fine and industrious display in the attack.
Paco Alcacer(7/10): Replaced the injured Rafinha early on but that forced him to play in an unfamiliar right-wing position. He did seem to struggle in creating chances for his team but did well to capitalise on Suarez’s ball for the second goal.
Andreas Iniesta(NA): Came on for an out of sorts Andre Gomes to provide more security and control in midfield.
Carlos Alena(NA): It was more of a time feeding substitution as the young midfielder came on for Ivan Rakitic in the final few minutes.
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