Barcelona have emerged victorious in their La Liga game against Athletic Bilbao, which by no means was straightforward. Bilbao made it ever so difficult for the Catalans to run their show. Although they had to fight hard, they go home with 3 important points in their bag. It was one of those dirty wins, in a game that could have gone either way if Bilbao showed a little more cutting edge to their play. Here are the player ratings for Barcelona.
Marc-André ter Stegen (9):
Possibly the Man of The Match having made 2 crucial saves that ensured a clean sheet for the Catalans. Made an important one on one save and a brilliant reflex to stop Aduriz’s header in the dying stages of the game.
Sergi Roberto (7):
Looked clinical in his role as a right back today. Stuck to his defensive duties, and on the ball showed good composure.
Gerard Piqué (6):
Looked far from confident when on the ball and was sloppy on a number of occasions at the back. Certainly not the most solid performance from the Spaniard.
Samuel Umtiti (7.5):
Unlike his colleague, he was more assured on the ball and was defensively sound too. Made a couple of important blocks. Was unnecessarily booked.
Jordi Alba (6.5):
Apart from providing the cross for Messi’s opener, he looked far from his best. His crossing was wavered today and lacks calmness when required.
André Gomes (6):
Never really had a huge impact in the game. Was hardly convincing going forward and lacked the cutting edge to put away some good chances.
He was quite far away from being his best. His ball retention and distribution was very poor. He was caught in possession a number of times and his passing was extremely wavered. Defensively, made many interceptions and tackles to break up play.
Had a better evening than his other centre midfield teammate. Distributed the ball relatively well and scored an easy tap-in at stoppage time.
Ivan Rakitić (6.5):
Again, never really had a huge impact in the game. Being played out of position, he did a relatively good job.
Luis Suárez (5):
Was left frustrated the entire evening. He was kept at bay by the Bilbao defenders who didn’t give Suárez a clean sight of goal. Could’ve bagged Barcelona’s second but was kept out by Kepa.
Lionel Messi(9) :
From a bunch of average performers, Messi stands out once again. Such was his magic that he was the creator and finisher of Barcelona’s first goal. Although not in his fluent best, did just enough to ensure the points were taken home.
Was brought on for Gomes in the final few minutes. Did not have much to do in the game apart from one forward run.