Sunday, January 29, 2023

Suarez Gets 8, Messi With 6.5 | Barcelona Players Rated In Narrow Win Vs Manchester United

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

Barcelona travelled to Old Trafford to clash heads with Manchester United earlier tonight hoping to get a favourable result from the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal tie. The Catalans began the match on the offensive and took the lead in the 12th minute courtesy of an unfortunate own goal by Luke Shaw. The visitors kept the pressure on but couldn’t add to their goal tally in the first half.

It was a similar story in the second half with Barca dominating possession while the Red Devils looked to threaten on the counter. However, both teams fought hard but ended up cancelling each other out in the second half as the game finished 1-0 in favour of Ernesto Valverde’s side.

Let’s take a look at how each Barca player performed during the match against the Red Devils.

GK: Marc-André ter Stegen – 6.5/10

The German keeper had nothing to do in the game other than distributing the ball which he did quite well.

RB: Nelson Cabral Semedo – 7/10

He was full of energy and running down the right flank but lacked the cutting edge going forward. However, Semedo did keep Marcus Rashford relatively quiet during the contest.

CB: Gerard Piqué – 7/10

The Spanish defender kept possession well for his team and was largely untroubled by Romelu Lukaku.

CB: Clement Lenglet – 7/10

It was another impressive showing from the French centre-half. He defended well when called into action and kept a comfortable clean sheet to show for his efforts.

LB: Jordi Alba – 7.5/10

The Spaniard made some dangerous runs down the left wing and was a constant threat in the opposition half.

CM: Ivan Rakitic – 7/10

The Croat dictated the game in midfield and set-up his teammates quite effectively in the Man United half.

CM: Sergio Busquets – 6/10

His job was to protect the Barca backline and keep possession ticking in midfield. To his credit, he did that. However, the Spaniard got cautioned for a reckless challenge early on and his off the ball antics didn’t go down well with the home crowd.

CM: Arthur Melo – 6.5/10

The Brazilian was involved in a lot of the build-up play, but he failed to create anything meaningful going forward.

RM: Lionel Messi – 6.5/10

It was a very average night for the Argentine superstar. He was battered and bruised from an aerial challenge in the first half and never really got going after that incident. However, Messi did play a part in the lead up to Luke Shaw’s own goal.

ST: Luis Suárez – 8/10

The Uruguayan striker’s well-directed header ended up being deflected into the back of the Man United net in the 12th minute. He was a constant threat to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s defenders and probably should have registered his name on the scoresheet tonight.

LM: Philippe Coutinho – 6.5/10

The Brazilian playmaker was always looking to create and link up with his teammates in the first half. But his impact on the game faded in the second half.

Substitutes:

CM: Sergi Roberto – 6/10

He added some energy to the Barca midfield and did enough to see out the win.

CM: Arturo Vidal – 6/10

He came on and brought some bite to the Catalans midfield.

CM: Carles Aleñá – N/A

Not enough time to make an impact.

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