After a humiliating defeat to Villarreal at Estadi Olimpic de Lluis Companys, Barcelona returned to the grasses of the stadium on Wednesday night hoping to get their act back.
With news of Xavi’s departure in the summer still fresh, a serious response was expected from the players who were said to have taken the blame on themselves. However, it did not appear that way for a long part of the game.
The first half against Osasuna ended goalless. Barcelona may have dominated the proceedings but they never really created a clear-cut scoring chance. Vitor Roque opened the scoring off the bench before a red card for Osasuna made Barcelona’s game easier.
In the end, the Catalans recorded their first win in three games and thus continue to stay alive in the battle for the top 4.
Barça Universal brings you the player ratings from Barcelona’s clash against the Pamplona-based side.
Inaki Pena: 7
A relatively quiet night for Barcelona’s youth goalkeeper and a much-needed break considering his relatively poor form in recent weeks.
Was called into action in the last fifteen minutes when Osasuna pressed in attack and made a great save of Moncayola’s strike.
Jules Kounde: 7.5
Operating at right-back, the Frenchman did not have much defensive work in the first period. Yet, dealing with Osasuna’s Johan Mojica kept him largely restricted forward.
Came close to opening the scoring on a couple of occasions from set-pieces but could not place his headers.
Ronald Araujo: 7.5
Did not have a whole lot to do in the first half given Barcelona’s dominance of possession but was solid when called into action.
Pau Cubarsi: 7.5
Cubarsi was handed a start on the night and unsurprisingly found himself to be the most targeted cog in defence. Did well despite the pressure, holding his own and staying calm in possession.
Joao Cancelo: 8.5
The Portuguese star started at left-back on the night and was one of the team’s most inspiring players on the field. Constantly looked for connections with Fermin Lopez and Ilkay Gundogan, pushed forward in attack and did not hesitate to pop in regular crosses into the area.
Frenkie de Jong: 7.5
The Dutchman played deeper in midfield, focusing on maintaining possession and cutting off opposition counters. Ever reliable with his distribution and calm in possession.
The Canary Islander was an active presence in Barcelona’s midfield and the only Catalan player looking to thread passes through the Osasuna defence. Made some crunching tackles in defence and came close to recording at least three assists on the night.
Completed 92% of his passes, made one key pass and made eight defensive actions before being roped off the field.
Ilkay Gundogan: 8
The German international was fluid through the midfield and clean with his distribution. However, he did not link up with the attack as he has shown in the past, nor did he make runs into the final third himself until late in the second half.
Ferran Torres: NA
The Spaniard left the field injured in the fifth minute of the game and appeared distraught while making his way off the field. A big blow to Xavi’s plans.
Robert Lewandowski: 6.5
The Polish striker was involved more in terms of ball circulation and off-the-ball movement against Osasuna, but that was all the silver lining from his performance.
Lewy got into good scoring positions regularly but to no avail, as his control or finishing constantly let him down. Missed a sitter of a header and barely tested the goalkeeper even when given the chance to shoot.
Had one goal disallowed for offside.
Lamine Yamal: 9
As always, Yamal was one of Barcelona’s brightest sparks on the field. Yet, it was clear that he was up against another world-class talent in Johan Mojica.
Despite being put up against a difficult opponent, the young magician wove his spells, getting more dangerous in the second period. Eventually played a big role in the buildup that produced Barcelona’s opener.
Did wonderfully well to create an opening for himself in the 70th minute and deserved the goal but could not beat Osasuna’s goalkeeper.
Fermin Lopez: 9
The new first-team member arrived on the field in the 6th minute to replace Ferran Torres and created absolute mayhem on the field.
For 50 minutes, Lopez was the team’s best player by far. His menacing runs accounted for most, if not all of Barcelona’s chances as he constantly threatened Jagoba Arrasate’s side. His defensive shift was equally impressive.
On another night, Lopez would have walked home with a couple of goals to his name. Xavi’s decision to take him off at the hour mark remains one of the season’s biggest mysteries.
Vitor Roque: 8.5
The Brazilian protege replaced Lopez in the second half and scored his first goal for the club within seconds.
Getting on the end of Joao Cancelo’s outside-of-the-boot pass, the youngster leapt perfectly into its path and headed it past the reach of Aitor Fernandez.
Continued to be a constant threat on goal and almost had his first assist as a Barcelona player as well.
Oriol Romeu: 7
Arrived for the final 15 minutes replacing Pedri and did well to hold the fortress.