After a 2–0 victory over CD Leganés at the Camp Nou, these are the ratings from each Barcelona player last night.
A valiant display from Barcelona against Leganés helped them achieve the 3 points as goalscorers Ansu Fati and Lionel Messi got their side past the finish line. While the game never proved to be a walk in the park for the blaugranas, collectively, the team looked in form and in sync.
Marc-André ter Stegen: 7.5/10
Another day, another clean sheet for Marc-André ter Stegen. Although he was lucky to have Clément Lenglet and the woodwork save him on two occasions, Ter Stegen was incredibly pivotal to Barça’s build-up play with his participation on the ball playing a massive factor. Completing 35 out of 36 passes, the 28-year-old proved why he is arguably one of the most complete keepers in the modern era.
Gerard Piqué: 6.5/10
Gerard Piqué was almost caught off guard in the opening stages with Leganés ever so close to taking the lead, but as the Spaniard slowly grew into the game, his presence became far more noticeable. Piqué was seen breaking up a couple of well worked moves from the opposition and distributed the ball with tremendous efficiency. However, in the second half, he seemed to have taken a nasty knock to the knee, which eventually forced him to come off for Samuel Umtiti.
❛ Piqué collided and I think he needs some stitches. I don’t think his injury is serious ❜
Clément Lenglet: 8/10
French international Clément Lenglet couldn’t have asked for a better outing on his return to football. With his profound positioning, excellent reading of the game and crucial goal line clearance in the first half, Lenglet displayed a commendable performance in defence. He successfully kept Leganés’ nifty forwards at bay and never put a foot wrong.
Junior Firpo: 7/10
Improvement was evident in young Junior Firpo’s gameplay as he contributed to the scoreline with an assist to Ansu Fati and displayed adept positioning. Although his link-up play was impressive, defensively he is far from perfection.
Sergi Roberto: 5.5/10
Despite owning the right hand side against Mallorca, Sergi Roberto seemed wobbly in defence and was exposed on several instances. His contribution in attack was also surprisingly minimal, which eventually led to him coming off for Semedo.
Sergio Busquets: 6.5/10
Sergio Busquets looked exhausted and lethargic in midfield as he was taken off in the second half. Nonetheless, props must be given to him for, as always, bringing balance in the centre of park and lending his services at the back.
Arthur Melo: 6/10
Mediocre display for Arthur Melo, who had high expectations coming into this match. Whilst he displayed some applaudable ball retention skills and maintained possession in tight areas, there was no penetration or drive from the midfielder. Often playing pointless wayward passes, he was replaced by Riqui Puig, who was incredible in his short time on the pitch.
Iván Rakitić: 7/10
Despite being a surprise inclusion in the starting XI, Iván Rakitić displayed a decent performance. He linked up well with surrounding players and knew which positions to occupy. In spite of lacking creativity in his gameplay, the Croatian was important to Barça’s patient build-ups.
Iván Rakitić was selfless in his movements to compensate for Lionel Messi’s nature on the right | Photo by Cordon Press via Imago
Ansu Fati: 8.5/10
Breaking the deadlock in the 42nd minute of the game, Ansu Fati bamboozled the opposition with a stunning strike at goal. The youngster was a constant menace on the left flank as he not only had some fancy moments on the ball, but also stationed himself with immense maturity. An electrifying exhibition helped Fati lead his side to victory.
Lionel Messi: 8.5/10
Although Lionel Messi had a fairly quiet first half, he was determined to obtain the three points after proceedings. He was genuinely toying with defenders, forcing them to disrupt his movement with unpleasant tackles. Nevertheless, Leganés were still unable to contain him as he scored a well placed penalty and provided spectators with several magical moments on the ball.
Antoine Griezmann: 6/10
A grim and dull performance from a player who once displayed great signs of adaption. Antoine Griezmann, similar to the game against Mallorca, failed to establish his authority in the final third. While he was unfortunate to have his goal ruled out, there was barely anything noteworthy about his performance. An improvement in the second half was apparent, but the Frenchman must bring more to the table in order to suit the club’s requirements.
• Luis Suárez: 5/10
• Nélson Semedo: 7/10
• Arturo Vidal: 7/10
• Riqui Puig: 7.5/10
• Samuel Umtiti: 5.5/10
Osasuna vs Barcelona Preview: Team news, possible lineups, marquee player, match facts & prediction
Following a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Sevilla in La Copa del Rey, Barcelona back again on the road as they ready themselves to face an Osasuna side in some of their best form all season.
Date and Kickoff Time: 5 March; 21:00h CET
Stadium: Estadio El Sadar, Pamplona
Competition: La Liga Santander
Referee: Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez
The last time Fútbol Club Barcelona and Club Atlético Osasuna faced off, the Catalans rank riot, scoring four goals, including Lionel Messi’s first from open play in dedication to Diego Armando Maradona. It was one of Barça’s best performances of the season, and the Blaugrana will now look to repeat the same level of performance away at El Sadar.
Heading into tomorrow afternoon’s game, both sides find themselves in rather similar form. Subsequent to their all inspiring 2-0 win at the Ramón Sanchez Pizjuan, the Garnet and Blue outfit booked their place in the Copa del Rey final, beating Los Nervionenses by 3 goals to nil in the Nou Camp with a sensational collective performance, which in large parts was in credit to Ronald Koeman.
Barça were, by and large, the superior side from the very onset of the tie and were rewarded for their diligence and perseverance with a 3-0 win. That win was their fifteenth from eighteen matches this calendar year, meaning that in just over two months, the Blaugrana have won more games then they did in the first four months of the season.
Osasuna come into this match on the back of possibly their best run of form this season. Ever since the turn of the year, Los Rojillos have won fifteen points from a possible, eclipsing the thirteen they won in their first fifteen games of the season. When compared to their tally on expected points, their performances line up perfectly, a true testament to how much they’ve improved of late.
What to expect from Osasuna?
Still, in a zone of relative familiarity in midtable in La Liga, Osasuna have begun the second half of the campaign in a rather encouraging manner.
They kicked off the new year with a draw against Real Sociedad, then went on a run that saw them record just one win in six. Ever since their draw against Valencia, they’ve won 12 points from a potential eighteen in a run that has seen them win four games out of six played. This was a run that saw them thump Granada by three goals to one in a quite enthralling encounter, culminated with their victory over Deportivo Alavés this past weekend.
As per expected statistics, Osasuna have the seventh-worst attack in the division, at 25 expected goals from 25 games and the tenth worst-performing defence, at a rather unimpressive 33.2xGA. In perfect parallel to their position on the table, the Andalusian outfit are twelfth on the log as per expected points. This is an easier recoverable position, as should they beat the Blaugrana tomorrow night, they will — albeit momentarily — jump to tenth on the log, leapfrogging Athletic Bilbao and Celta Vigo, who both play on Sunday.
Jagoba Arrasate’s men may well shape up in a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 setup. For large parts of the game, Osasuna will look to maintain a low block, seeking to force the Catalans out wide to prevent play from progressing centrally. They are, to an extent, organized however, either due to tactical indiscipline or a lack of a lack of direction, they leave gaps from time to time which are easily exploited by their rivals.
They tend to attack down the right-wing, with 40% of their attacks being played down that flank, closely followed by the left at 38%. They do this by playing the two wide as wingers in possession, looking both to run into space as well as create it for their strikers up top. They are by no means one of La Liga’s possession heavy sides, as they average around 43% ball retention in games and with — just — a 67% pass success rate across the board.
What to expect from Barcelona?
The match against Sevilla in the cup was the perfect opportunity to show their competitive spirit, and such was the level of Barcelona’s performance that they rendered their visitors utterly powerless to their assaults. On the back of performance of such magnitude, Ronald Koeman is expected to make several key changes to his starting eleven.
Given the shape of the opponents, Koeman might revert to a 4-3-3 or possibly even a 4-2-3-1 to fill up all possible gaps within the opponents’ system. Following Gerard Piqué’s injury late into the tie against Los Nervionenses, Oscar Mingueza is due to deputise for him in the right centre back role, partnered with Clément Lenglet to his left. Despite his underwhelming performance against Sevilla, Sergiño Dest will almost certainly remain in the starting eleven.
The midfield is unlikely to change, although if it will, then it will be for Riqui Puig to take Frenkie de Jong’s place. In the final third, following Ousmane Dembélé’s injury scare, Francisco Trincão might just take back the right-wing role from his French counterpart, with Antoine Griezmann slotting in the left.
An absolute pain to Barcelona, former La Masia player Robert Torres played an integral part in keeping the La Liga trophy away from his former club last season. First through his brace in Pamplona, then with his heart-wrenching winner right at the death in the Camp Nou, Roberto Torres is certainly a player Barça would not want to mess with.
This season, he has scored four times and provided a further assist in his 23 games played. On expected statistics, the Spaniard has 2.63 expected goals, and 1.34 expected assists, leaving him an average of 0.28 expected goals scored or assisted per 90. Playing as an attack-minded midfielder, his final ball is his biggest strength, one Barcelona have to ensure they mitigate if they are to maintain their phenomenal start to the year.
Previous Games: WLWWL
Deportivo Alavés 0-1 Osasuna | La Liga
Osasuna 0-2 Sevilla | La Liga
Levante 0-1 Osasuna | La Liga
Osasuna 2-1 Eibar | La Liga
Real Betis 1-0 Osasuna | La Liga
Position in La Liga
28 points in 25 games
7 win, 7 draws, 11 losses
23 goals scored, 33 goals conceded
-10 goal difference
Previous games: WWWDL
Barcelona 3-0 Sevilla | Copa Del Rey
Sevilla 0-2 Barcelona | La Liga
Barcelona 3-0 Elche | La Liga
Barcelona 1-1 Cádiz | La Liga
Barcelona 1-4 PSG | UEFA Champions League
Position in La Liga
53 points in 25 games
16 wins, 5 draws and 4 losses
55 Goals Scored, 22 Goals Conceded
+33 Goal Difference
Barcelona 4–0 Osasuna| La Liga 20/21
Barcelona 1–2 Osasuna | La Liga 19/20
Osasuna 2–2 Barcelona | La Liga 19/20
Barcelona 7–1 Osasuna| La Liga 16/17
Osasuna 0–3 Barcelona | La Liga 16/17
- Barcelona are on a run of 15 games without defeat in La Liga.
- Barcelona have won only one of thsir last three ties against Osasuna.
- Osasuna have won four of their last 6 games in La Liga.
- Osasuna haven’t lost to Barcelona in Pamplona since 2016.
Injuries: Facundo Roncaglia, Chimy Avila
Vidal • Aridane • D Garcia • Cruz
Torro • Oier • Moncayola
Torres • Calleri • R Garcia
Coach: Jagoba Arraste
Injured: Ansu Fati, Gerard Piqué, Ronald Araújo, Philippe Coutinho, Sergi Roberto
Dest • Mingueza • Lenglet • Alba
Pedri • Busquets • Riqui Puig
Trincão • Messi • Griezmann
Coach: Ronald Koeman
With Ousmane Dembélé’s absence, Barcelona lose what would ideally have been the key to unlocking their opponents. Matches between Barcelona and Osasuna have been rather difficult of late, but given the difference in calibre between the two sides, this should be an easy victory for the Blaugrana
Barca Universal Prediction: Osasuna 0-2 Barcelona