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Barcelona Player Ratings vs Granada: Griezmann, Messi masterclass, Umtiti disasterclass

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Photo by JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images

It has got to feel good to be a Barcelona fan this morning. Up until the 88th minute, it seemed like fate just didn’t want the Catalans to be in the semi-finals. Or even more discouraging, it seemed like Ronald Koeman’s final chance of any kind of silverware in 2020/21 was sailing away with Granada’s resolute and compact defensive block.

But regardless of their issues of old and issues aplenty that still haunt this squad, this is not the same Barcelona that would roll over and yield to the opposition. That much we have seen yesterday and while we should also not forget about the three goals conceded and numerous chances missed, both of which should be things to improve upon, for once, we should celebrate the positives.

With that being said, here’s how well or bad we think each of the players did last night.

Marc-André ter Stegen: 6.5

Despite conceding a total of three goals, one of course a penalty kick, Marc-André ter Stegen didn’t really have much to do throughout the game. Granada players recorded a total of seven shots on the night, four of which hit the target, and the German shot-stopper only made one save as a whole.

You could say he maybe could’ve or should’ve done better with the first goal where his positioning and body shape were not ideal but the other two goals were clear-cut chances and the odds were heavily stacked against him.

Sergi Roberto: 6.5

Sergi Roberto finally returned to the squad after missing out on so much action due to illness and injury. As a whole, however, the right-back didn’t shine as bright as we would’ve hoped for but he did his job quite well at the end of the day. The Spaniard isn’t the pacey option out wide but is technical and intelligent enough to know where to position himself during Barcelona’s attacks.

In that way, he works well as a more inverted option on that right side and he did combine well with his teammates. But, when everything is said and done, he had to leave the pitch early without too much effect on the scoreline and overall feel of the game.

Ronald Araújo: 6.5

Ronald Araújo had a very, very difficult game. After 15 games of pure defensive dominance, the youngster was finally dribbled past last night and unfortunately for him, he was at the heart of Barcelona’s first conceded goal. If there’s one weakness the centre-back is showing so far then it’s his on the ball ability.

His mark is maybe a bit too low but considering he’s only won one of his four duels while losing the ball 13 times according to SofaScore, it would feel unfair to other players to give him something much higher than that.

Araújo is still our defensive rock but yesterday’s showing was not one of his best.

Samuel Umtiti: 5.5

Umtiti remains a polarising figure on the pitch. (Photo by JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images)

Without a doubt, the lowest-rated player on the night is Samuel Umtiti. Unfortunately for the Frenchman, following a run of great performances lately, yesterday he was sadly back to his unreliable self. The centre-back was very shaky in his duels, engaging in only one successful on the ground and just two in the air, but also committing a mistake that led directly to Granada’s goal.

Umtiti seemed lost for the majority of the time he spent on the pitch and Koeman didn’t wait too long to take him off. With only 67 touches on the night and despite decent accuracy in his distribution, the Frenchman was by far the weakest link of the Catalans’ squad.

Jordi Alba: 9

Yesterday was another Jordi Alba’s special as the experienced full-back combined with his teammates extremely well and was crucial in mounting the comeback. We don’t often see him bag so many goals, especially not from perfectly-struck volleys like that, but you can’t deny he was a key piece in the jigsaw.

An offensive powerhouse. (Photo by JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images)

This time, however, he was teaming up with Antoine Griezmann to provide us with a brilliant show and an even better Remuntada. Long may this form continue.

Sergio Busquets: 7

Sergio Busquets does some of his best work when you don’t even notice him at all. And honestly, that was the case yesterday night. The experienced pivot ensured everything ticked for Barcelona and was silently orchestrating their attacks.

You could say that he mostly didn’t put a foot wrong and you’d be right. The only reason his mark is not higher – when arguably it could be – is because the mobility of the players around him ensured he didn’t have all that much to do.

Busi‘s distribution was good and he did his defensive work well for another decent showing from the midfield maestro.

Pedri: 7.5

Once again, Pedri showed how instrumental he is for the team. Despite not being a part of so many flashy plays as he usually is, the youngster was once again gliding across the pitch. Pedri is influential in so many ways but apart from just being that creative link in midfield, his defensive contribution is often overlooked.

The 18-year-old is always tracking back and then initiating quick transitions to hurt the opposition while their shape is still unorganised. Yesterday was the same and Pedri had a great game once more, silently doing his thing and magically making things happen.

Frenkie de Jong: 8.5

Lately, there are just not enough words to describe how good Frenkie de Jong is. Of course, the only reason his mark is not higher is because there are other players in the team whose performances were simply on another level. But the Dutchman not only scored a great goal, moving like a true striker with a killer’s instinct, but also deputised at centre-back while also pulling the strings in midfield.

When he’s playing like this and showing his full potential, Frenkie is simply a joy to watch.

Francisco Trincão: 6.5

In all honesty, Francisco Trincão probably deserves a higher mark than a 6.5 but he was so incredibly unlucky and ultimately couldn’t change Barcelona’s fortune on the night. Sadly, things started moving forward only after his substitution and while that may be too harsh on the youngster, it cannot be fully ignored.

Yes, Trincão kept trying and kept pushing, and more than likely deserved that great strike to rattle the inside of the net and not the frame of the goal, but yesterday night was once again not to be for the Portuguese gem.

Lionel Messi: 10

Lionel Messi is one of the few players on the planet who can regularly top the charts and get perfect marks without even scoring a single goal on the night. The Argentine was everywhere, doing everything and influencing the play in the best possible way.

There’s not much left to say about the greatest player who has ever lived.

Antoine Griezmann: 10

That redemption arc, though. (Photo via Imago)

Cometh the hour, cometh the man! Griezmann can blow hot and cold, yes, but when push comes to shove, you simply cannot and should not ignore his quality. The Frenchman is an elite forward and players like him don’t just magically lose their touch.

2021 has been all about him and 12 goal contributions in the last 10 games speak for themselves. Has Griezmann finally well and truly arrived? We can only hope so.

Substitutions

Sergiño Dest: 6.5
Ousmane Dembélé: 7
Martin Braithwaite: 6
Riqui Puig: 7
Clément Lenglet: N/A

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