Some performed, others didn’t. These are the ratings from each Barcelona player in Saturday’s crucial draw against Celta de Vigo.
The curse continues. Barcelona once again fell prey to Celta de Vigo at the Balaídos, failing to seal a much-needed three points. While Barça have arguably displayed one of their best performances in the first half, lady luck simply refused to be on their side. What seemed to be an unstoppable defence in the last few games, has once again started to show it’s true colors.
Marc-André ter Stegen: 7.5/10
A game full of ups and downs for Marc-André ter Stegen, who had little to blame for the two goals conceded, but made some questionable decisions in goal. Nonetheless, he was still a major influence throughout the game and prevented Barcelona from not dropping any further points. A terrific save to deny Nolito in the closing stages helped his side salvage a draw.
Gerard Piqué: 7.5/10
Tremendously reliable in defence, but woefully let down by his partner in crime. Gerard Piqué displayed immense blocks, positioned himself marvelously and was reliable in nearly every one-versus-one situation. Deserving of a better outcome, Piqué was one of the few people anchoring Barcelona’s backline.
Samuel Umtiti: 4.5/10
Disappointing, dispiriting and discouraging performance from a player that once seemed to be the future of the Catalans’ defence. Samuel Umtiti’s constant battles with injuries have evidently tainted his career. The Frenchman showed little incentive to find himself in one-versus-one situations, thus immediately sprang forward to disrupt plays in it’s early stages. Though, this proved to be detrimental for the blaugranas as Umtiti was constantly caught out of position.
Nélson Semedo: 7/10
Improvement in certain aspects of Nélson Semedo’s gameplay is noticeable as he made some applaudable runs forward and maintained his composure in defence. Although he was fairly stable in defence, his end product in attack is yet to be polished. A decent showing from the Portuguese.
Jordi Alba: 6.5/10
In contrast to his previous encounters, Jordi Alba looked relatively lethargic and fatigued. He offered exceptionally little in attack, and wasn’t the most reliable figure in defense. Deservedly so came off the field in the second half.
Iván Rakitić: 8/10
Iván Rakitić was seen dictating plays majestically in the first half, pulling the strings and playing a pivotal role in Busquets’ absence. However, despite his admirable display in the first 45 minutes, he partially lost the plot after proceedings, proving why Barcelona’s most ideal defensive midfielder is Busquets. Iván was occasionally out of position and even gave the ball away for Celta’s first equaliser. Even so, one mustn’t hide the fact that he was instrumental in ball retention and creating plays.
Riqui Puig: 7/10
Incredibly mobile, persistent and effective with his prolific pair of feet. Riqui Puig was the missing piece in Quique Setién’s’s puzzle, adding verticality and innovation in midfield. In spite of often getting bullied off the ball, the youngster was a workhorse and constantly showed the will to move upfield. Yet another brilliant showing for Barcelona’s jewel.
Riqui Puig is deserving a regular spot in Barcelona’s midfield | Photo by STR / AFP via Getty Images
Arturo Vidal: 5.5/10
Arturo Vidal ran and pressed tirelessly, but his efforts were gone in vain, because the Chilean was frequently unable to carry the ball forward and failed to assert his authority in the final third. He added very little to the azulgranas‘ build-up plays as he seemed to occasionally look like a headless chicken. Poor performance in accordance to Arturo’s standards.
Lionel Messi: 8/10
Two assists for Lionel Messi who was incredibly authoritative on the field. At this rate, one can only imagine he would reach 700 assists before 700 goals. Leo missed a crucial chance he would bury on any another day, but was once again Barcelona’s glimmer of hope up front.
Luis Suárez: 8.5/10
A blistering brace for Luis Suárez, who was lately racking up underwhelming performances in quick succession. However, against Celta de Vigo, he unleashed his wrath and found the back of the net twice in spectacular fashion. While his off-the-ball movement was sub par and he didn’t create much, Luisito was an undisputed asset to the team. A much needed performance from the Uruguayan gunman.
“I’m happy that I scored, but I’m frustrated about the fact that we didn’t win”
Ansu Fati: 7/10
Lively and assertive on the left flank, Ansu Fati gave opposition defenders a real headache at times. He burst forward with conviction and came ever so close to finding the back of the net in the first half. The prolonged width Barcelona lacked was not much of a worry with the youngster owning the flank.
Martin Braithwaite: 6/10
Junior Firpo: 5/10
Antoine Griezmann: N/A
Arthur Melo: N/A
Barcelona player ratings vs Sevilla — Hosts unable to get past Mingueza, the wall
Turning headless chickens into mature students of the game turned out to be Ronald Koeman’s biggest achievement at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, where the Catalan giants had recently just suffered a disappointing loss. On the score-sheet, the margin may not have looked considerable, but on the field, Barcelona were pretty much untouchable, courtesy in large parts to the structural change made by Koeman.
A performance this cohesive and harmonized was much needed after the countless defeats Barça have suffered on the big stage. Everything Cules have strived to see in this team, was present, and while consistency has been the club’s biggest hurdle, this win undoubtedly holds a great deal of significance.
The Blaugranas have arguably exerted more energy in other games over the course of the campaign, but the spirit Barcelona lacked suddenly came to life. The pressing was in sync, every move was calculated and well crafted. Playing the Barcelona way in hostile territory against a team as dominant as Sevilla brought back life into a team devoid of wins in high magnitude encounters.
Marc-André Ter Stegen: 7
Ter Stegen oozed confidence as he came off his line and claimed the ball several times. Not only did he display composure, but the German rushed out of his box on one occasion to clear the ball and remove any danger that Sevilla’s potential attack possessed. With the exception of a poor pass, his distribution was immaculate. Even so, it must be admitted that the Sevilla forwards barely tested ter Stegen in goal with dangerous attempts on target.
Oscar Mingueza: 8.5
Oscar Mingueza was a vital reason as to why the Blaugrana defence was impenetrable. Piementa’s prodigy did not allow Lopetegui’s men to advance into any areas on the right side of the field. He won 6 out his 9 duels along winning 5 tackles, proving the 21-year-old’s precise ball-winning abilities remain crucial. Not to mention, his exceptional ball-playing ability enabled Barça to play with a high line thus applying further pressure on Sevilla.
Pique was the nail in the coffin to Barça’s counter-pressing strategies. The players would press the Sevilla Keeper and force him to heave the ball away, and this is where Pique’s aerial ability flourished, which particularly authorized the Catalans to regain possession. The Spanish veteran won 5 out of 7 of his aerial duels, thus showing his dominance in that area of play. His distribution was reliable as always and allowed the Catalans to retain a high defensive line at selected times.
The Frenchman is on route to recovering the form he once had, and this performance should do his confidence a world of good. Still prone to making errors, he dealt with Sevilla’s threat in a respectable manner. An improvement was observed in his ability to stay ahead of his man, which led to his positioning being marginally better. His second-half performance was key to the win as he stepped up after Pique and Ronald Araujo had to be subbed off. Lenglet must be appreciated for his tackling as they successfully neutralized a few well-structured attacks from the hosts.
Sergiño Dest: 7
Despite typically being perceived as a full-back, Ronald Koeman handed Dest the responsibility to play higher up the field as a right-wing-back. The American speedster enjoyed his new role with piercing runs behind Sevilla’s defence and looked a lot more explosive, with defensive cover behind him.
Sergino Dest vs Sevilla:— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) February 28, 2021
• Touches: 58
• Accurate passes: 36/42 (86%)
• Shots: 2
• Ground duels (won): 4 (2)
• Fouls won: 2
• Clearances: 2
• Interceptions: 2
— SofaScore pic.twitter.com/IjN74fDwhc
Dest launched a couple of promising crosses, but a major issue was that he shied away from entering 1v1 duels and instinctively looked to send in crosses. The US international also came oh-so-close to scoring after striking the post on one occasion.
Jordi Alba: 7.5
Similar to his wing-back partner in crime, Jordi Alba raided forward at any given opportunity, stretching the play wide and utilizing his raw pace throughout. Without having to worry about his defensive duties, the marauding Spaniard looked a lot more imposing. He was just inches away from tapping the ball into the opposition net after proceedings.
Frenkie de Jong: 8.5
De Jong’s season just proceeds to take massive leaps as the Dutchman proved to be a defining factor in the Catalans’ applaudable 2-0 victory. In spite of not stamping his name on the score-sheet, De Jong’s performance was worthy of endless praise, almost making it seem as if he was carrying around an extra pair of lungs. The former Ajax wonderboy surged forward, breaking the opposition’s lines tirelessly and constantly squirming his way out of tight areas.
Sergio Busquets: 7.5
The ageing veteran appeared to be recreating glimpses from the past as his counter-pressing was absolutely decisive in the Catalans’ attacking plays. Sergio Busquets – unlike most big game he has participated in – was not cheaply bullied off the ball and made possession purposeful for the Blaugranas. With defensive aid behind him, Busquets was back to his brilliant best.
The cog in Ronald Koeman’s midfield was once again a trusty figure in midfield and managed to string together some impressive plays in what appeared to be a 3-5-2 formation. Though Pedri’s involvement was substantially lower than usual, his display was mainly impeded by an injury he suffered in the 71st minute, disabling him from completing the full 90 minutes.
Lionel Messi: 8.5
Against his favourite opposition, Lionel Messi savoured the occasion to the fullest. The Argentine was an influential figure in the club’s victory away from home, with his creativity and efficiency in front of goal second to none. In the 29th minute of the game, Leo spotted a raiding Ousmane Dembélé through on goal as he bagged himself an assist for the Frenchman’s finish.
To cap off his outing, Barcelona’s captain weaved his way past a couple of Sevilla defenders and, after failing to chip the keeper, delicately slotted it into the net.
Ousmane Dembélé: 8
Sevilla were haplessly left chasing Ousmane Dembélé’s shadows. The Frenchman – without having to worry about his defensive tasks – waltzed forward continuously and enjoyed playing as a secondary striker, making runs in behind the defence and eventually proving his worth with a beautifully placed goal just before the half-hour mark. A much more mature and composed exhibition from the electric winger.
Ilaix Moriba: 7
Ronald Araujo: N/A
Martin Braithwaite: N/A
Samuel Umtiti: N/A