A thrilling game where every man in the blaugrana shirt showed his quality; these are the ratings for each Barcelona player in their 0–5 away win over Deportivo Alavés.
After a shocking defeat against Osasuna in midweek, Barcelona were able to cap off a less-than-convincing season with one of their displays of the season with a 0–5 win over Deportivo Alavés at the Estadio de Mendizorroza. This win served as nothing more than compensation as the league was done and dusted on matchday 37 as Real Madrid displaced Barcelona for the La Liga title.
The blaugranas were quick to put the hosts on the back foot as they hit the post thrice in the opening 15 minutes of the game. After this series of poor finishing, Ansu Fati opened the scoring through a Lionel Messi lobbed cross. The captain doubled the lead after 10 minutes, with Luis Suárez adding the third just before the halfway mark. Nélson Semedo came on and scored his first goal of the season as Messi put the game to bed with the fifth. Barca Universal takes the responsibility of rating those in the garnet and the blue.
Birthday boy Neto started in goal in place of Marc-André ter Stegen, who was rested to avoid fatigue. The Brazilian was completely untroubled in his box and had to make no saves. He did, however, complete 19 passes with the accuracy of 95%.
Sergi Roberto: 8/10
Starting on the right-back spot, all Sergi Roberto had to do yesterday was make timely runs on the right flank for overlap. He was heavily involved in the first goal, finding Messi inside the box, who went on to assist Ansu Fati for the first of the game. The Spanish international also did a stellar job in midfield after moving there when Clément Lenglet picked up an injury.
Ronald Araújo: 8/10
Araújo had a colossal job laid on his shoulders, replacing Gerard Piqué as the centre-back in the heart of the defence. He showed he could serve as an able deputy to the Barcelona number 3 and even take over the position in the future. The Uruguayan completed 4 out of 6 of his long passes, committed no fouls and lost the ball only four times – the least among starters. His best moment of the game came when he sprinted back 40 yards to dispossess Alavés striker Joselu.
Clément Lenglet: 7/10
Lenglet was given the responsibility of marshalling the defence in the absence of Piqué, and delivered quite seamlessly. There was no threat to the Barca backline for the 50 minutes he was on the pitch. He was then subbed off for Nélson Semedo after picking up a knock, which may make him unavailable for one or two weeks but thankfully not for the Champions League.
“Lenglet had a discomfort and this is not a time to take risks. So, he got off the field”
Jordi Alba: 9/10
Barcelona’s left-back Jordi Alba has returned to his world-class ways since football resumed. Yesterday was another example of why he’s still among the best in the continent. Messi played Alba through just before half time and the Spaniard delivered the most satisfying first-time cross you would ever see on a volley. His pass was served on a platter for Suárez, who could not help but head it home. He then added to his tally as he whipped in a delicious cross in the middle of the box which was tucked in by Messi. An inch-perfect display.
Arturo Vidal: 8/10
Arturo Vidal started the game on the right side of the midfield three but moved down the pitch to act as a makeshift centre-back after Lenglet was subbed off. In 45 odd minutes he played in midfield, Vidal struck the post once through a brilliant volley and was then denied by Roberto Jiménez after an acrobatic header. He did a commendable job while defending, though. Was calm, composed and nearly impossible to get past.
Sergio Busquets: 7.5/10
Sergio Busquets returned as the anchor in Barca’s trio replacing the suspended Iván Rakitić. He controlled the game’s tempo and was able to play through Alavés’ press with ease. He completed three quarters of his long balls, 3 out of 3 of his aerial duels and made an incredible block halting Luis Rioja in his tracks.
Riqui Puig: 10/10
Another game, another masterclass from Riqui Puig, who seems to have become a mainstay in Quique Setién’s midfield. He ended the game with two assists, one for Messi and another one for Nélson Semedo. Apart from these two assists, Puig made four key passes and another goal creating chance.
“Ansu Fati, Araújo and Riqui Puig are the club’s future. They showed it today”
after the win against Alavés
He also came incredibly close to registering his first goal of his senior career as he struck the post from thirty yards out with a stunning finesse shot. The youngster was also hard working in defence, and made two tackles, and committed three fouls. We can expect more of him in the Champions League.
Lionel Messi: 10/10
Barcelona’s number 10 dropping 10s has become a casual affair and it happened again yesterday night. Lionel Messi hit the post early in the game with a solo curled effort that nicked the far post before going out. He then went on to assist the opener, his 21st assist of the season, making him the highest ever assist provider in a single season in the La Liga and the join highest in the top 5 leagues along with Thomas Müller, who set the record himself this season.
While this has by no means been Lionel Messi’s best goalscoring season, he continues to break records | Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce via Getty Images
Messi also scored twice yesterday, the first of which was the result of a top-notch move which included a defence-splitting pass and a fake on the goalkeeper. His goals also sealed the Pichichi trophy for him – the 7th of his career, and the joint highest top-scoring seasons in the top 5 leagues – as many as Gerd Müller in the Bundesliga.
Luis Suárez: 7/10
There is little explaining what Luis Suárez does in-game. The man misses the easiest of chances only to score some brilliant goals. Yesterday was more of the same as he initially hit a one-v-one right at the goalkeeper and then scored a sublime header as the second of the game. Suárez was also crucial in the fifth goal of the game as he dummied Jordi Alba’s cross which reached Lionel Messi.
Ansu Fati: 9/10
Ansu Fati started the game on the left of Luis Suárez in the attacking trio and played 78 minutes before being subbed off for Martin Braithwaite just before the 80th-minute mark. During his time on the pitch, Fati scored the opener and then created two chances for his teammates, neither of which was finished. He did, however, did a stellar job in defence constantly shifting spots with Alba on the wing.
Nélson Semedo: 8.5/10
Frenkie de Jong: 7.5/10
Martin Braithwaite: 7/10
Player ratings: Ferencváros 0-3 Barcelona
As Barcelona travelled to Budapest, they went with the intention of maintaining their 100% win record in the UEFA Champions League this season. It was a cold night at the Puskás Arena, but this did not stop the Spanish giants from playing some entertaining football.
Ronald Koeman rested several key players, and for the third game in a row, made several rotations. These rotations are doing wonders for the team’s performance and morale. Fringe players are receiving game time, and regulars are getting some necessary rest. There is a competitive nature to the squad as everyone fights to earn a starting role in the team.
It was a comfortable first-half for Barcelona as the visitors outclassed their opponents. Barça’s left-wing, of Jordi Alba and Ousmane Dembélé, caused Ferencváros many problems, with both players registering an assist on the night. Martin Braithwaite continued his goal-scoring run, and Antoine Griezmann is regaining his confidence. The double-pivot shielded the defence, and the home side rarely threatened the Catalan’s goal.
After half-time, the levels started to drop as the win became increasingly secure. The manager made all of his available substitutions as he looked to freshen things up. Complacency began to creep in, and sometimes the simple option was ignored. However, Koeman should be delighted with the performance and the current form of the squad.
The Brazilian goalkeeper returned to the starting line-up after a string of convincing performances at the beginning of the campaign. Neto was relatively untested throughout the match as Ferencvaros struggled to create many chances. When the goalkeeper was called into action, he was alert and sharp to react.
Sergiño Dest: 8
Sergiño Dest continues to impress since his move in the latest transfer window from Ajax. The right-back possesses an abundance of potential and ability. He is excellent with the ball at his feet and can receive it in any position on the field.
Dest can do it all. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
On Wednesday evening, Dest proved his quality once again with another exciting performance. The right-back constantly pushed forward and took defenders on. Even though he is attack-minded, the American international never seems to be caught out of position. The area that he could still improve on is his delivery into the box as his crosses do not find a teammate enough.
Óscar Mingueza: 7.5
In a time of crisis, La Masia has saved Barcelona once again. This time it comes in the form of Óscar Mingueza. As the club only had one fit centre-back, the B team player has filled this position and shown he is ready to play at this level. The fixture in Budapest is now his third appearance with the first team, and he has been sensational in each of them.
Against Ferencváros, the 21-year-old had a quieter evening as the side from Hungary struggled to create in the final third. The Spanish centre-back is energetic and athletic whilst still being calm and composed. He was one of the few Barça players that maintained their intensity throughout the full 90 minutes.
Clément Lenglet: 7
After limping off the field on Sunday, Clément Lenglet managed to recover in time for the UEFA Champions League tie midweek. The Frenchman had his usual solid performance and remained focused during his time on the pitch. His range of passing was, again, a huge asset to the team. For clubs that like to build play from the back, having a left-footed centre-back is a huge asset in breaking the press and progressing the team up the field.
Jordi Alba: 7
Jordi Alba has recovered his best form this campaign, especially going forward. The full-back added another assist for the season and was relentless in his attacking runs. He combined well with Ousmane Dembélé for the first goal after exchanging a couple of passes and eventually crossing the ball, allowing Antoine Griezmann to score.
He was taken off at half-time by the manager, probably just to rest him. However, the veteran defender has been one of the most important players for the club this season. His overlapping runs always provide an option for his teammates and pin back the opposition.
Sergio Busquets: 6
Sergio Busquets began the match with the captain’s armband. However, he did not produce one of his better displays. He controlled the game well and did what a pivot should, but was clumsy in several challenges. This saw him booked and then he committed another risky foul not long after this, which possibly resulted in him coming off in the second half.
The classy performances from the midfielder seem too few and far between these days. Either a lack of concentration or complacency seems to be the answer. At times, the Spaniard still reads the game expertly, but he is prone to lapses of concentration and some loose passes now.
Miralem Pjanić: 7
The Bosnian put in another dominant performance as he ran the midfield from start to finish. Miralem Pjanić completed 124 passes in total with a 94% pass completion rate. Whenever he plays, Barcelona seem to retain possession better and distribute the ball more efficiently. The former Juventus player is one of the best passers around and showed this with an outstanding first time outside of the boot pass over the opposition defence that found a teammate perfectly.
A stunning pass from the Bosnian playmaker, Miralem Pjanic! https://t.co/0pBibeWXZD— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) December 2, 2020
Where Pjanić could improve is in his defensive contribution. He does not offer as much protection as some of his midfield counterparts. This is an important aspect of being a double pivot and could be why he is not an undisputed starter yet.
Francisco Trincão: 6
It was a strange evening for Francisco Trincão. There were a lot of mistakes in his performance, but a lot of promise too. He drifted inside and moved into the central areas more than usual. This is likely to be what the manager asked of him as he played the full 90 minutes.
The 20-year-old is still adapting to Barcelona and still developing. He will learn a lot from these mistakes, which is probably why Ronald Koeman left him on for the full game, even though Trincão was clearly exhausted. The Portuguese talent needs some fine-tuning but has all the right attributes to succeed at the club. He is intelligent and technically excellent on the ball.
Antoine Griezmann: 7.5
Antoine Griezmann has certainly been enjoying himself more in recent matches. He has been improving for some time now. There were some games where the forward was missing too many chances, but he was doing well to get himself into these positions. Now, the goals seem to be coming too, and the best version of the World Cup is re-emerging.
Antoine Griezmann is returning to his best, slowly but surely. (Photo by Attila KISBENEDEK / AFP)
He showed a lot of confidence for his goal against Ferencváros, where he flicked it between the goalkeeper’s legs. The Frenchman continued the game in fine form, playing with a lot of freedom and linking with his teammates. Griezmann wanted the ball and wanted to be involved in the play. Being in his favoured position and having a natural number 9 ahead of him is definitely the key to getting the best out of the former Atlético Madrid star.
Ousmane Dembélé: 8.5
Possibly the Frenchman’s best performance of the season, Ousmane Dembélé was almost at his mesmerising ceiling against the Budapest outfit. For starters, he is minimising how many times he gives possession away cheaply. Furthermore, he is becoming more productive in the final third and working hard to press his opponents. He produced a few solo efforts that went just wide and turned the defenders inside out.
In the second period, Dembélé was given the captaincy after some substitutions were made. This was the perfect moment as his performance was filled with maturity. The winger needs regular game time to continue to improve and be at his best. Having a match fit Dembélé could be key if Barcelona are going to win trophies this season.
Martin Braithwaite: 7.5
Martin Braithwaite has returned to the side in recent weeks and has earned his place in the starting 11. He has now scored three goals in the UEFA Champions League, making him Barcelona’s joint-top scorer in the competition alongside Lionel Messi. Additionally, Braithwaite has also won two penalties in his last two games in the competition.
The Dane has become a vital part of the Blaugrana set-up. He allowed others to play with freedom and created space for them with his movement and by keeping the opposition defenders occupied. In his last three starts, the Spanish giants have scored 11 goals, with Braithwaite featuring heavily in around half of them. Though the striker might not always make the headlines, he is proving to be an important part of the squad.
Frenkie de Jong: 7
Junior Firpo: 6.5
Konrad de la Fuente: 6
Riqui Puig: 7
Riqui Puig was given just over 25 minutes on Wednesday evening to impress. The La Masia graduate was asked to play in a more attacking role. The Spaniard did this well and played with his usual quality on the ball and enthusiasm. He pressed well and won the ball high up the pitch on one occasion. This allowed him to run through on goal and he passed it to Ousmane Dembélé, leaving him 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper, but for some reason, he tried to return it to Puig.
Riqui Puig deserves more time, and his three key passes in 25 minutes stand as evidence. (Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images)
The young midfielder needs more game time from the manager to get to his best level and to keep developing and learning. The talent is there, he just needs the experience and he could become a world-class player for Barcelona.
Carles Aleñá: 7
Carles Aleñá was introduced at the same time as Riqui Puig. His role was different as he was instructed to be one of the double pivots. Aleñá seems to enjoy this role, and his distribution of the ball has been almost perfect when he has played there. The 22-year-old is the ideal Barcelona midfielder and looks to be winning Ronald Koeman’s trust with every opportunity he is given.