A set of impressive individual performances, led by Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi helped Barcelona cruise to a 0-4 win on the road as they edge closer to second-place Real Madrid.
A week of very impressive away performances was capped off with a sensational performance against Granada at the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes. The Blaugrana showed no empathy as they hit the hosts for four goals with a brace from both Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.
Ronald Koeman plans to alter the team’s structure is truly paying dividends — like most fans expected it would — as Frenkie De Jong, Sergio Busquets, and Pedri seem to be coming into their own. Barça Universal runs the rule over Koeman’s men after the sensational win on the road.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 8
A sensational outing from ter Stegen who bounced back from the underwhelming showing against Bilbao as he made four spectacular saves to deny Roberto Soldado and co. In addition to that, the German shot-stopper also boasted of some sensational passing, completing 96.9% of his passes.
Sergino Dest: 7
A rather faultless performance from Sergino Dest who seems to be more comfortable when he has has a natural right-winger playing alongside him. The American won all of his ground duels (2/2), made one key pass, and successfully won two turnovers in his defensive third. Capable of doing much better offensively, but deserves rest.
Oscar Mingueza: 8
Oscar Mingueza started on the right-of-centre in the back four alongside Samuel Umtiti who replaced Ronald Araujo, who got injured in training. Mingueza made no mistakes on the back, completing 96.8% of his passes including three long balls. He did a fairly good job of marking out Soldado, who looked extra-enthusiastic on the night.
Samuel Umtiti: 9
When Umtiti came in to replace Araujo in the heart of the defence, nobody expected him to put on an absolute show, no less against a robust opponent on the road. He made two clearances, blocks, and interceptions in defence, which coupled with a 97.4% passing accuracy rounds of a tremendous display. In addition to this, the World Cup winner also completed 100% of his long balls (5/5), won both of his ground duels.
Jordi Alba: 6.5
Alba looked far from his best in Southern Spain as his attempts to constantly look for Messi were blocked off by a strong defensive performance from the visitors. He did, however, do a decent job at the back, making three clearances and three successful tackles.
Frenkie de Jong: 8.5
This is the Frenkie de Jong that Barcelona ordered from Ajax when they shelled out €75 million for the Dutchman. Probably the best of his recent displays, de Jong made two key passes, completed all of his long passes (5/5), and won all but one of his ground duels (6/5). Doing wonders in the box-to-box role.
Sergio Busquets: 7.5
Arguably Busquets’ best performance this season, the Spaniard made up for a decent first half with a very strong showing in the second as he made three key passes and completed 7/8 of his long balls. Busquets was very fortunate that one of his misplaced passes found its way through to Antoine Griezmann, who made no mistake with his finish to open the scoring.
After what Barcelona fans have seen from 18-year-old Pedri recently, his performance yesternight must have felt disappointing. Regardless, the teenager was able to made a solitary key pass, and won 3/5 of his ground duels. He also won the free-kick which was eventually converted by Lionel Messi in the first-half.
Starting his third game in a row, Dembele had a lot of expectations on his shoulders after his performance against Bilbao. A below-average showing was salvaged by an assist for Griezmann, but the World Cup winner is capable of bigger and better things, which will come after some well-deserved rest.
Lionel Messi: 8.5
Lionel Messi is truly inevitable. Starting in one of his most successful false 9 roles, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner scored two goals yesterday including a fabulous free-kick; surprisingly the first of this season.
After a slow start to the season, nobody really expected Messi to be leading the top-scorer charts in La Liga before the mid-way point of the season. Here we are, though. With six goals and two assists in his last five matches, the Argentine has gone one clear of Gerard Moreno in the race for the Pichichi.
Antoine Griezmann: 9.5
Arguably Antoine Griezmann’s best game in the Garnet and Blue, the Frenchman dropped a masterclass against Granda as the best player on the pitch, head and shoulders above his teammates.
The World Cup winner opened the scoring for the club in the 12th minute following a deflection off of Roberto Soldado, and then capped off the display with his second and Barcelona’s fourth in the 63rd minute. Additionally, he also assisted Messi for his first of the game with a slick pass from the wing. If Griezmann can continue this form, he can still etch his mark on the Blaugrana of Barça.
Miralem Pjanic: 6
Martin Braithwaite: 6
Riqui Puig: 7.5
Fransisco Trincao: N/A
Junior Firpo: 5