Barcelona hosted Getafe in a tricky fixture at home which saw them concede two goals. However, at the end the Blaugrana pulled through with a bagful of goals. A charming Messi brace, a striking Araujo header, and a penalty converted by Griezmann made for an entertaining game on Thursday night. In this article, we will rate each of the players’ performances.
Marc-André ter Stegen: 6
The German shot-stopper had a relatively quiet night and was unfortunate to concede two goals that he can’t reasonably be faulted for. The first came from a Lenglet deflection and the second from the penalty spot. Apart from conceding, the 28-year-old was once again flawless in his ball distribution. Without his calmness on the ball, Barça’s possession-play would be nonexistent.
Óscar Mingueza: 6
The Spanish youngster had a fairly average night, not having much threat to deal with on the right flank. Apart from a single interchange between Kubo and Cucurella, Mingueza kept things relatively silent at the back, without making many mistakes. Notably, though, Ronald Koeman was furious with the youngster for marauding upfield while playing as a centre-back. With time and experience, Mingueza will continue adding maturity to what has been an excellent first campaign.
Gerard Piqué: 6
The 34-year-old played only for half the game, as he has just returned from injury. He enjoyed a quiet night, with 4 clearances being his only defensive contributions. Apart from that, Piqué displayed a neat 97.2% passing accuracy on the night, keeping the game ticking as the backline general.
Clément Lenglet: 6
In no perceivable way can Lenglet be faulted for Getafe’s first goal. An unfortunate deflection coming coming from Ángel’s shot ricocheted off the French defender’s arm before heading into the net. He was well positioned to cover ter Stegen’s far post, but the speed of Ángel’s shot simply left Lenglet with no options. Apart from this noteworthy moment, there wasn’t much else to the Frenchman’s game on the night.
Sergi Roberto: 6.5
Roberto enjoyed a fairly decent return to action on the night, despite receiving criticism online. The Spanish defender-cum-midfielder enjoyed 116 touches in 64 minutes, showing far more involvement on the right flank than his fellow right back Sergiño Dest (who averages 74.4 touches per ninety). The 29-year-old is a tenacious player, displaying a strong positional understanding. Roberto was key in creating numerical superiorities on the right side of the pitch — something the Catalan club have struggled with this season. While not an entirely flawless display, the Spaniard was relatively solid throughout the night, though unable to contribute offensively.
Frenkie de Jong: 7.5
Since the turn of the year, it’s hard to remember de Jong putting in a single performance that can’t be described as flawless. The Dutchman goes one step beyond the term ‘utility man’: it has become commonplace for him to play in three different positions each match. On Thursday night, the FdJ started the game as a right-interior and then ended the game having played on either side of Araujo.
He even managed to get two key passes on the night, playing a great offensive role and later a defensive one. De Jong is sublime in every facet of the game — retaining possession, short passing, ball carrying, and maturity — executing each of these traits to perfection with an unparalleled consistent. Last night was no different.
Sergio Busquets: 9
That pass to Messi alone warrants a rating no lower than 9 for the Spanish maestro. But he has been perfectionist and clean as a whistle since the turn of the year; Busquets is a player reborn since January. In nearly every game, the 32-year-old is playing flawless games. His positional intelligence and understanding of his teammates are truly unprecedented. The Spaniard thinks one step ahead, always, with a one-touch game that is truly one-of-a-kind in the history of this sport.
On the night, Busquets was at his brilliant, magical best, executing each of the fundamental tasks that make him immense to perfection. With 117 touches (an astounding 103 of these being passes) and a 95.4% passing accuracy, the World Cup winner kept the play ticking wonderfully for the Blaugranas. In defence, he completed 2 interceptions, 1 tackle, and 1 clearance, while also winning 5 of 7 duels. Put simply, he is one of the most well-rounded midfielders in the world.
In addition, it was one single pass on the night that could give Busquets a man of the match award in any team that doesn’t field Messi. Put simply, the Spaniard spotted a pass across eight Getafe players, straight into the path of the most dangerous forward in the world. Spectating from a third point of view, it seems nearly impossible that such a pass could be found by any single player on the field. Yet Busquets will do it anyway, and for fun.
On a rare off night for the Spanish teen, Pedri was off his best game. Losing possession eleven times, the Canary Islander struggled to play with the maturity that makes him ever so reliable and brilliant. On the night, he was unable to make effective use of possession, though not playing an awful game by any means. It is simply his own gargantuan standards he failed to meet last night.
Jordi Alba: 6
Alba had a rather average game on the night, not being the attacking outlet he usually is. It was a ‘neither here, nor there’ game for the Spaniard. Nonetheless, he managed to finish the ninety without committing any outstanding blunders, playing a decent match with no noteworthy moments.
Lionel Messi: 10
The little magician seems to prove time and again that he is the best player of all time, with ’10’ worthy performances coming in every match day. Whether you are a geek for statistics or a keen, ‘pure’ viewer of the sport, you can surely agree that the maestro had a perfect game on the night. On this, Sofascore, Whoscored, Fotmob, and your average bloke watching safely from home will agree without friction.
The Argentinian genius scored two and assisted one, with an immaculate first goal coming as a result of a gorgeous Busquets pass. The second goal came from a rebound, with a tight angle finish into an empty net the easiest of tasks for the four time Champions League winner. Additionally, Messi delivered a peach of an inwards-curling cross, which Araujo leaped with all his might to head into the opposition net.
We hope and pray that the ‘GOAT’ chooses to stay for, at the very least, a few more years.
Antoine Griezmann: 7
It is rather unfortunate that the French striker’s efforts usually go unnoticed across the game by most fans. He may not be the most glamorous or consistently lethal in front of goal, but the Frenchman’s intelligent movement and availability is often crucial to Barça’s triangles in the opposition third. The World Cup winner is a great passer under pressure, while also having the neat ability to play swiftly and cleanly with his back to the opponent goal.
On the night, Griezmann was actively involved in Barça’s play, executing four successful dribbles and 50 touches. In addition, he also managed one key pass, while also contributing defensively with two tackles.
The best moment of the match for the French forward came at the end of the game, when he won a penalty at what seemed to initially be a half-baked, fully-audacious attempt at a bicycle kick. Surely thankful, Griezmann gladly accepted penalty-duty from Messi – who gave up his hattrick for the Frenchman to get a boost of morale. He finished a peach of a penalty into the bottom right corner, leaving Soria’s fingertips trailing by mere seconds.
Ilaix Moriba: 6.5
Ronald Araújo: 6.5
Fransisco Trincão 5.5
Samuel Umtiti 6