Barcelona 1x1 player ratings: Messi and Ansu Fati lead the way

The Argentinean was the best player on the pitch despite again failing to score and has found a willing disciple in the Spain under-21 international.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen: Rooted to the spot for Ángel’s well-placed volley, the Barça keeper redeemed himself and was ultimately responsible for victory by pulling off a wonderful double stop with a single hand. Played the ball out from the back a la Guardiola with more passes than any keeper since 2005-06, which drew some whistles of disapproval from Quique Setién.

Sergi Roberto: Barça’s utility man filled in at right back and had an excellent game, capped by a glorious finish for Barça’s second from substitute Junior Firpo’s assist.

Gerard Piqué: On a shaky afternoon for Barça’s back four, Piqué formed a one-man shield and was decisive on several occasions, nicking the ball from Juan Mata with the Geta forward bearing down and goal and covering the lines on both flanks. Solid in the air and alert to every ball into the box, Piqué was a key player for Barça at Camp Nou.

Samuel Umtiti: Grew into the game after an uncertain start and was saved by VAR after allowing Nyom to get the better of him in the area. Later he was more active, starting moves from the back and putting in a decent shift defensively. It remains to be seen if this is a false dawn after so many injury issues but he gave Setién something to think about in the absence of the suspended Clément Lenglet.

Jordi Alba: Another dose of bad luck for the left back, who was forced off in the 17th minute with a muscle injury that will mean he will is unavailable for the matches against Napoli in the Champions League and Real Madrid in LaLiga.

Sergio Busquets: The Spain international is the main beneficiary of Setién’s tactical set-up and most of Barcelona’s play goes through him, ensuring he is in the limelight at all times. That also means that his occasional errors, such as a dangerous loss of possession in his own half that Geta almost capitalized on, are all the more evident.

Frenkie de Jong: The Netherlands international was practically anonymous, unable to get the ball moving around the midfield or to impose himself on the game and lucky not to go in the book for a petulant foul in the second half.

Arthur: The Brazilian did what he was asked to do but little more, keeping things ticking over in midfield without taking risks or causing pulses to race. He has yet to impress under Setién’s stewardship.

Leo Messi: The Argentinean has now gone four games without a goal but it hardly matters when every other aspect of his game is so finely honed. He delivered a ball that few players in history are capable of to tee up Griezmann for the opener and had three decent chances to score, bad luck or David Soria thwarting each of them. Dropping deep in the second half to start moves and run at the Geta defence, Messi was floored a dozen times as he led the opposition a merry dance.

Antoine Griezmann: The Frenchman again performed the most important role for his side; opening the scoring from Messi’s sublime pass. His finish was deft and precise, giving Soria no chance. From there his accuracy deserted him and he wasted two very presentable chances, one thrashed over the bar from close range and another flashed wide of the far post.

Ansu Fati: The 17-year-old continues to demonstrate that he has more than enough talent to be a regular starter with some nifty footwork that had the fans in Camp Nou on their feet and chanting his name. Tested Soria with a ferocious drive and was second only to Messi in terms of causing the opposition problems. Praise does not come much higher than that.


Junior Firpo: The back-up left back had an excellent game after coming on for Alba, possibly his best of the season. He was a constant threat, he delivered a wonderful ball for Roberto to stroke home and also teed up Griezmann for a chance the striker should have put away. With Alba out of the picture for two key games, the Spain under-21 international is finding his form at the perfect moment for Barça

Ivan Rakitic: The Croatian gets an ovation every time he makes an appearance but he is still far from his best.

Arturo Vidal: The Chilean was typically combative in the short time he had.