Barcelona: player ratings as Villarreal thumped 4-1
A good few Barça players enjoyed their best performances of the season as Quique Setién's men comprehensively beat Villarreal in LaLiga on Sunday.
Marc-André ter Stegen:
A fine display from Ter Stegen, particularly when it came to finding his team-mates with long balls from the back. His distribution was generally on point and helped to created attacking danger. He didn’t have many saves to make, but was assured when called upon. Gerard Moreno’s goal came after a good save from the German, who was not quite able to grab hold of the ball.
An up-and-down game from Semedo, who ended up being substituted. He made one unforgivable error when bringing the ball out on his wing, a mistake that could have cost his side a goal. He was unable to offer much of a threat going forward, as he often seemed isolated out on the right flank.
A reliable performance from Piqué, who was brought off late in the second half to avoid the defender picking up a yellow card that would have ruled him out of Wednesday’s Catalan derby with Espanyol.
Lenglet had an excellent game - his best of the season. Powerful in the air, impeccable with ball at feet and quick into the challenge. A perfect performance.
Another player who had his best game of the campaign. Barça’s attacking play was largely focused down his wing, with Alba and Lionel Messi thick as thieves, and the left-back also came close to scoring. He not only restored his lethal connection with Messi, but also combined well with Antoine Griezmann, as could be seen in the first goal. Together with Sergi Roberto, Alba also worked tirelessly to defend his flank, and finished the game absolutely out on his feet.
A stellar display. Busquets brought balance, technique, intelligence and perfect positioning to the midfield. When he plays like this, he’s simply irreplaceable.
The Chilean remains a key man in Quique Setién’s team when it comes to attacking spaces and infusing the rest of the side with his never-say-die spirit. He might have scored on two occasions, but didn’t have his shooting boots on. He’s playing more and more, and better and better.
Roberto’s best game of the season by a mile. Playing on the left of a midfield three, he linked up intelligently with his team-mates and was always involved when Barça created danger. He didn’t seem quite as in his element when he switched to right-back, but continued to perform very well.
Griezmann bounced back tonight - and how. The Frenchman put in a fantastic performance. He scored with a stunning chip after being set up by Messi’s backheel, while Barça’s opener came about when he forced defender Pau Torres to turn the ball into his net. If Griezmann performs like this, he won’t be benched again.
Suárez remains hit and miss, but on this occasion there was far more of the former. The Uruguayan scored a goal from Messi’s perfectly-weighted assist, and is now the club’s third-highest scorer of all time, with 194 goals. He was substituted after an hour.
Messi didn’t score, but he supplied two assists, thumped a free-kick against the bar and saw a goal ruled out. A stellar performance - one which, for the Argentine, is just another day at the office.
Brought on for Semedo, Rakitic first took up a position on the left of the midfield three, before dropping back into the holding role after Busquets was withdrawn. The Croat did his job well, particularly defensively.
Puig began with a couple of errors, but once he warmed up he showed real intelligence with the ball, in addition to doing excellent work defensively.
Everything this lad touches turns into gold. With the first opportunity he got, he cut inside from the left after picking up Alba’s fine pass, and found the back of the net.
Braithwaite came close to scoring with a header, but Sergio Asenjo dug the ball out from underneath the posts.
Araújo played the final minutes, and demonstrated what he had already shown against Real Mallorca. This lad’s good enough for the first team.
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