BARCELONA

Barcelona player ratings after convincing win against Elche

Lionel Messi was once again the stand-out peformer for Barcelona in the 3-0 win against Elche, while Martin Braithwaite put in a decent showing, providing two assists.

Barcelona player ratings after convincing win against Elche
Rodolfo Molina DIARIO AS

Ter Stegen: He didn’t have to make any notable saves, despite the fact that Elche had tried on more than one occasion to score. But since they could not get a shot on target, it was an easy night for the Barca keeper.

Mingueza: He suffered a lot especially in the first half with the Argentine midfielder Rigoni causing him plenty of problems on the flank. However, the young full back eventually settled into the game as he gained confidence and made several contributions in attack.

Piqué: The deputy captain continues to recover his rhythm after his long absence. In his third game as a starter since his return, he managed things well at the back, making several ball recoveries thanks to both clever anticipation and aerial strength. He also did well when taking the ball forward from the back.

Umtiti: He was at fault in leaving the gaping space for Lucas Boye in Elche’s clearest-cut chance four minutes into the game. But luckily for the French defender, Boye could only manage to blast his shot over. The Frenchman put the error behind him and put in a solid performance from there on in. There were some concerns after he had to receive some attention after feeling some discomfort in his inner left thigh in the second half, but he was able to return to the field of play soon after.

Alba: The full back scored a goal as if he were a centre forward after taking advantage of a masterful header from Braithwaite in the 72nd minute. He played well on the left flank and was always looking to release Pedri ahead of him.

Pjanic: He was replaced by Dembélé at half time. Although he was not the awful on the ball, his game without the ball is a disaster. The Bosnian is always badly positioned and does not contribute enough in covering back.

De Jong: He cleverly lasted 90 minutes on the pitch without picking up a booking that would have left him out of Saturday's game against Sevilla. His build-up play in Messi's second goal was indicative of his star quality as he dribbled from the half-way line, beating three defenders on route, before giving the key pass to the captain. It’s a shame that he does not have more continuity.

Lionel Messi celebrates with Frenkie De Jong after scoring the second goal against Elche.

Pedri: He showed incredible versatility, playing in every position in midfield, including at times in the role of the holding midfielder. It may not have been his best match, but his presence is always valued by the team, which is depending heavily on his talent these days.

Trincao: As we have become used to seeing with Vinicius at Real Madrid, Trincao seems to do everything well but lacks the killer finish. He had two clear chances in the first half against Elche keeper Badia, both of which he finished badly. Even so, he was the stand-out player for Barcelona in the first half and the one who offered the most in attack. After the break, his performance dropped off and he ended up being replaced in the 65th minute.

Messi: A typical commanding performance from the captain, who scored the first two goals and played his part in the third. The brace against Elche brings his league tally to 18 as he leads the race for the Pichichi.

Braithwaite: He gave two assists: the first a clever back-heel pass for Messi in the opening goal and the second a great header that allowed Alba to score with ease. That fact that he didn’t score himself will be frustrating but he has put his hand up to start against Sevilla on Saturday. Aside from his valuable contributions in attack, he also made a big effort when Barcelona were defending.

Barcelona replacements:

Dembélé: After replacing Pjanic at half time, he played the first fifteen minutes on the left wing and rest on the right. Despite not having had too much direct involvement, he often forced Elche to keep at least two men on him, which freed up space for his team mates.

Sergio Busquets: The veteran’s entrance gave security to his team mates. A text book cameo performance as he kept order in midfield.

Lenglet: Koeman gave him fifteen minutes on the field to regain confidence after the penalty he gave away against Cádiz.

Dest: He played as a left back, replacing Alba and gave a great assist to Griezmann, who smashed the ball against the crossbar when he only had Badia to beat in the dying minutes.

Griezmann: It’s not clear whether it was bad luck or simple ineptitude, but his aforementioned miss was painful to watch.