FC Barcelona turned up the tempo after a late red card from Gijón and won round six of La Liga away five to nil. Early goals from Luis Suárez and Rafinha gave Barça a secure lead, but it wasn’t until Alberto Lora earned his second yellow that the match was truly put away. After the red, Neymar scored a brace flanked by a goal from Arda Turan in the 85th minute.
Marc-André ter Stegen – 7.0
Marc made a nice stop in the 56th and had a strong passing game throughout. Although he kept a clean sheet one gaff that will be remembered will be when he handled the ball outside the box rather than punching it to safety in the 20th minute. Barcelona were not punished for his error, and the German didn’t even earn a yellow.
Lucas Digne – 7.0
The Frenchman had a robust game defensively. He isn’t as strong as Jordi Alba offensively, but is more than a capable backup. For the first time in a long time the club has competition for the left back spot.
Jérémy Mathieu – 7.5
Jérémy made a case for himself to be chosen in front of Javier Mascherano in the pecking order of left center backs for the club in this match. He formed a good partnership with Gerard Piqué and seemed to play up the pitch more as a midfielder than defender but was always available defensively when called upon.
Gerard Piqué – 8.5
The best center back in the game made six great tackles of note in the match. Gerard’s pass distribution was on point, and he always looked to start the offense. He would have been man of the match if it wasn’t for his right sided defensive partner delivering a master class of a performance.
Sergi Roberto – 9.0
Who is a better right back in the world right now other than this man? Great tackles and amazing crosses are the name of the game for Sergi. In the 32nd and 85th he put two crosses right onto the heads of Rafinha and Arda for goals respectively. He won a yellow in the 74th and was dominating on the right flank throughout.
Arda Turan – 8.5
Arda continued his strong start to the season this time in the left midfielder role. Gone are the days when Barça fans could criticize him for lazy play. He played a beautiful lofted ball for the first goal to Suárez. A devastating header in the 85th rounded out a dominating display from the Turk.
Sergio Busquets – 7.5
Barcelona’s captain on the day put in a commanding shift for 68 minutes. Sergio made great tackles in the 27th, 35th, and 43rd minutes. With the insertion of André Gomes into the lineup, he was able to drift further up the pitch and play Xavi like passes. Sergio is growing stronger as the season is progressing.
André Gomes – 7.5
André is beginning to look more confident as a Barcelona player. He is starting to play more decisive passes and move into better positions. Once again he moved into Sergio’s position when he was subbed and looked a more than capable understudy.
Neymar – 8.0
While Rafinha took Lionel Messi’s position on the team sheet, Neymar looked to replace what the Argentine brings to the club. The first half saw strong dribbling from the Brazilian and a good pass to start the Rafinha goal scoring movement. It must be said that he made some slack passes, but he redeemed himself with a stronger second half performance. Two easy goals rounded out the match for him in 81st and 88th minutes.
Luis Suárez – 7.0
Luis has looked off color the last couple of matches for the club. He rounded and beat the Gijón keeper for the first goal of the match. Hopefully that goal will improve his play in the coming weeks. The work rate is always there, but his interplay needs to improve.
Rafinha – 8.0
It is impossible to replace Messi, but Rafinha did as good as anyone could during the match. He won two yellows in the 9th and 86th minutes and completed a powerful diving header goal in the 32nd. For once squad depth is not a problem for FC Barcelona this season.
Denis Suárez – 6.5
After not featuring much for the club recently Denis put in a decent substitute performance. He didn’t make any mistakes and made an Andrés Iniesta like through ball assist to Neymar for the fifth goal.
Paco Alcácer – 6.0
Oh Paco, how we all can’t wait for your first goal for the club. He hit the bar with a powerful shot in the 81st minute that once again deserved a goal, although it did lead into Neymar scoring
The club scored five goals, but it was the defenders that really stood out for FC Barcelona. Thankfully Messi was not missed during the match. Who were your favorites?