Round 10 of La Liga sees an uninspired FC Barcelona struggle to find the back of the net as they dominate bottom feeding Granada CF in every other department. A lone goal by Rafinha in the 49th minute was the difference as Barça put in a lackluster shift before their trip to Manchester for Champions League play on Tuesday.
Marc-André ter Stegen – 6.5
Marc faced zero shots on target. Granada barely pressured the back four of Barcelona. Nothing to do and easy passes out of the back were the order of the day for the German. Mats could have played as an extra midfielder if he wished.
Lucas Digne – 6.0
Not a bad match for the Frenchman however not a great one. Playing against former club member and Barcelona legend Isaac Cuenca may have spooked Lucas in anticipation of Dia de Todos Los Santos.
Samuel Umtiti – 7.0
Another great match for the young Frenchman. Samuel has been the most impressive of the transfers so far this season for the club. He has fit like a glove without any adjustment period. I for one hope he stays with the club for many more years. He is strong in the tackle and laser like in his passes.
Javier Mascherano – 7.5
No errors for the Argentine and a potential man of the match shout as well. HIs long balls were the best source of offense for the club throughout the match. We may never see him in the midfield with all our backline injuries, but Javier showed he can still play a devastating pass when needed.
Sergi Roberto – 7.5
Another player who deserves a mention in man of the match talk is the dynamic Sergi Roberto. Step ups, tackles, interceptions, overlapping, and dangerous crosses into the box are what make this man so special. Dani Alves may be the best right back in Barcelona history but give this man a few more seasons in the position, and we’ll talk.
Rafinha – 7.5
The Brazilian has become a great utility player for the club this season. This time he found himself in the left midfielder role usually occupied by Andrés Iniesta and left a strong imprint on the match. His brilliant overhead kick after a Neymar shot rebounded off the post decided the encounter and won himself the match ball. For the first time in recent memory squad depth is not an issue for the club.
Ivan Rakitić – 6.5
Ivan played the pivot during the match and did his best Sergio Busquets impersonation. He brought steel to the midfield and got forward when needed. On set pieces he was dangerous and as the match drifted on found himself more on the left side of a back three allowing the wingbacks to get forward.
Denis Suárez – 5.5
Many called for his inclusion in the squad once Andrés Iniesta went down with injury. Unfortunately this match Denis was left as a frustrated figure more often than not. He struggled with the physicality of Granada and was unable to play any defense splitting passes. The young Spaniard is still one to watch out for in the future.
Neymar – 6.5
He should have scored in the 49th minute but fortunately his shot rebounded to Rafinha. Neymar’s touch let him down on more than one occasion and in truth should have scored on more than one occasion. His usual strong dribbles were on display, but his final ball was lacking. He earned two yellows late in the match but should have contributed more.
Luis Suárez – 6.0
Luis had one great shot on target in the 35th minute but little else of note. He hustled, tried to hold up play, and made crosses to no avail. As with the rest of the MSN, he didn’t have the greatest match against the weakest La Liga club. Hopefully he saved all his brilliance for his return to England.
Lionel Messi – 6.5
In the absence of Iniesta, Messi played more of the playmaking role for the club this match. He made numerous great switches and typical Messi like balls to the opposite side of the field and to players making runs into the box. Unfortunately for himself and the club none of the connections proved fruitful, but watch out Manchester City, this man will be hungry come Tuesday night.
André Gomes – 5.5
He came on in the 71st minute for Denis and made as little impact as the man he replaced. The club has not yet seen the greatness that this man possesses nor has he justified his large transfer fee.
Paco Alcácer – 6.0
Every Barcelona fan in the world is dying for this man to score his first goal for the club. He played a brilliant pass to Messi in the 89th minute that looked a sure goal. Messi let Granada off easy by skying the ball into the stands. Paco’s time will come for the club and he is definetly one for the future.
Rafinha was the man of match with his game winning goal and Roberto, Mascherano, and Umtiti also stood out during this lackluster match. Who were your favorites?