The curse of Anoeta continues as FC Barcelona is lucky to win a draw against a dominating La Real performance. A moment of magic between Neymar and Lionel Messi rescued the club one point. They now sit six behind Real Madrid heading into the first El Clásico of the season.
Marc-André ter Stegen – 6.0
The German made a few nice saves during the match but was put under way too much pressure to have his usual excellent distribution. His best stop of the match unfortunately ended up in Gerard Piqué being unable to clear a Willian José goal off the line. Too many of his passes were forced long to lost duels up field.
Jordi Alba – 6.5
Jordi often gets criticized for his theatrics, but todays performance was one of a warrior. An apparent knee injury had Lucas Digne continuing to warm up. He didn’t get forward to his usual degree, but he won many headers and played especially strong in the box. As an outlet he could have been better, but he got the ball to Neymar which must be one of his main jobs.
Javier Mascherano – 6.5
He was one bright spot in one of the most disappointing first halves in recent times. Javier was strong in the tackle and especially in the pass. His long balls are continually the only option offensively for the club other than the forwards. The one criticism he must have is that he should have cleared the ball further on the Real Sociedad goal.
Gerard Piqué – 6.5
He was another player that looked to have to come off after a strong tackle. Young Brazilian defender Marlon had to continually warm up during the match. Along with Mascherano the Spaniard played hard in the tackle and towering upstairs. Club supporters must be wondering if he and Alba will be 100% for Real Madrid.
Sergi Roberto – 5.5
This is the first match that he must be strongly criticized for. He just didn’t seem to be up to the moment. Sergi looked lacking in pace and his few crosses left much to be desired. One started to wonder what a player like Dani Alves could have brought to this match. Defensively, Roberto was beaten much too easily.
André Gomes – 6.0
Along with the rest of the club, he brought absolutely nothing to table in the first half. Football is a simple game of pass, move, and first touch with a few moments of brilliance sprinkled in between. He hasn’t brought any moments of magic yet, but he keeps the ball moving.
Sergio Busquets – 6.5
The midfield is no longer the strongest part of the club. Without Andrés Iniesta he is the sides strongest player between defense and the strikers. Many have claimed a drop in quality is to blame for his poor play, but Sergio doesn’t have many options in the midfield to look for. Too many times he found himself double or marked completely out of the match, although a beautiful ball from him set up the Neymar dribble that led to the Messi goal.
Ivan Rakitić – 5.5
He is another player that looks lost on the pitch without Iniesta on his opposite side. His work rate on the match consisted of running around aimlessly while being unable to string together a single pass. His 45 minutes on the pitch were of little worth. He just doesn’t seem to have the creativity or drive the team needs right now.
Neymar – 6.5
His first half was just as disappointing as anyone’s during the match, although the Brazilian came more alive in the second. The half started out well with a decent free kick attempt in the 51st minute. His magical dribble in 59th minute created the only real scoring opportunity for the club during the contest. Lately the goals have dried up for Neymar, but he is more than making up for it in the assist department.
Luis Suárez – 5.5
He was basically invisible during the match. His only contributions to the club was being caught offside way too many times. It was a fine line most of the time especially when he scored one just offside in the 65th minute. How much blame can be put on his shoulders is debatable because he received zero service of note.
Lionel Messi – 6.5
The timeless one scored the only goal for the club with a nice move into the box followed by a brilliant control and snappy finish. Unfortunately he brought little else to the match. Is it time to move Messi fully into the midfield?
Denis Suárez – 6.0
He was much more effective than Rakitić during the match, and the club looked a better side with him on the pitch. He made a good run in the 82nd minute that unfortunately led to nothing. It may of made more sense for him to go down and earn a free kick rather than continue onto the box.
The club was lucky to escape with a draw. The only time the club looked like FC Barcelona was when Neymar and Messi combined for the goal. Real Sociedad should of won the match. What did you think?