Round 11 of La Liga sees FC Barcelona pull out a narrow victory over Sevilla FC at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium. Lionel Messi was the star of show pulling Barcelona back after they were undone by a beautiful pass from Samir Nasir that led to a Vitolo goal. Luis Suárez won the match in the 61st minute after a devastating Messi dribble.
Marc-André ter Stegen – 6.0
Great finish from Vitolo, but Marc could have been stronger. Sevilla controlled the first half, but the German only faced four shots on target during the match. His long distribution was on par as were his short passes which found mostly Samuel Umtiti.
Lucas Digne – 6.5
The Frenchman hasn’t formed a strong connection with Neymar yet, but much of the blame must fall on the Brazilian’s shoulders. Lucas had a good game in the air and most of his passes found their mark. The left side of the Barça’s attack isn’t as decisive without Jordi Alba and Andrés Iniesta.
Samuel Umtiti – 6.5
The slightly poorer of the two center backs on the night for Barcelona. He was overshadowed by Javier Mascherano’s strong defensive play. Although, Samuel played well out of pressure and had a few nice dribbles into the opposing third.
Javier Mascherano – 7.5
El Jeje bossed the match on the defensive side of the ball. He was cool under pressure and strong in the tackle. This is the player we have become accustomed to seeing on the pitch for Barcelona, and he was desperately needed during this match.
Sergi Roberto – 6.0
So this is a man after all and not a machine. Sergi was blown away by a pass from Nasir and allowed Vitolo to pass him by easily for a goal. The rest of the match the Spaniard was strong and was the much more offensive of the two wingbacks.
Denis Suárez – 6.5
Denis had a hand in the first goal and grew into the match as did most of the club in the second half. He isn’t the player that Iniesta is yet but definitely shows flashes of brilliance at times. This young man needs more time on the pitch.
Sergio Busquets – 6.5
He did his best to control the tempo of the match and be the release valve that Barcelona needed from Sevilla’s pressure. His performance on the night was much stronger than in previous weeks. You could see it was a conscience choice to play him further up the pitch at times to use his offensive talents.
Ivan Rakitić – 6.0
Ivan was denied a goal in the 49th minute and was removed to make way for André Gomes in the 73rd. His work rate was good, and he tried to play his way out of pressure but for long stretches of the match was mostly invisible. He is another player that desperately wants Iniesta back on the pitch.
Neymar – 6.5
This wasn’t the finest match for the young Brazilian. His control let him down on more than one occasion in the first half, although he earned two tough yellows in the 26th and 50th minutes. Neymar also assisted the first goal for Barcelona with a nice dribble and pass to Messi but more often than not his passes and dribbles went no where. Neymar will have to up his performances if Barcelona hope to continue their winning streak.
Luis Suárez – 7.5
Luis was denied goals in the 2nd and 75th minutes with two strong shots saved by Sergio Rico. He had good interplay with Messi throughout the match and in the 61st minute their partnership proved fruitful. Messi slid the ball to Suarez who made no mistakes by winning the match for Barcelona.
Lionel Messi – 8.5
Man of the match performance for the greatest player ever on the night. He dragged Barcelona back to glory after the club went down one to nil. His goal and assist proved the difference in the match. Watching this man dribble is like watching Jackson Pollock paint. We are the fortunate ones.
André Gomes – 6.0
He came on in the 73rd minute but didn’t make much of a difference. To his credit he didn’t make any mistakes either. Like the other young players for Barcelona he needs more time on the pitch to showcase his skills.
Rafinha – 6.0
The young Brazilian came on in the 86th minute and provided mop up duty for the club. He didn’t get a chance to show his exciting skill set. Like Gomes he made no mistakes.
Javier Mascherano impressed on the defensive side of the pitch but Messi was the man of the match during this intense encounter. Who were your favorites?