Player Ratings: Real Betis vs. FC Barcelona

SEVILLE, SPAIN - JANUARY 29: Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring the first goal for FC Barcelona and equalizer draw of the match during La Liga match between Real Betis Balompie and FC Barcelona at Benito Villamarin Stadium on January 29, 2017 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Futbol Club Barcelona escaped the Estadio Benito Villamarín with a point after some bizarre referee decisions and lackluster play. Fans will blame the lack of rest between matches, the early start time, injuries, and mainly the referee but the club has to take a long look in the mirror after such an unconvincing performance. Real Betis were unfortunate to earn only a draw after hitting the crossbar and the post as well as overall pushing Barcelona to its limits.

Marc-André ter Stegen – 5.5

Marc made a series of nice stops throughout the match and his distribution was mainly on point. Although most of the blame for the Betis goal must fall on his shoulders. He tried to punch the ball off a corner and was muscled out of the play resulting in the goal.

Lucas Digne – 5.0

Lucas looked hesitant throughout the match and his lack of sharpness was the main cause for the failing of the left wing for Barcelona. The Frenchman was thankfully replaced by Jordi Alba in the 68th minute.

Jérémy Mathieu – 6.0

Mathieu was strong in the tackle and his passes found their mark. Usually an easy scapegoat for the club, the same could not be said in today’s match.

Gerard Piqué – 6.5

The future President made two great clearances in the first half that stopped Betis attacks along with a professional foul that did the same earning him a yellow in the process. Gerard was strong all match especially upstairs.

Aleix Vidal – 6.5

Vidal was dangerous throughout the match and for long stretches the main source of offensive for the club. After Sergi Roberto was subbed on for Arda Turan, Aleix occupied the right wing for Barcelona. His cross in the 76th minute was put into the net clearly as an own goal but was not given by the referee or linesman. For La Liga to be taken seriously as the best league in the world something needs to be done about the poor officiating.

Arda Turan – 6.0

Arda does not look like the goal scoring machine he has been this season when he is played in the midfield. He made a few nice tackles and had some nice runs but was overall ineffective.

Ivan Rakitić – 5.5

The game just passed by the Croatian dynamo. Two nice tackles were the highlight of his night, but he just didn’t bring what Sergio Busquets or Javier Mascherano does for the club. Missing was the pivot play of the former and the long balls of the latter.

Denis Suárez – 5.5

After a string of nice performances earning him the tag of successor to Andrés Iniesta, the young Spaniard came back down to earth. He didn’t play poorly but didn’t drive Barcelona forward either.

Neymar – 6.5

Neymar should have scored in the 38th minute after a brilliant ball from Messi. The Brazilian brought his usual strong dribbles to the match, but he constantly held onto the ball too long rather than finding his teammates. He was comically brought down in the box with an obvious penalty shout, but it was uncalled during the ball crossing the line farce.

Luis  Suárez – 6.5

Luis did virtually nothing of note during the match, but as great strikers always do, he stepped up and put the ball into the back of the net when needed. His 90th minute goal after a delicious Messi pass earned the club a point. It is worrying although that with Messi occupying the middle so often that Suarez constantly has to suffer on the wing.

Lionel Messi – 6.5

This will not be a match long remembered for the greatest player of all time. Messi struggled to impose his will on the match as he looked to be the playmaker for the club. For the first time this season Lionel dropped into the midfield when Alba and Roberto came on. Was this a taste of what’s to come for the great Argentine?


André Gomes – 5.5

Gomes was brought on to replace Denis but brought little to match. He is making a habit of giving the ball away at inappropriate times. Thankfully this time it didn’t lead to any goals. It may be harsh this being his first season for the club, but he doesn’t look to have the Barcelona DNA.

Jordi Alba – 5.5

He replaced the ineffective Digne but was rather ineffective himself.

Sergi Roberto – 6.0

His inclusion allowed Vidal to venture farther forward which proved to be the most dangerous movements for the club.


Barcelona was both lucky to escape with a draw and unfortunate not to win the match. Unless Madrid drops tons of points the league looks to be lost. Barcelona are not getting the luck they need to be champions nor can they grind out victories when playing poorly. What did you think?


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  • Eivind Niclasen

    I see no reason to continue watching La Liga this season. Barca has so far been robbed of six points, while RM has been handed eight points for free. The pattern is rather obvious for anyone but the willfully blind. Human error is not part of this, it´s more a case of systematic bias. It happens almost every week. Will Ramos get banned for spitting at Iago Aspas? Of course not. Will Diego Godin be banned for doing the same thing against Alaves? Probably.
    Penaldo is being shipped out to China this summer, so Papa Perez is making sure that he gets a second La Liga title before he goes. Simeone was correct when he stated at the beginning of the season, that the league is rigged in RM´s favour this time around. With the league gone, off to the CdR and the CL.

    • Jason Rodriguez

      While I agree that something fishy is going on, I also know that Barca has played some very poor games!!! We have lost points from our own mistakes, in prior games, and from not being the dominant force that we were in seasons’ past! May be its the new players that haven’t gelled, or Lucho’s tactics have gone stale! It’s sad to say that we spent a lot on new players, for us not to be Messi dependant, but we still are!

  • Denis Melo

    I think it was a foul on ter stegen in the goal. Players can’t “muscle out” or touch goalkeepers. Has the rule changed?

  • Kneowell Anyanwu

    I still strongly believe we can win this league even amidst recent misfortunes, what goes around comes around, fingers crossed, we gotta keep moving. 8 points adrift, one classic to play everything for, tough return games for everyone but we’ll see what we make out of it. Let’s go guys!

  • Marc

    wow some people are still left. TB hasn’t totally died yet. Here’s to hoping it recovers, this was an active and amazing fan site, finding it hard to replace it.

    Onto the topic

    La Liga feels over. barca cannot put together a string of good performances and we are getting outplayed way to often this season, we can blame the referee for the points loss cause they are trash as always but we can’t blame them for how incredibly bad we are. Something as simple as a high press should not worry Barcelona which is a team known for it’s passing and ball retention. I blame both LE and MSN. Now i don’t mean MSN are bad, it’s the exact opposite. They have been so good over the course of LE tenure that all everyone does is just boot the ball to them and hope for the best. LE has butchered barca’s football and our plan B has become plan A. So much so that we signed players for a direct game. We can’t win all our remaining games if the team has no idea what their identity is. Also, the game against betis is the last straw for me and LE, I told myself if he ever played arda in midfield again after numerous failed attempts but won’t give La Masia players a chance then i’m completely through with him no matter the results at the end of the season. Stubborn and out of touch with the team. Here’s to hoping we get sampaoli in the summer.

    • David

      Nah, TB’s done for. They should’ve never deviated from the whole idea of using Facebook for the comment section.

      I personally just so happened to have a Disqus account already, otherwise i’d have never bothered.

    • Kneowell Anyanwu

      Lol, good luck to your wishes