We are all Barcelona. The city needed a victory and the club delivered in the fashion of a two to nil victory over Real Betis. Incredibly the thing the match missed the most was a goal by the great Lionel Messi. FC Barcelona dominated the match, but things could have been much different if not for a world class tackle from Javier Mascherano.
Marc-André ter Stegen – 6.5
The young German had a strong, calm match save for when the aforementioned Mascherano had to save his bacon in the 38th minute. His distribution was what club fans have come to expect from him.
Jordi Alba – 7.5
Ran up and down the left flank like a kid in a toy store. Defensively he was just as strong as has was offensively. Alba formed a great partnership with his left sided midfield partner, Sergi Roberto. The club will need a heavy dose of that this season.
Samuel Umtiti – 7.5
One word encapsulates the young Frenchman and that is strong. Passes were on point and his air game was towering. Quietly becoming one of the best young center backs in the game.
Javier Mascherano – 8.0
Will win most of the defensive praise from the match after his last ditch world class tackle changed the tide of the match and rightfully so. Center back should not be a problem for the club this season if everyone stays healthy.
Nélson Semedo – 7.5
Could hardly ask for more from a débutante on his La Liga debut. Elegantly he strode up and down the right flank to great effect. It was a pleasure to watch his runs into the box and hopefully will be for many more seasons. Signing of the season so far.
Sergi Roberto – 8.0
Mr. Work-rate. A bit of Andrés Iniesta here, Xavi there, and Thiago sometimes. He is Sergi Roberto. This player proves match after match he is getting better and belongs in a side like FC Barcelona. He scored the second goal of the match with precision.
Sergio Busquets – 7.5
Masterclass of movement, passing, and defense. He is the best in the world at what he does. One begins to wonder if Ernesto Valverde will use Sergi Samper or Paulinho in the pivot and allow Sergio to push forward. Other than Messi he is the team’s most creative player at the moment. He gets the ball to Messi.
Ivan Rakitić – 7.0
Quiet game from the Croatian. He steadied the ship when a defensive play was needed or if the ball needed to move up the pitch. Does the club need a more creative member or have a controller in this position? Philippe Coutinho or Jean Seri perhaps?
Gerard Deulofeu – 8.5
Man of the match performance from the man in the spotlight. Two runs and passes of his led to the two Barcelona goals. He doesn’t look as hesitant as he did in the Super Cup but needs more time on the pitch to shine.
Paco Alcácer – 5.0
Anonymous from the Spaniard. It’s too soon to write this, but Denis Suárez should take more of his minutes.
Lionel Messi – 8.0
He hit the woodwork three times with such venom they will forever shake. Darting runs and near misses on free kicks were the names of the day. A mediocre match from Messi is still most men’s best day.
Aleix Vidal – 5.5
I like the move of putting Vidal on the right wing, but he was a step slow in this early season cameo. We need his pre-injury form to return.
Denis Suárez – 6.0
The club needs Denis to step up this season.
Lucas Digne – 5.0
His bad clearance led to a chance on goal in the 88th minute, keep in mind the Frenchman came on in the 86th. Finished his short bad night with a bad yellow in 92nd minute. Better days are ahead from him.
The club needed a victory and the players responded. It was nice to see Messi in the middle as a false nine and the partnership he started with Deulofeu. One match in league and one victory, job done. What do you think?