The Catalans took a revenge against Athletic Bilbao for their 5-1 Spanish Super Cup loss last week and FlyBarca rates the players’ performances
Barça will be happy after getting a hard-earned 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao at San Mames after a Luis Suarez second half strike ensured the Catalans get all three points.
Athletic Bilbao – FC Barcelona Player Ratings
Claudio Bravo – 6.5
Was preferred ahead of Marca Andre Ter Stegen but didn’t have much to do. Kept a clean sheet and always started Barça’s attack from the back well.
Dani Alves – 5.5
Spent less than 20 minutes on the pitch after he was forced off with a groin injury. Replaced by Sergi Roberto.
Javier Mascharano 6.5
Was the usual hard-working Mascherano but was sometimes caught out of position. Finished the game in Defensive Midfield after Sergio Busquets picked up an injury.
Thomas Vermaelen – 7.5
With Gerard Pique and Jeremy Mathieu suspended, Vermaelen was given the nod over Marc Bartra and the Belgian didn’t disappoint. Was solid in defence and his passes were accurate. Made a lot of clearances but was booked for a late challenge on Aritz Aduriz. Clearly Barça’s best defender of the night.
Jordi Alba – 7.0
Didn’t look like he was just returning from an injury as he was excellent throughout the night. Created Suarez’s goal with a great first time cross from the left while and also linked up well at Barça’s left-hand defence with Thomas Vermaelen.
Sergio Busquets – 7.0
Was having a great game until he was forced off a stretcher in the second half with an ankle injury. Was replaced by Marc Bartra.
Ivan Rakitic – 5.5
Was not his usual self. The Croatian had a quiet game and was bested by Athletic’s strong midfield. Didn’t do anything wrong but yet he didn’t impress.
Andres Iniesta – 6.5
Controlled the midfield perfectly as usual. His beautiful pass found Jordi Alba on the left in the build up to the goal. Played a good game overall as he was great in both attack and defence.
Rafinha Alcantara – 6.0
Struggled at left-wing as he is a left-footer. Great footwork from him set Sergi Roberto up on the right whose shot struck the top of the crossbar. Didn’t at all have a bad game.
Lionel Messi – 6.5
A difficult night for the Argentine as he was against a well-organised defence and was in a personal duel with Balenziaga. Missed a glorious chance to give Barça the lead when his weak penalty was saved by Gorka Iraizoz. Made his presence felt late in the second half as he produced a mazy run, beating three players but shot straight at Gorka Iraizoz. An average game for a player of his quality.
Luis Suarez – 7.0
Was the workaholic in Barça’s attack. Won the penalty which Messi missed after he took a tumble in the area. Got the all-important goal in beautiful fashion as he volleyed in an Alba cross from 6 yards.
Sergi Roberto – 8.5
Came off the bench to replace an injured Dani Alves early in the first half and produced a Man-Of-The-Match performance even though he played in an unnatural right-back position. Great work from him set up a chance for Suarez, which Iraizoz saved and also smashed the crossbar in the second half. Was excellent in both attack and defence in his new role and was clearly Barça’s best player of the game.
Marc Bartra – 5.5
Replaced Sergio Busquets in the second half, played in central defence allowing Javier Mascherano a place in the midfield. Did well in the dying stages as Barça defended a one-goal lead.
Sandro Ramirez – N/A
Came on for Rafinha late in the game and didn’t do much.