|Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Barcelona – Player Ratings|
FC Barcelona made it two wins from two in La Liga after defeating a tough Athletic Bilbao side 1-0 at the San Mames on Sunday night to earn them six points out of a possible six.
First half goal from midfielder Ivan Rakitic was enough to see Luis Enrique keep up their 100% record in the 2016/2017 Liga season as they hope to defend the title. Here is how the Barcelona players fared in a tough night at the San Mames.
ATHLETIC BILBAO VS BARÇA PLAYER RATINGS
MARC ANDRE TER STEGEN – 7.0
Began his new role as first choice goalkeeper and didn’t start well, committing a terrible mistake with a bad pass but was lucky the resulting shot met his face. Made two easy saves and his passing and playing around the box was fun to watch. He looks happy with his new role.
SERGI ROBERTO – 8.0
One of the best players of the night. Didn’t attack much definitely due to instructions from Luis Enrique because of Athletic’s press and counter attack prowess but still did well in attack. Looks like we won’t be missing Dani Alves anytime soon.
GERARD PIQUE – 7.5
Was solid in defence and made it seem like Aritz Aduriz wasn’t playing. Very good in the air defending Athletic’s dangerous set pieces and was also the leader in defence. His passing was great and his composure was out of this world.
SAMUEL UMTITI – 6.5
Not his best game. Couldn’t handle the toughness of Athletic club and their fans and looked shaky unexpectedly. Was shown a yellow card and was subbed off for Javier Mascherano in the second half with the fear of picking up a red card.
JORDI ALBA – 7.0
Suffered on the left trying to pin down Inaki Williams but later found his footing. Made some good decisions on both attack and defence and it looks like the arrival of Lucas Digne has changed some things.
IVAN RAKITIC – 8.5
Best performer of the night. Scored the goal that gave Barcelona the win with a bullet header to best Iraizoz. His work rate was immense and he was very creative than the Rakitic of last season. Controlled the midfield well and played just as the game wanted. A good game overall.
SERGIO BUSQUETS – 7.5
Great performance from the magician despite picking up a harsh yellow card in the first half. Was the anchor in midfield and helped facilitate counter attacks on numerous occasions. Gave the ball away on some occasions in the first half but later bossed it. Great display.
DENIS SUAREZ – 7.0
Started over Andre Gomes in place of Andres Iniesta and he was far from being bad. None expected him to be calm in a game of such calibre and he proved them wrong. Should’ve scored in the first half when set up by Messi but fired his shot wide off goal.
LIONEL MESSI – 7.5
Looked like an average game from a Messi point of view but it was much more than that. Was full of enthusiasm all round and had a shot that went inches wide. Set up three clear cut chances but Arda Turan, Luis Suarez and Denis denied him of at least an assist. Not a bad game, but not a Messi game either.
LUIS SUAREZ – 6.5
Not his day and it’s like this once in a while. The Uruguay captain just couldn’t score and missed a host of good chances when he should have especially the one in the last minute of the game where he had just a defender to beat but shot straight to him. Was frustrated with his hard luck. Picked up a yellow in the first half.
ARDA TURAN – 7.0
Looked very composed on the wing. Didn’t do very much but set up Rakitic’s goal with a beautiful cross from the left. Seems to be enjoying the left wing position more than central midfield.
JAVIER MASCHERANO – 7.0
Returned from injury and came on to replace the booked Samuel Umtiti. His experience helped him a lot and he ensured a lot more calmness in defence, making Barcelona much less vulnerable.
ANDRE GOMES – 5.5
Replaced Denis Suarez and didn’t do much. Couldn’t control play and didn’t look too sharp in his Liga debut for Barça. Not a good game, maybe because he didn’t start it.
RAFINHA ALCANTARA – 6.0
The Olympic gold medallist returned to the team and replaced Arda Turan in the second half. Showed some skills and covered well in midfield but still had little impact in the game.