|Barça 3-1 Bilbao | Player Ratings
Barça returned to winning ways on Wednesday night as they defeated a tough Athletic Bilbao side 3-1 in the second leg of their 2016/2017 Copa del Rey Round of 16 tie to progress into the last 8 4-3 on aggregate.
All members of the MSN, Messi, Suárez and Neymar scored a goal each to take their total tally to 302 goals since playing together and it meant Barça overturned a 2-1 first leg deficit to progress and continue their journey to winning a third consecutive Copa del Rey crown. Here’s how the players fared in the game.
BARÇA 3-1 ATHLETIC CLUB PLAYER RATINGS
JASPER CILLESSEN – 5.5
Did not add anything special, but didn’t remove anything either. Was basic, passing was quite unimpressive, the long ones btw. But I won’t classify it as a bad game.
SERGI ROBERTO – 6.0
Another basic performer.. Did not add much to Barça’s attack although his passing was good. Did not put in any effort to defend the goal, not a bad game, but not a good one either.
GERARD PIQUÉ – 7.5
Almost never plays badly nowadays. He was great and solid in defence and led his territory quite well. Received lots of support from the crowd. Good game.
SAMUEL UMTITI – 7.0
Although not one superb performance, it was far from a bad game. Made quite some errors on occasions but tiny ones, solid at the back but his passing was the stand out quality. Good signing so far.
JORDI ALBA – 7.5
Decision and precision at times can be woeful, but aside that he was really great in attack. Linked up well with Iniesta and Neymar to terrorise Athletic’s right side, almost got a goal.
RAFINHA ALCÁNTARA – 7.0
Not a bad performance from the Brazilian who was preferred in midfield to Rakitic and Denis. Movement was great and defensive contribution was quite impressive, had some bad spells but overall he played good.
SERGIO BUSQUETS – 7.0
Was rigid at the start but improved as the game went on and ended up winning control of his area. Had lots of defensive work to do and he did them quite well. Not a bad game.
ANDRÉS INIESTA – 8.0
Don Andrés never plays bad, take that from me. He was all over the pitch and did not fail in a single linkup play with Neymar and Messi. Won the ball that started the move for Barça’s first goal, fine pass to set up Neymar earlier which was incorrectly ruled out for offside. Great game.
LIONEL MESSI – 8.5
Athletic Bilbao cracked a code that fouling him is the only way to stop him and they kept on doing that. Tried his best for the team and finally got a goal from a free kick to get Barça through, thanks to his crucial away goal in the first leg.
LUIS SUÁREZ – 8.0
He’s a striker and he scored a fantastic volley so 8 is justified. Had two more chances to score but could not, won the free kick to allow Messi get the winner. Not so bright, but his best game so far this year.
NEYMAR – 9.0
Man of the Match. Started terrorising the Athletic Bilbao defence from kickoff. Was the brightest on the pitch, set up Suárez for the opener with a great cross after the first was wrongly disallowed for offside. Ended his goal drought from the spot courtesy of a penalty he elegantly won, almost scored a solo goal but the post denied him and he ended the night with an ovation from the home crowd, what a man.
IVAN RAKITIC – 6.0
Came on for Rafinha in the final ten minutes, did not do much but minimised Athletic’s attacking.
DENIS SUAREZ – N/A
ARDA TURAN – N/A
LUIS ENRIQUE – 7.0
Good lineup, giving Rafinha and Cillessen minutes and starting Umtiti over Mascherano. Team did not start well but he fixed, did well to motivate his players.
THE TEAM: 9.0
Kept on fighting, not their best game but they never gave up for a moment and you could see their enthusiasm.. Great Remontada.
SHOULD LUIS ENRIQUE CONTINUE AS BARCA COACH NEXT SEASON