|Barca players celebrate vs Alaves|
FC Barcelona started the 2018/2019 La Liga season with a fantastic 3-0 win over Alaves in an entertaining game at Camp Nou as they look to defend the title. Lionel Messi bagged a brace the first of which was Barca’s 6000th goal while Coutinho scored a cracker to kick Barca to a winning start. Here’s how the players fared in the game.
MARC-ANDRE TER STEGEN – 7.5: Didn’t do much as regards to making saves as Alaves weren’t allowed a single shot on target but the German goalkeeper impressed whenever the ball was at his feet and had a highlight with a flick dribble despite being under pressure. He got the clean sheet as well.
NELSON SEMEDO – 6.5: Started at right back but was subbed off at halftime. He didn’t really have a bad game but his threat in attack was limited. He was great defensively but while going upfront he looked reckless.
GERARD PIQUE – 7.0: Didn’t have much to do but he was absolutely great when called upon. Intelligent most of the time, focused and his anticipation was great. Didn’t put a foot wrong.
SAMUEL UMTITI – 7.0: Just like his CB partner, he didn’t do much defensively. Great passes on occasions.
JORDI ALBA – 7.5: Among Barca’s brightest player especially the first half. Had a shot early off target from a Messi pass and missed a chance from a Dembele pass. He did great both defensively and in attack.
SERGI ROBERTO – 7.0: Mixed game as he played two positions. Wasn’t very impressive in midfield but did great when moved to right back. Pretty much shows why he’s a better right back than midfielder.
IVAN RAKITIC – 8.0: For me one of Barca’s best performers but he’ll go unnoticed. The midfielder was part of the reason Barca dominated. His passing was always accurate and his movement was weirdly great. It’s a good performance.
SERGIO BUSQUETS – 6.5: Took the entire midfield from Alaves and didn’t allow them play but he looked a bit rustier than normal and some of his passes weren’t nicely weighted.
OUSMANE DEMBELE: 8.0: Lively display from the youngster who looked very dangerous on the left wing. He had a good game except for the parts he made some poor decisions and made some terribly weighted passes.. he looked a bit too eager at times. But he’s a talent. Missed a good chance though.
LUIS SUAREZ – 6.0: He’s on a terrible form and was Barcelona’s worst performer on the night, however, he made some nice passes in the final third and got an assist after laying a sweet pass for Messi’s second. Missed some really good chances. Needs to pick up form.
LIONEL MESSI – 9.5: What a display! The king is here. The game was like his personal highlight. Scored the opener and Barcelona’s 6000th goal in La Liga from a wicked freekick and got his second with the final kick of the game courtesy of a nice finish. Created many nice chances and got some himself. Great game.
PHILIPPE COUTINHO – 8.0: Came on at halftime for Semedo and provided Barca with more threat. Missed a chance from a Messi pass but got his goal through a vintage finish to make it 2-0 for Barca. Great game.
ARTHUR MELO – 7.0: Came on for Ousmane Dembele with around 15 minutes to play. Was cool on the ball, simple and got the assist for Coutinho goal.
ARTURO VIDAL – N/A: Came on for Busquets for the last five minutes for his Liga debut and had some nice touches. Didn’t do much, the game was wrapped up.