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La Liga: UD Almería 1-2 FC Barcelona: Player Ratings

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A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona's comeback La Liga victory over Almeria.

Denis Doyle

Claudio Bravo
6.4
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 35
Passes: 17
Pass Accuracy: 88%
Shots Faced: 2
Saves Made: 1
Aerial Duels Won: 1

Bostjan says: 7.5

Three games in a row has Bravo now been beaten, but once again he had no chance of stopping the would-be goal, Thievy’s well-placed shot. The Chilean only faced one other shot, but he barely broke a sweat making that stop. Bravo was once again a commanding presence in the area, making easy work of a couple of crosses that went too close to the goalkeeper. But apart from that he had a very quiet game that included calmness on the ball and good passing.

Adriano Correia
5.4
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 98
Passes: 76
Pass Accuracy: 90%
Key Passes: 2
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Tackles: 4
Fouls Won: 1
Clearances: 2
Fouls: 0
Interceptions: 4

Bostjan says: 6.0

Making a rare start at right-back Adriano hardly impressed, though he also didn’t fail as much as Dani Alves did in the past few games. He was under a lot of pressure defensively in the first half, but he didn’t deal with it very well. Adriano looked more comfortable on the other side of the pitch where he made a couple of good runs on the overlap to send a few good ball into the middle that on another day could’ve been converted for goals.

Javier Mascherano
7.1
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 112
Passes: 94
Pass Accuracy: 94%
Tackles: 5
Interceptions: 2
Clearances: 3
Aerial Duels Won: 1

Bostjan says: 7.5

In this new "system" Mascherano has become Barcelona’s main distributor of the ball, leading the team in passes, and by quite some margin if I may say so. And as usual his distribution was excellent, even springing some Barcelona attacks with accurate long balls deep into enemy territory. But Mascherano also didn’t forget about his defensive responsibilities, making numerous important defensive plays.

Marc Bartra
6.5
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 82
Passes: 66
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 2
Clearances: 6
Aerial Duels Won: 7
Fouls: 0

Bostjan says: 7.0

Once again Bartra justified his selection with excellent play on the pitch, even though he did lose Thievy on Almeria’s only goal. He was an absolute beast in the air, losing only one of the eight aerial duels he was involved in. He wasn’t as prolific on the ground where he did make a couple of mistakes, but overall he had a very good game.

Jordi Alba
7.1
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 81
Passes: 61
Pass Accuracy: 82%
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/1
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 3
Clearances: 4
Aerial Duels Won: 1
Key passes: 0

Bostjan says: 7.5

Luis Suarez might have been the man who saved Barcelona from a defeat, but it was Alba who added the finishing touch scoring the game winning goal. Up until that point Alba wasn’t having the best of games, especially offensively, defensively he was quite active and made several strong clearances. In the second half Alba pushed higher up the pitch, helping Neymar to overload Almeria’s right side, and he did a good job, capping it off with his first goal of the season.

Sergio Busquets
4.7
Minutes played: 65
Touches: 31
Passes: 24
Pass Accuracy: 84%
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 0
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Clearances: 2
Aerial Duels Won: 2
Turnovers: 0
Key passes: 0

Sam says: 6.5

Not one of Sergio’s finest games in a Barça shirt. The Almeria midfield seemed to get on top of him and this prevented him for giving the back four the usual level of protection that they have become accustomed to. This also meant he didn’t have such a big influence in the attacking play and made just 24 passes in the whole game. Enrique recognised this and Busquets made way in the 65th minute.

Rafinha
5.2
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 52
Passes: 44
Pass Accuracy: 89%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Turnovers: 2
Key Passes: 0
Fouls Won: 4
Tackles: 3

Sam says: 6.0

Another chance for Rafinha to show what he can do and another game where he didn’t really live up to his potential. Similar to the whole team, he found the first half a struggle and didn’t really contribute anything. As time wore on he gradually got into the game but even then he didn’t reach the level expected of Barcelona midfielders.

Ivan Rakitić
5.4
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 67
Passes: 53
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/1
Fouls Won: 2
Tackles: 2
Turnovers: 3
Key Passes: 3
Successful Dribbles: 0

Sam says: 7.5

Coming back into the side, this was a fairly important to game for Rakitic to show he deserves his starting spot and he performed well after a difficult start. As Barça faltered, Rakitic did too but he picked it up in the second half and helped his team overcome their one goal deficit. Passing wise, he was very good. 90% success rate and three key passes highlight this.

Munir El Haddadi
4.6
Minutes played: 45
Touches: 26
Passes: 13
Pass Accuracy: 69%
Shots/Shots on Target: 3/0
Turnovers: 3
Successful Dribbles: 0
Key Passes: 1
Aerial Duels Won: 2
Fouls Won: 0

Ahmed says: 5.5

He had a few moments of quality on the ball but the end product was lacking. Munir got into some promising positions but never really threatened. He hit a left-footed strike which went wide of the goal and clipped a cross for Rakitic to almost score. Munir did pretty much nothing else. Ineffective. He was taken off at half-time

Lionel Messi
6.0
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 65
Passes: 43
Pass Accuracy: 88%
Shots/Shots on Target: 6/3
Fouls Won: 0
Successful Dribbles: 2
Key Passes: 0
Turnovers: 2
Tackles: 1

Ahmed says: 6.5

Missed several chances which he would usually bury in the back of the net. He really should have scored in the first half with a rocket header that crashed off the crossbar. He was at least partially at fault for the Thievy goal by losing the ball in the attacking third. Messi improved in the second half with the introduction of Suarez and Neymar. The Argentine had a key role in the opening goal with the pass to Suarez who then went on to assist Neymar. He had a header crash off the crossbar in the second half as well. A Messi shot was superbly saved by Ruben near the end. Credit must go to Almeria’s defending, especially in the first half.

Pedro
4.2
Minutes played: 45
Touches: 18
Passes: 13
Pass Accuracy: 100%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Fouls Won: 1
Key Passes: 1
Successful Dribbles: 1
Turnovers: 2

Inder says: 5.0

All but anonymous. A shadow of his former self. Hard-working as usual. Some good link-up play with Messi and Munir, but other than that, not much else from an offensive perspective. He was taken off at half-time.

Luis Suarez
8.6
Minutes played: 45
Touches: 28
Passes: 15
Pass Accuracy: 80%
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/0
Key Passes: 4

Arron says: 8.5

Easily the best performance of his short Blaugrana career to date. The Uruguayan was introduced at the interval with Barça a goal down, and by the end of the night we had the three points in the bag, thanks mostly to his moments of magic. A recurring theme of our season has been aimless crosses from wide positions, a trend Suarez looks intent to break as he supplied a couple of beauties. The first, a low cross was a standard Barça play, while the latter was lofted to a inch of perfection. Surely signed for his goalscoring prowess, Suarez proved he is no one-trick pony here.

Neymar 7.5
Minutes played: 45
Touches: 34
Passes: 26
Pass Accuracy: 69%
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/1

Arron says: 8.0

It’s actually quite devastating when you think about it – I remarked in my match review that Neymar was reduced to dropping deep to receive the ball. Yes, it’s a natural part of his game, but when he ends up further back than any of the midfield? What a waste of his monumental talents. Thankfully, that didn’t last and before long, Neymar was up top, doing what he does best – disrupting the opposition defense and pouncing on their errors. Another game, another goal; this kid is on another level.

Xavi
6.9
Minutes played: 25
Touches: 22
Passes: 19
Pass Accuracy: 95%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0

Arron says: 7.5

At the start of the season, the world and their dog seemed convinced that Xavi was finished. Months later, the same people were pining for his introduction as Barça struggled to impose themselves against lowly Almeria. Maybe that’s the kind of thing that will live on through the ages; even if he didn’t win a Ballon d’Or we can always point to matches like this as proof of his unparalleled importance to the system.

The Team 5.0
Passes: 601
Pass Accuracy: 88%
Shots/Shots on Target: 18/6
Tackles: 21
Aerial Battles Won: 63%
Fouls Won/Committed: 16/9

Arron says: 6.5

Terrible, until they weren’t. In the Clasico, at least we were facing the best team on the planet. Against Celta Vigo, at least we were forcing heroics from their goalkeeper; what positives were there to take from this game until we managed to turn it around? Because we ultimately did, there are plus points we can take forward – like the fact that Suarez, Neymar and Messi can be brutal when used in tandem – but equally there are still many troubling truths that need to be addressed too.

Luis Enrique
4.0

Arron says: 6.0

On the one hand, Enrique recognised that his original selection was wrong. On the other, it was wrong in the first place, and so spectacularly wrong that we were in danger of losing. Again. To Almeria. Probably a decent time for an international break in all honesty.

MOTM - Luis Suarez
85%

Bostjan says: Suarez

Talk about a no contest. Suarez picked up a vast majority of all the votes, and it was deservedly so. He was the main reason behind Barcelona's comeback and even Mascherano's excellent showing was only enough for the Argentine to pick up 8% of the votes. Messi ended up in third place with a measly 3%.