Barcelona played arguably one of the toughest games they will have all year in an extremely hostile environment, against an incredibly difficult team. Athletic Bilbao have been consistently, for the past few years, one of the toughest opponents the Culés have to face. They are relentlessly aggressive and quick to capitalize on any mistakes the opposition makes. Luckily for us, when those mistakes happened, and they did indeed happen, the whole team stepped up to prevent Athletic from scoring. On the offensive side of things, our own guys were less than effective. Nonetheless! It is with great pleasure that I present you with this match's
Irish Goat's Three Gamboling Goleadores!
1st Goleador: Sergi Roberto
Second straight game I write about Sergi, but then again, how could I not? Outstanding game from the youngster which continues to prove more and more he has a place in the starting eleven. He continues to improve! How much ceiling does this guy have? When first employed in the right flank, he wasn't necessarily spectacular in defense. He was solid, sure, but not spectacular. And in offense he still had to polish his final passing a bit more. In the game against Bilbao, both those aspects of his game were significantly better. Athletic hardly attacked down the side manned by the Spaniard, and his attacking prowess was much improved. More and more, his passes in the final third are akin to deadly daggers.
2nd Goleador: Ivan Rakitic
Iván Rakitic was sublime! There was absolutely no chance of Athletic Bilbao players going anywhere near his vicinity without Ivan Rakitic going all Dikembe Mutombo and wrecking everything. A fantastic performance from Ivan, capped by a beautiful goal. Even without the goal, his night was outstanding. Hopefully, we will get to enjoy more of these outstanding performances coupled with more beautiful goals.
3rd Goleador: Gerard Piqué
A defender's job is mostly thankless, as they're hardly noticed when they perform well. This was the case for Gerard. He had a quiet evening, yet he was precisely where he had to be when needed. It is terribly exciting to see the potential this team has in defense this year. Luis Enrique was right, possibly one of the strongest squads in years.
That is it for this match's Gamboling Goleadores! Please, comment on what your choices would have been. Visca Barça!