Barcelona returned to action in the league after the international break with a 4-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruna. The Catalans came into this game after a poor string of games, the last of which ended in a humiliating 4-3 loss against Celta Vigo.
However, Barcelona looked to set things right from the very start as they showed fantastic intent throughout the game.
A double from Rafinha followed by a fantastic goal from Luis Suarez gave the Catalans a 3-goal advantage at half-time. Luis Suarez was rested for the second half as Lionel Messi returned from injury in style, scoring a brilliant goal. Barcelona picked up 3 valuable points and climb to the second spot on the table behind Sevilla with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid yet to play their games.
Here are the player ratings for the game:
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen: 5/10
The German goalkeeper was nothing more than a spectator throughout the game as Deportivo hardly threatened to score. Ter Stegen made one bad pass to Mascherano in the second half.
Jeremy Mathieu: 7.5/10
The Frenchman answered his critics in style as he had a fantastic game in defence for Barcelona. He displayed signs of brilliance in the defence in the first half while he did not hesitate to attack when required. He seemed confident on the ball and was unlucky to have a header ruled offside.
Gerrard Pique: 9/10
Talk about a man in form. Gerrard Pique has consistently been one of the best Barcelona players in the last four games for the club. In the first half, Pique bossed Deportivo’s Andone. He won the header that led to Rafinha's goal.
He was the most dangerous man from the corners for Barcelona and also set up Alcacer with a great chance in the second half which the youngster missed. His distribution was fantastic as well.
Javier Mascherano: 7/10
The least adventurous of the three-man defence deployed by Luis Enrique, Mascherano’s game hinged on distributing the ball throughout the game. On the rare occasion when Deportivo attacked, Mascherano did not falter. He was good going forward in the last few minutes of the game.
Lucas Digne: 6/10
The Frenchman was not troubled much in the defensive third, while he was not at his very best in the attacking third either. However, he did do a good job of supporting Neymar on the left and did cause problems for Laure on many occasions in the first half.
Sergio Busquets: 7/10
Busquets started the game as the captain tonight and he led the team on the pitch. He was as composed as ever in midfield and it looked like his ability to distribute the ball even in the toughest of pressure situations was back. He was the link between the defence and attack as always.
Ivan Rakitic: 5/10
It was a very quiet night for the Croatian international as he looked quite unfit on the pitch. Despite that, Luis Enrique played him on for the whole 90 minutes. It looked like Rakitic was uncomfortable on the left side of midfield and his efforts just did not seem to work this afternoon.
Rafinha Alcantara: 8/10
The Brazillian youngster was undoubtedly one of the best players on the night as he tormented the Deportivo defence throughout the game. Early on, he set up Neymar, who hit the post. He was then rewarded for his brilliance with a good goal after some poor goalkeeping. He then added another before the 40th minute.
Arda Tura: 6/10
The Turkish international was another player who seemed to have a quiet game. He was good with his passes while he did not look as energetic as he usually would. Rafinha dominated all the attacking play on the right-hand side while Turan was reduced to play second fiddle to the Brazillian.
The Brazillian rose to the occasion in the absence of Lionel Messi in the first half. Neymar created plenty of opportunities for Barcelona while he was himself unlucky to hit the post early on. He assisted both Messi and Suarez’s goals, and was at the centre of both the Rafinha goals.
Luis Suarez: 7/10
Not the best of games for Suarez, but the Uruguayan was good enough to bag a brilliant goal in the first half. He missed a couple of good chances early on, including a header from a tight angle. Luis Enrique substituted Suarez after the first half probably to rest the Uruguayan.
Paco Alcacer: 6/10
Barcelona’s new signing struggled to find the back of the net in what was yet another frustrating outing for the youngster. Alcacer is going through somewhat of a dry spell in front of goal for Barcelona and missed at least 3 good chances. However, there wasn’t much more he could do as it was a result of either great defending or goalkeeping.
Lionel Messi: 8.5/10
Messi had a brilliant return to the team as he netted just a couple of minutes after he came on. The Barcelona team looked much stronger with Lionel Messi in and the Argentine was almost faultless on the pitch. Probably the only negative would be a poor free kick late in the game.
Denis Suarez: 5.5/10
The youngster replaced Rafinha in the 68th minute and had very little to contribute in the game. His role was reduced to distributing the ball in midfield while occasionally pushing forward to provide support for the forwards.