La Liga 2016/17, Barcelona 5-0 Espanyol: Player Ratings
In the 3rd game of the season, Barcelona reaffirmed their grip on this year’s title with a resounding 5-0 win over Espanyol. After seeing the reigning champions, Real Madrid, drop points again, Lionel Messi and his teammates decided to pile on the pressure.
Messi opened the scoring with a brace in the first half, this was followed up with another strike in the 66th minute from the Argentinean. Luis Suarez rounded off proceedings in the 90th minute as Valverde's Barcelona team made it three wins out of three.
Here’s how all the players fared in the no contest game at the Nou Camp.
Paul López: 5.5/10
It was always going to be a tough night for the young Spanish keeper. As the last man standing in an under-fire attack, Paul López did all he could to keep Barcelona at bay. Without him in between the sticks, the scoreline could have reached double figures.
Victor Sánchez: 4/10
With no out & out left-winger to mark, Sánchez’s job was literally next to impossible. The right-back had to maintain his positioning whilst overcoming any Barca player that decided to occupy the left flank.
David López: 5.5/10
Not only did the 27-year-old have to deal with the tenacity of Luis Suárez, López had to monitor the central movements of Lionel Messi who had a free role. Messi’s movement led to several 2v1 situations against the CB, which he handled with assuredness.
Mario Hermoso: 4/10
Being constantly overrun is no fun and Mario Hermoso struggled to deal with the intensity of Barcelona. His slowness to adapt to situations cost his CB partner and team dearly.
Aaron Martin: 4/10
When Gerard Deulofeu and Nelson Semedo are running at you all game, it’s almost impossible to keep your composure. Martin couldn’t help but be overrun by the duo as their pace left him stranded in the final third.
Pape Diop: 3/10
Besides a few fouls, Diop was unable to establish any influence on the game. Spending most of your time defending in a midfield four tires you out and the effects could clearly be seen on the 31-year-old.
Javi Fuego: 4.5/10
Tired, frustrated and out of ideas, Fuego struggled all game to keep track of Barcelona’s MF 3. Pressing whilst simultaneously marking players is an impossible job and in the end, Fuego could barely keep up with the tiki-taka passing of Barcelona.
Sergi Darder: 5/10
As a wide man in a packed midfield, Darder spent most of the game tracking back with Nelson Semedo. The Portuguese full-back didn’t stop attacking all game and Darder was faced with no choice but to mark him or risk his team being overloaded down the right flank.
Leo Baptistao: 5.5/10
Baptistao cut a very lonely figure up front as any turnover in possession meant he was the first point of contact. He drew fouls from Umtiti and Busquets in the few times he tried to hold up play, but didn’t possess the skill to translate them into clear-cut chances.
Gerard Moreno: 5/10
Moreno cleverly ensured that any time Espanyol counter attacked he joined up with Baptistao to form a front two. In defence, he chased the shadow of Sergio Busquets all game.
Pablo Piatti: 3/10
Piatti was anonymous in attack as he had next to no effect on the game. On the counter, he struggled to provide meaningful passes and when in possession, Jordi Alba quickly cut him down to size.
Marc Navarro: 5/10
Navarro was brought on just to vary personnel in defence for Espanyol, but the ease with which they were opened up remained the same.
Didac Vila: N/A
Didac was unable to have any effect on the game whatsoever.