Barcelona 5-1 Villarreal: Player Ratings
We take a look at how players fared as the two teams face in what was essentially a dead rubber.
FC Barcelona hosted Villarreal CF at Camp Nou with their eyes set on the unbeaten streak. The hosts looked determined from the very beginning and attacked relentlessly.
Their first came via a piece of individual brilliance from Dembele, whose shot was parried into the way of Coutinho as he slotted it home calmly. Two brilliant defense splitting passes from Iniesta saw Paulinho and Messi score, in what was a pretty much one-sided first half.
The second half saw a bit of resurgence from the Yellow Submarines, but they failed to capitalize on their chances.
Their only goal came via a deflection from Nicola Sansome. However, after conceding the goal, Barca further went on to score two more as Ousmane Dembele scored a brace in the closing minutes of the game.
Here, we take a look at how the players fared on the night:
Sergio Asenjo: 6/10
Asenjo was a solid presence at the back. He was called into action quite often and did well on a number of occasions. He made excellent stops throughout the match but should have done a lot better in the buildup to the first goal.
Jaume Costa: 4/10
One of many Villarreal players who could not perform to their full potential. He struggled in defence as Dembele looked quite threatening on his side of the pitch. He did not contribute much in attack too, apart from a few decent runs.
Victor Ruiz: 5/10
Like his centre-back partner, Ruiz too had a miserable performance at the heart of Villarreal’s defence. He was left for dead by Messi and company throughout the match and never really put up a fight against Barca attackers, especially in the first half. He did make a few important interceptions and tackles to keep the scoreline respectable.
Alvaro Gonzalez: 6/10
A completely underwhelming performance as he was nowhere to be found during Barca's goals and then was caught ball watching when Coutinho scored from a rebound. He would like to forget the night quite quickly.
Mario Gaspar: 8/10
He did fairly well against Coutinho and defended well in general and was probably the best Villarreal defender of the night. Offensively, he provided some amazing crosses which on any other day might have been turned into goals.
Samu Castillejo: 5/10
This was again a game to forget for Castillejo, who has been one of Villarreal's better players this season, barring this fixture. He struggled to cause too many problems and his final passes were poor. He failed to provide any end product as the yellow submarines struggled to score.
Rodri put in a decent display in the midfield as he screened his defence to some extent and also distributed the ball intelligently. However, he struggled against Messi and lost him several times.
Manu Trigueros: 5.5/10
Like his partner in the middle of the park, he too was exposed defensively by Iniesta and company, who often just seemed to breeze past him. However, he did press energetically and was decent going forward too.
Denis Cheryshev: 5/10
Though he started well, he faded as the match wore on. He did not trouble Semedo much and did not quite track the runs of Semedo, who looked dangerous. He should be disappointed as to how things turned out.
Carlos Bacca: 4/10
The striker was fairly anonymous and was effectively marked out of the game by a combination of Pique and Vermaelen. He will look forward to improving his performance after a tough outing.
Pablo Fornals: 5.5/10
He was unable to unleash any troubling shots on goal to continue his goal-scoring form. He tried to link midfield and attack a couple of times but nothing that inventive came off.
Nicola Sansone: 6/10
His introduction after half-time set the tone for Villarreal. he looked energetic and was central to every most of the moves that Villarreal managed to conjure.
Javi Fuego: 5/10
He was brought on to shield the defence as his teammates got tired. However, the gulf in quality was too apparent as Barcelona went on to score two more after his introduction.
Enes Unal: 5/10
Late Substitution. He looked enthusiastic but simply did not have much time to affect the game.