Barcelona continued their winning streak after their dominant 4-1 victory against Villarreal at Camp Nou. The Catalans kept their spot at the top of the table but were not able to extend their lead as Real Madrid comfortably won their game too.
Neymar opened the scoring 21 minutes into the game after latching onto a deflected shot from fellow teammate Lionel Messi, only to see Bakambu, the Congolese forward, equalise 10 minutes later. However, Barcelona put themselves in front yet again after Messi danced his way through a couple defenders and drove the ball low into the back of the net from just outside the box.
Luis Suarez extended the lead after finishing a swift counter-attack at 69 minutes, and the game concluded when Messi finally sealed the deal and added to his tally of 50 goals in Europe this season.
Here are the player ratings.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 5/10
Despite giving the ball away outside the penalty box and almost conceding, he was consistent for the remainder of the game. He was helpless against Bakambu’s equaliser after the Barcelona defence failed to respond to the counter-attack.
Sergio Roberto – 6/10
Although he lost the ball a couple of times, he assisted Suarez’s goal and roamed up the pitch on numerous occasions and helped add more diversity to Barcelona’s attack.
Gerard Pique – 6/10
The Spaniard was completely outpaced by Bakambu and struggled to deal with him, but was solid otherwise.
Samuel Umtiti – 7/10
The Frenchman was arguably the strongest defender in the team last night and continued to show his skills in his debut season.
Lucas Digne – 5/10
He had difficulty in controlling the tempo of the game and had a rather lethargic performance
Sergio Busquets – 6/10
The midfielder had a shaky first 45 minutes after carelessly giving the ball away on the edge of the box, but did manage to put on a more steady performance in the second half
Ivan Rakitic – 6/10
Although the Croatian was unable to provide clinical passes, he demonstrated his work ethic. He tackled pretty well and kept the opposition midfielders at bay.
Andres Iniesta – 5/10
The Spanish magician was unable to replicate his past performances as he continued his inconsistent season by putting in a lacklustre performance.
Lionel Messi – 7/10
The Argentinian superstar played well, assisting Neymar’s goal and influenced the game significantly. His first goal was a typical Leo Messi goal and showed his individual brilliance.
Luis Suarez – 6/10
He didn’t look like a thorn in Villarreal’s side until he launched a counter-attack and extended Barcelona’s lead. The Uruguayan worked hard to win the possession of the football.
Neymar – 7/10
He was quick enough to react to Messi’s deflected shot and slotted the ball into the back of the net. Showed his determination and energy after giving the Villareal defenders a run for their money. The Brazilian was arguably the best player on the pitch.
Javier Mascherano – 5/10
He replaced Busquets and looked comfortable in the midfield and allowed Barcelona to see out the game.
Jordi Alba – N/A
Andre Gomes – N/A