Barcelona hosted Real Sociedad in the Copa del Rey quarterfinal second leg, as they hoped to capitalise on their 1-0 lead from the first leg.
At home, Barcelona were heavy favourites and La Real’s chances of advancing were quite bleak. The result did not surprise as FC Barcelona ran out clear winner with a score line of 5-2.
It was Denis Suarez who opened the scoring for Blaugrana followed by a goal apiece from Messi, Suarez, Turan and Denis Suarez with the final goal of the game, capping off one of his best performances in a Barca shirt with another goal.
Meanwhile, Real Sociedad fans could only find consolation in goals from Juanmi and William Jose.
Let’s take a look at how the players fared for their respective teams:
Jasper Cillessen: 6/10
The Dutch goalkeeper was good on the ball and helped keep possession for Barca quite often. However, his decision making for Juanmi’s goal should be questioned. He did make a few good saves, though.
Sergi Roberto: 6.5/10
The Barcelona youngster was good in defence and supported the attack well, and he played a significant part of the game as another midfielder.
Gerrard Pique: 6/10
This was not a performance Barca fans have come to expect from Pique, their best centre back. He lost William Jose for La Real’s second and did not seem his usual self in the air.
Samuel Umtiti: 7/10
The French centre-back gave in a good performance at the heart of the defence. He did not shy away from challenges and played the ball out well.
Jordi Alba: 7/10
The Spanish international was his usual self in the match, running up and down the field with energy. He kept Carlos Vela in check and did not allow the Mexican to flourish.
Javier Mascherano: 6.5/10
Played in his favoured position, Mascherano did a great job in the absence of Busquets. He did not allow Sociedad’s midfielders time on the ball but was guilty of letting Juanmi, who he was marking, run away from him for La Real’s first goal.
Denis Suarez: 8.5/10
Suarez seems to be growing into this Barca team. It was a great performance from the youngster, who had two goals and an assist to show for.
Andre Gomes: 7/10
Gomes put in a good performance against Sociedad; he helped out in defence and used the ball wisely. However, it was his miscontrol which gave the ball away for Sociedad’s first goal.
Neymar did not score, but he was a nuisance for Sociedad’s defence. He constantly cut inside and ran almost half the pitch to win the penalty which Messi eventually scored.
Luis Suarez: 8/10
Suarez was a constant thorn in La Real’s defence and constantly out-muscled their defenders. He took his goal well with an outside of the boot shot after being played through by Messi.
Lionel Messi: 9/10
The Argentinian ace played more centrally and cut open La Real’s defence at will. He scored a goal in the 55th minute.
Aleix Vidal: 7.5/10
Brought on at half-time for the injured Sergi Roberto, Vidal took his chance well and grabbed an assist. He was energetic and contributed heavily in attack.
Arda Turan: 7.5/10
Coming on in 75th minute for Neymar, he continued the good work done by the Brazilian and got a goal as a reward for it.
Ivan Rakitic: 7/10
He was brought on in place of the injured Mascherano and did a commendable job at the base midfield. He broke up plays and dictated tempo from deep.
Geronimo Rulli: 5/10
Rulli was helpless in goal and wasn't helped by his defence. Though he went the right way for Messi’s penalty, he was beaten for power and could have done little about the other goals too.
Aritz Elustondo: 6.5/10
He did quite well against Neymar and defended well in general, probably the best La Real defender of the night. Offensively, he provided an amazing cross for William Jose’s goal.
Inigo Martinez: 4/10
A completely contrasting performance when compared to that of the first leg as he was nowhere to be found for Denis’ opener and then gave away the penalty with a rash challenge on Neymar.
Raul Navas: 4/10
Like his centre back partner, Navas too had a miserable performance at the heart of La Real’s defence. He was bullied by Suarez throughout the match and never really could mark him.
Another Sociedad player who could not replicate his first leg performance for them. He struggled in defence as Barca looked quite threatening on his side of the pitch.
Xabi Prieto: 5/10
He was decent going forward but was caught in possession a few times, and one of those instances ended with Denis’ goal. He was withdrawn just before the hour mark for Canales.
Asier Illaramendi: 5/10
Illaramendi 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.
Like his partner in the middle of the park, he too was exposed defensively by Messi, who often just seemed to breeze past him. However, he did press energetically and was decent going forward too.
Mikel Oyarzabal: 5.5/10
Though he started well, he faded as the match wore on. He did not trouble Roberto or Vidal much and did not quite track the runs of Vidal which looked dangerous.
Carlos Vela: 5/10
This was again a game to forget for the Mexican, who has been La Real’s best player this season, barring this quarterfinal tie. He struggled to cause too many problems and his final passes were poor. He was also lucky to avoid a red card for slapping Neymar.
Willian Jose: 7/10
Up against Spanish international Gerard Pique, he held up the ball well and showed a good range of distribution. But the service to him was not good enough as he struggled to make a major impact. However, he did keep working and was rewarded with a goal from a bullet header.
Sergi Canales: 4.5/10
He was introduced in place of Prieto but had little impact on the proceedings.
Brought on just after the penalty, he was a real nuisance and was rewarded with a goal. A good performance which gave Sociedad hope.
Alvaro Odriozola: 4/10
Came on late and did not have much of an impact on the game.Published 27 Jan 2017, 08:44 IST