Copa del Rey 2016/17: FC Barcelona 3-1 Athletic Club Bilbao - Player Ratings
After having lost out to a brilliant Athletic Bilbao side in the first leg at the San Mames, Barcelona needed a fitting response in order to make it to the next round of the Copa del Rey. Luis Enrique's men did just that as they came out all guns blazing to win 3-1 at the Camp Nou and reach the quarter-finals of the cup competition.
They had more of the ball and peppered Athletic with attack after attack and with all three of their attacking players scoring secured a fairly comfortable win. Perhaps, Athletic missing out on some of their key players had a role to play in the outcome of the match, however, Barcelona were the deserving winners against their lacklustre opponents.
Here are how the players fared:
FC Barcelona (4-3-3):
Jasper Cillessen (Goalkeeper): 6/10
Cillessen had nothing much to do throughout the game with Athletic finding it hard to attack except take the ball out of the net after Enric Saborit's goal.
Sergi Roberto: 6.5/10
Roberto did fairly well on the right flank of defence for his side, although he could probably have done better in defending Atheltic's goal.
Gerard Pique: 7/10
Pique was calm and composed and ran things for Barca at the heart of the defence. His casual back flick while Aduriz was bearing down on him, exemplified his style as a defender. He might have been lucky to escape conceding a free kick for his late foul on Inaki Williams.
Samuel Umtiti: 6.5/10
Umtiti had a decent game as well and did his job to keep things tight at the back for Barca. Apart from a few harmless slip-ups, he was solid at the back.
Jordi Alba: 6.5/10
Alba was running up and down the left flank constantly helping out the attack. He could have even had a goal but scuffed his shot in the second half and hit it straight at the keeper.
Rafinha Alcantara: 6/10
Rafinha had a quiet game but did his job on the right side of the three-man midfield. He was taken off in the 80th minute.
Sergio Busquets: 7/10
Busquets was brilliant in the midfield, breaking down any possibility of Athletic's attacks and initiating attacks for Barcelona.
Andres Iniesta: 7/10
Iniesta seemed to be back to his usual best after a horrendous display in the first leg. He weaved through the Athletic defence on a few occasions and created opportunities for his teammates.
Lionel Messi: 8/10
Messi has got to be the best free-kick taker in the world right now. The Argentine maestro scored yet another brilliant goal from a free kick to settle the tie and help his side secure the win.
Luis Suarez: 9/10
Suarez was Barcelona’s best player on the pitch as he was a constant threat for Athletic throughout. After his goal was ruled out unfairly for offside, he scored shortly after with a sumptuous volley to open the scoring. Suarez also won the free kick that Messi scored from.
The Brazilian, who has been criticised for much of the season, showed glimpses of why he is highly rated. He won the penalty for the second goal that he himself stepped up to score. It was his first goal for Barcelona since October.
Ivan Rakitic: NA
Rakitic, amidst many transfer rumours, came on to play only the last ten minutes and did not have much time to make any significant impact.
Denis Suarez: NA
Suarez came on for Neymar during the 87th minute and had very little time. However, he did take a shot from inside the box and should have scored when he fired over.
Arda Turan: NA
Turan came on a substitute only for the last few minutes and had too little time to make any impact.
Athletic Club (4-2-3-1):
Gorka Iraizoz (Goalkeeper): 5.5/10
Iraizoz was the main villain to the Barcelona fans as the Athletic skipper took his own time while taking goal kicks. He let in three goals, all of which were quite difficult to save.
Eneko Boveda: 5/10
Boveda had to move to centre-back after Etxeita's injury. The defender slipped up in the penalty box and gave away the penalty that led to Neymar's goal.
Xabier Etxeita: 6/10
Etxeita had to be substituted in the 30th minute following a hamstring injury. With Athletic defending much of the first half, Etxeita did a good job of blocking out the constant Barcelona attack.
Aymeric Laporte: 5.5/10
Laporte had a tough game, managing the three-pronged Barca attack. He committed a few fouls and also got into the book in his attempts to break down the opposition attacks.
Mikel Balenziaga: 6/10
Balenziaga was probably the better of the Athletic defenders as he did fairly well to defend as well as contribute to his side's attack on the left flank.
Mikel San Jose: 5.5/10
San Jose had a lot of work to do in the defensive midfield role as he had to take the onus of doing the dirty work for his side in Ander Iturraspe's absence.
Benat Etxebarria: 5/10
Benat, who usually is the one who initiates attacks for his side, was pushed back for much of the game and struggled to keep his tackles controlled. He gave away the free kick that Barca scored in the 77th minute when he fouled Suarez just outside the box.
Inaki Williams: 6/10
Williams was one of the best attacking outlets for Athletic with his pace and power. However, he could not make many inroads through the Barca defence.
Javier Eraso: 5.5/10
The attacking midfielder was not able to provide much for his teammates as they were pegged back on a constant basis.
Enric Saborit: 7/10
Saborit scored the goal for Athletic with a brilliant downward header. The winger also tracked back and helped out his defence. He was taken off with 15 minutes to go.
Sabin Merino: 5/10
Merino was played up front for Athletic but he was not able to make any sort of inroad through the Barca defence. He was taken off during the half-time break.
Gorka Elustondo: 5.5/10
Elustondo came on as an early substitute for the injured Etxeita. The right-back was the provider for Atheltic's goal with an inch-perfect cross. He received a yellow card for a challenge on Neymar.
Aritz Aduriz: 5.5/10
The veteran striker came on for Merino for the second half. However, Aduriz did not receive any service from his teammates and he had to drop very deep to receive the ball.
Markel Susaeta: NA
Susaeta came on for the goal-scorer, Saborit for the last ten minutes and had very little impact on the game.