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La Liga 2017/18; Athletic Club 0-2 Barcelona: Player Ratings

Greg Lea
ANALYST
Feature
11.92K   //    29 Oct 2017, 10:07 IST

Athletic Club v Barcelona - La Liga
Athletic Club v Barcelona - La Liga

Goals from Lionel Messi and Paulinho either side of half-time brought Barcelona victory at San Mames.

Messi hit the post before opening the scoring in the 36th minute, but Ernesto Valverde's men had to dig deep in the second period.

After surviving heavy Athletic pressure, the visitors made sure of all three points when Paulinho tapped home late on in the dying minutes of the game.

Here are the player ratings for both teams:


Athletic Club

Athletic Club v Barcelona - La Liga
Athletic Club v Barcelona - La Liga

Kepa Arrizabalaga - 6/10

If you were being harsh, it could be argued that Arrizabalaga could have done slightly better for both goals. He was, however, not to blame for this loss, and he did make three good saves.

Eneko Boveda - 6/10

Boveda struggled to deal with Alba's runs in the first half, but he gradually became more assured and was more involved in Athletic's attacks than might ordinarily be expected.

Unai Nunez - 8/10

This was an extremely accomplished performance from the defender, who was one of the most impressive players on the pitch. He showed great intelligence on the cover and was confident in possession too.

Aymeric Laporte - 6/10

Athletic Club v Barcelona - La Liga
Athletic Club v Barcelona - La Liga

Laporte's speed is an asset and he needed it to make up for some suspect positioning at times. The Frenchman did improve as time went on, though.

Inigo Lekue - 7/10

With Sergi Roberto a little conservative at right-back, Lekue was able to push forward and contribute in attacking areas. Paulinho may have scored from his area of the pitch, but it is hard to blame a player for pushing for an equaliser in the dying stages.

Ander Iturraspe - 7/10

Iturraspe was at the heart of Athletic's attacking efforts on Saturday night. No team-mate had more touches, played more passes, delivered more crosses or played more key passes than the midfielder.

Mikel San Jose - 6/10

San Jose did not have the best of games, losing possession too easily at times and struggling to find space in midfield. He was replaced in the second half as the hosts pushed for a leveller.

Inaki Williams - 7/10

Williams' pace seemed to terrify Barcelona's defence when he picked up the ball with space in front of him, but his delivery into the area was inconsistent. Nevertheless, the speedy forward was his team's brightest spark for long periods.

Raul Garcia - 7/10

A physical and tough performer who never gives opponents a moment's peace, Garcia caused some problems for the Barca backline without ever really having the extra dash of quality to make a difference.

Inigo Cordoba - 6/10

This was a mixed performance from Cordoba, who was wasteful with his final ball on a number of occasions. He did whip some dangerous into the box, though.

Aritz Aduriz - 6/10

Aduriz spurned one of Athletic's most presentable openings, seeing his one-on-one effort saved by ter Stegen in the first half. He tried to hold the ball up and bring others into play, but it did not always come off.

Substitutes:

Benat Etxebarria - 7/10

Brought on as Athletic tried to muster an equaliser, Etxebarria showed good movement to find space between the lines as he looked to link midfield with attack.

Markel Susaeta - N/A

Introduced with just seven minutes left to play, Susaeta was not really given long enough to make an impact.


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Greg Lea
ANALYST
Greg Lea is a London-based freelance football writer for The National, FourFourTwo and various others. Follow him on Twitter: @GregLeaFootball.
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