La Liga 2017/18: Barcelona 2-0 Real Betis, Player ratings
After the departure of Neymar, it was Barca's first league match today and marked the beginning of a new era in club's history. The match started with a gloomy atmosphere following the tragic terror attacks in Barcelona.
Barcelona started the match on front foot as they looked forward to win the game. Though Betis were defensively sound, the score line does look a bit flattering for them. Barça took the lead with an own goal by Alin Tosca in 36th minute of the game. The Blaugranas then doubled their lead three minutes later via a Sergi Roberto goal.
Second half too, just like the first half, saw FC Barcelona dominate possession and create a few chances but Betis somehow hung on with the help of their defence and the goalpost. In a match where Leo Messi hit the post thrice and Javier Mascherano pulled out an elite, world-class tackle, let's take a look at how the players fared for their respective teams
Ter Stegen: 6 /10
This was probably his easiest outing in a Barcelona shirt. He was not tested the entire match as Betis failed to register a single shot on target. His distribution, though, was good.
Making his La Liga debut today, the portugese gave an impressive performance. He was solid at the back and surprisingly good in attack. His performannce today must have brought fond memories of Dani Alves amongst the Barça faithfuls.
Mascherano: 8 /10
Amazing performance from the veteran who was written off prior to the commencement of 2017-18 season. It was his sensational, last ditch tackle that stopped the team from losing their lead. He was solid and impervious throughout the match.
Barcelona faithfuls love him for his solid performances and coolness under the pressure. He responded with just the kind of performance the Camp Nou crowd expect from him. His balls over the Betis defense line were quite impressive and important in Barca's buildup play.
Alba has been a consistent performer for the blaugranes and tonight was no different. Always full of energy, he buzzed up and down the left flank, defending doggedly and was always open for a pass out wide. However, he was overshadowed by the performance of his teammate on the other side of the field.
Another typical Busquets performance. He shielded the back four, broke up plays and acted like a deep-lying playmaker. However, he was seen up the field quite often which is surprising and refreshing.
Amazing performance in the midfield by the La Masia graduate. Deployed in his favoured midfield position, Roberto contributed in attack as well as in defence. He has staked his claim for a starting midfield spot.
Rakitic worked tirelessly throughout the game. He attacked, though with limited creativity and then tracked back enthusiastically for the entire 90 minutes. An experienced campaigner but non-chalant performances like the one today may not be enough for a starting spot at FC Barcelona.
Deulofeu: 7.5 /10
Deulofeu was a different player today as compared to El Classico. He first forced an own goal as his amazing cross was turned in by Tosca. He then setup Sergi Roberto for Barcelona's second goal. He was quite influential today for Barça.
Deployed at an unfamiliar position out left, the young striker looked out of sorts and just could not get into the game. Always on a different frequency as compared to his teammates, he neither saw the ball much nor did he get into interesting scoring positions. He worked tirelessly though and helped out Alba in defence.
La Pulga ran riots around the Betis defence and was involved in almost every decent attack mounted by Barcelona. However, he will count himself unlucky today to have hit the post thrice. On any other day, he could have had a hattrick but not today.
Brought on for Deulofeu, Vidal fared decently compared to the youngster. He did miss a 1 on 1 late in the game.
Denis Suarez: N/A
Late substitute for Paco Alcacer.
Late substitute for Alba.