La Liga 2017/18: Barcelona 3-0 Las Palmas, Player Ratings
Barcelona played Las Palmas behind closed doors looking for a victory and extending their winning streak. It was a slow start by the Catalan club who were kept goalless through the first 45 minutes. Las Palmas showed good defensive resilience and organisation to keep the score at 0-0.
Valverde's introduction of Rakitic and Iniesta at half-time changed the complexion of the game. Busquets broke the deadlock with his first goal since the 2014-15 season, from a corner. Then Messi added two more goals in quick succession to completely demolish any chances of an upset at an empty Camp Nou.
Here, let’s take a look at how the players fared for both the teams.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen: 6/10
He was not tested much despite the fact that Las Palmas were the stronger side of the two in the first half. He was beaten once but the post came to his rescue, which was his only blip of the game.
Sergi Roberto: 7.5/10
The make-shift right-back was a star performer for FC Barcelona today. He made a lot of defensive contributions to keep the score at 0-0 in the first half. He was involved in attack as well, being part of most of the good things happening on Barcelona's right.
Gerard Pique: 7/10
Pique had a good game as he dominated and won everything that came his way in the air. He won headers, made blocks and clearances and was a calm head in the heart of the Barca defence.
Javier Mascherano: 6.5/10
Drafted into the first XI in place of Samuel Umtiti, the diminutive Argentine gave in a trademark performance. He was strong in tackles and aware of lurking dangers. However, he did lose the ball cheaply in the first half only to be bailed out by Busquets.
Jordi Alba: 6.5/10
The Spanish International was much quieter today. He was left with a lot to deal on his flank and generally did struggle. A mixed day at the office for him.
Aleix Vidal: 4.5/10
Given a chance to play ahead of Deulofeu, Vidal was disappointing tonight. He looked uninvolved and lethargic and constantly lost the ball in promising positions. He was subbed off at half-time for Andres Iniesta.
The Spanish International was influential throughout the game. He broke plays and started attacks from his own half. This was a good commanding display from him in the middle of the park.
The Brazilian midfielder had a poor game. Unimaginative in attack and generally lethargic, he struggled to have any say on the game. He was subbed off at halftime.
Denis Suarez: 8/10
His introduction to the right wing after half-time set the dice rolling for La Blaugrana. He was crafty in possession, kept the ball in tight spaces and brought much-needed urgency into Barca's game. His assist for Messi's goal was a thing of beauty.
Lionel Messi: 9/10
The diminutive Argentine scored a brace tonight, a common sight this season. Though he was a bit silent in the opening half, he was absolutely unplayable in the second half.
Luis Suarez: 6/10
Luis Suarez did everything right today, except scoring. He pressed defenders, he ran the channels, hold up play, crossing, everything. He assisted Messi's second with a fine first time through ball. Maybe, he needs a rest as his frustrations seem to be getting the better of him.
Ivan Rakitic: 7/10
His introduction at the half-time changed Barcelona's fortunes. After a dismal last season, he finally appears to be returning to his best. He was lively in his 45 minutes on the pitch and contributed heavily in both attack and defence.
Andres Iniesta: 7/10
Even at the age of 34, he is a class act. Once he came on the pitch, Barcelona took total control of the game. However, he had to be substituted in the 83rd minute again.