La Liga 2017/18, Deportivo Alaves 0-2 Barcelona: Player Ratings
Messi's record breaking goals also broke Alaves' resolve.
FC Barcelona travelled to Mendizorrotza to face Alaves in the second gameweek of La Liga 17/18. The first half was a cagey affair as Alaves managed to resist Barca's efforts with a combination of disciplined defensive display as well as good goalkeeping. They too carved out a few good chances as Soriano somehow managed to miss a great one-on-one opportunity against Gerard Pique.
However, the second half saw their resolve breaking as they succumbed to a brace from record breaking Lionel Messi. His first came after he turned in a low cross from left by Jordi Alba and was later gifted a second by the Alaves defence. The brace saw him become the first player ever in La Liga history to score 350 goals.
Let's take a look at how the players fared for their respective teams.
Fernando Pacheco: 8/10
Quite a contrasting outing when compared to his opposite number. It was him who stood firm and stopped Barca from running riot. Pulled a couple of saves including a fantastic stop off Messi's penalty.
The fullback had a decent outing and defended reasonably well barring the opening few minutes. He stayed narrow and didn't really give much in attack. However, both the Barca goals came from his side.
Alexis Ruano: 4/10
It was disappointing day for the centre-back. He first conceded a penalty for his foul on Pique only to be saved from embarrassment by Pacheco and then gave away the ball just outside his box for the second goal. A match to forget for him.
Rodrigo Ely: 6/10
He was solid for most part of the game and did not allow Barcelona to run away with the match from the start. He sniffed out attack after attack to keep the scoreline respectable. Would be gutted to deflect Messi's shot into goal for Barca's first.
Pedroza put in a good performance as he was constantly in the way of Messi and company, keeping them at bay for a majority of the game. He made a string of important clearances throughout the match.
Oscar Romero: 5.5/10
The Brazilian for most part was seen in his own half defending. In attack he was unspectacular as always and was limited to a couple of hopeful shots from range.
The midfielder was industrious and covered a lot of ground for his team. However, the lack of quality was quite apparent as Iniesta and Busquets ran circles around him and his fellow midfielders.
Playing as a defensive midfielder, he was tasked with providing cover to his defenders and minimise the effect of Barcelona's midfield. For all the gulf in quality amongst the players, he did very well and did not allow Barcelona to run riot against them.
Playing in central midfield against the mighty Barcelona is a daunting task and he too must have felt it. Constantly left chasing shadows as Barcelona moved the ball quickly, he still managed to stick to his task well and provided good cover for his defenders.
The former Athletic Bilbao man, who once played under Valverde, was anonymous. Playing on the left, his contribution in attack was next to zero. He needs to improve drastically.
He was an everwilling runner and did make a few clever runs off the ball to initiate a few counter attacks. However, supplies to him were few as he looked isolated up top. he should have converted the one-on-one chance he setup for himself.
Brought on for Gomez, he too failed to make a mark and was largely disappointing.
Enzo Zidane: N/A
Late substitute but did show a few touches and close control like his dad's.