La Liga 2019/20 | Barcelona 5-1 Real Valladolid: four players who impressed for the Blaugrana
The hosts came into the fixture with more freshness than their opponents, having rested over the weekend due to the postponement of their weekend league clash with Real Madrid over security concerns.
This showed as it took less than two minutes for Ernesto Valverde's men to go ahead when Clement Lenglet scored his first goal of the campaign in fortuitous circumstances, but the defending champions were soon pegged back in an even more inexplicable sequence.
However, from then on, it was one-way action and Barcelona imposed their will on the game, with the result put to bed as early as the 34th minute.
It was a largely wholesome performance from the Catalans and coach Valverde would have been very pleased with the output of several players who played a massive role in securing all three points for the Blaugrana.
In this piece, we shall be highlighting four players who were the most impressive for Barcelona in their fixture with Real Valladolid.
#4 Ivan Rakitic
After playing a starring role in all the successes enjoyed by Barcelona since his arrival at Camp Nou in 2014, Ivan Rakitic has seen his importance reduced this season.
The abundance of talent in the middle means that there is an intense competition for places in midfield and the arrival of Frenkie de Jong over the summer only added to the fight.
However, despite his lack of playing time, Rakitic remains a popular member of the dressing room and it is not hard to see why.
The Croatian international is a tireless worker who gives his utmost on the field of play and upon his introduction in place of de Jong in the 60th minute, fans inside the Camp Nou were quick to give a rapturous welcome to the former Sevilla captain.
Having all but wrapped up proceedings in the first half, the second half was largely a procession for Barcelona and they struggled to create too many clear-cut chances with the game just drifting by and devoid of any real goalmouth action.
Rakitic's introduction helped rectify that, as he injected a much-needed bite into the Barcelona midfield and forced the Valladolid defenders onto the backfoot with his bursting drives forward.
Just 15 minutes after his arrival, Rakitic made a mark on the game, setting Lionel Messi up for his brace with a perfectly timed through ball, while he also set up his teammates on some other occasions.
In total, the 31-year-od completed 45 passes - which was just two less than the 47 de Jong managed - (despite playing for the best part of an hour) and even though his place in the starting lineup might not be guaranteed, Rakitic showed that he still has a lot to offer with his cameo against Valladolid.