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LaLiga 2019-20, Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Barcelona: Player Ratings

ANALYST
Feature
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:11 IST

Barcelona (4-3-3)

Ivan Rakitic reacts after Aduriz stuns Barca late on to claim all three points on a memorable opening night
Ivan Rakitic reacts after Aduriz stuns Barca late on to claim all three points on a memorable opening night

Marc-André ter Stegen (Goalkeeper): 7/10

The German shotstopper was forced into two smart saves in the opening 15 minutes, thwarting Inaki from distance and again from close-range as Bilbao began much the better side.

He made two further saves, distribution was composed as usual and he proved brave enough to claim an aerial delivery under pressure from Raúl García but helpless to stop Aduriz's special strike in the dying minutes.

Clément Lenglet: 6.5/10

Just like Pique, Lenglet was kept occupied by Inaki's ever-present threat on the counter-attack and his supporting cast too. One tackle, two clearances, seven duels won and 85.7% pass completion rate, he'll ultimately be frustrated after squandering a big headed chance.

After 46 Barca appearances, he has two goals to his name. But with chances coming at a premium in tight, tough games like these, there's still scope for improvement.

Gerard Piqué: 7/10

Pique was kept busy by Inaki et al and although recovery pace has never been the Spaniard's forte, he defended well enough to lead by example as usual at the back.

He made a number of crucial headed clearances and interceptions, though he probably could have done better to latch onto one of those teasing deliveries when unmarked in the box second-half. 

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Jordi Alba: 6/10

Appeared lost without Messi ahead of him and was visibly discouraged by a lack of forward movement whenever he looked to overlap in a weird first-half.

Things gradually improved after the interval, but Alba's defensive frailties were again exposed and relinquished possession too cheaply (16 times over 90 minutes), a stat he will not want to see again.

Nélson Semedo: 6/10

Semedo was frustrating with his final ball and unconvincing out of possession, that was partly his own doing and equally that of his teammates after their sluggish start to proceedings continued.

Ultimately, Semedo was culpable for Aduriz's matchwinner, caught ball-watching and reacted too late to the cross as it came in - which saw the forward beat him to the ball, which should have been cleared.

Carles Aleñá: 6/10

Alena started okay and to his credit, aimed to keep things ticking over in midfield, which was easier said than done given Bilbao's pressing tactics out of possession.

As a result, his passes (28, 90.3% completion rate) were often too heavy or demanded too much from his teammates. He replaced by a more experienced Rakitic at half-time. 

Frenkie de Jong: 7/10

de Jong was quietly encouraging despite a slender defeat during his La Liga debut
de Jong was quietly encouraging despite a slender defeat during his La Liga debut

Went about his business, quietly doing the basics right on his LaLiga debut but it was apparent early on that this midfield trio will not last long together. De Jong was regularly demanding the ball at his feet, looking to orchestrate but that proved tricky against a stubborn Bilbao side.

He had a 93.9% pass accuracy, 11 duels won, two interceptions and completed dribbles in 90 minutes. Next step in future is to not be so creatively shackled by those alongside him, but nonetheless there were some encouraging signs. 

Sergi Roberto: 6/10

Started in his preferred role, partnering de Jong and Aleñá as part of Valverde's midfield trio, but this wasn't the type of game that suited such a position switch. Roberto still worked hard defensively but differing responsibilities take some getting used to. 

Antoine Griezmann: 6.5/10

Griezmann dropped into deeper positions to receive the ball and was clearly frustrated playing in a role he's not best suited to. Suárez's injury saw him shifted to their lone centre-forward position, where he was increasingly isolated on a forgettable league debut for Barca.

Luis Suárez: 6/10

With the goal gaping at his mercy, the Uruguayan struck the post after an inadvertent backpass went unpunished.

It turns out he had already picked up an ankle knock moments before missing that chance, though the opportunity was squandered and proved match-defining as he limped off following futile medical treatment on the sidelines.

Ousmane Dembélé: 6/10

Dembele started sluggishly and endured another frustrating display against Bilbao
Dembele started sluggishly and endured another frustrating display against Bilbao

Started slowly and failed to retain possession high up the pitch, the Frenchman's decision-making was questionable to say the least before switching wings after a lacklustre defensive effort in transition had been exploited.

Bright in flashes during the second-half, teeing up Rafinha with a clever reverse pass in particular, though those same individual moments of brilliance were few and too far between. No player on either side lost the ball more regularly than him over 90 minutes.

Substitutes

Rafinha: 7/10

Replaced Suarez and immediately looked to create chances in midfield, drove forward and produced a brilliant strike destined for the top corner on the stroke of half-time.

Unfortunate not to score that one, but should have done better to test Simón after Dembélé's pass in the second-half before his levels gradually dropped.

Ivan Rakitic: 6.5/10

Surprised he didn't start ahead of Alena/Roberto in the heart of midfield but upon his introduction, Barca improved and gradually earned a foothold in the game. Unable to help them break the deadlock, but it was not for want of trying.

Carles Pérez: N/A

Stats' source: SofaScore, WhoScored

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Published 17 Aug 2019, 07:18 IST
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