Real Madrid 2-0 Barcelona: Player Rating as Lionel Messi struggles at Bernabéu | La Liga 2019-20
- A night of individual class but poor team effort resulted in Barca's downfall in El Clasico.
The game started with a flurry of heated emotions on the pitch as three players went into the book even before 20 minutes had passed. While Barcelona enjoyed great amounts of possession in the first half and controlled the game as everyone expected them to, it was Madrid who stepped up in the second half to take the game.
Due to some sloppy midfield decisions by both sets of players in the first half, there were a lot of chances in the final third for both teams but they failed to convert any.
Just as the second half was replicating the first one in terms of the scoring chances being squandered, Madrid's Vinicius Junior stormed past the Barca players on the left wing to open the scoring, beating Marc-Andre Ter Stegen on the near post. With this goal, he became the youngest player to score in El Clasico this century.
The game was heading to a fairy tale ending for the home team as the Blaugrana did not trouble Thibaut Courtois much, but Los Blancos fans were in for another treat.
Just on the brink of the final whistle, Mariano Diaz who was substituted on for Karim Benzema, made it 2-0 as he beat the opposing defenders in the box and smashed the ball past a helpless Ter Stegen, adding to the Catalans' misery.
Without further ado, we take a look at the player ratings for the Barcelona team from last night's El Clasico.
Also Read: Real Madrid 2-0 Barcelona: 5 Talking Points
Marc-Ander Ter Stegen: 6/10
The German stopper was the reason the score-line wasn't higher as he denied the Madrid players time and again after a bizarre performance by his defenders. Both the goals scored by Madrid were conceded on the near post and he definitely could have done much better against them.
Jordi Alba: 4/10
The Barcelona full-back is one of the most experienced players on the team but didn't look like it in the second half when he played higher up the pitch than Barcelona's original defensive line, and this might have been one of the things that led to Madrid's second goal.
Alba was even cautioned early in the game with a yellow card for his tussle with Madrid right-back Daniel Carvajal.
Samuel Umtiti: 5/10
The French World Cup winner had a great first half and was quite impressive even after the break but he failed to close down Mariano Diaz for Madrid's second goal, which sealed the night for Barca and put a big blot on his solid defending in the entire game.
Gerard Pique: 6/10
Gerard Pique was not only great for Barcelona in the defence but also proved to be a real threat to Madrid offensively thanks to his aerial strength. However, neither of his efforts were enough to help the Catalans and, to add to the misery, it was Pique who deflected Vinicius's shot to keep it on target.
Nelson Semedo: 7/10
One of Barcelona's top two players from last night and their best defender in the past few weeks, Nelson Semedo put in another great performance against Real Madrid. The Portuguese won 12 duels against his Madrid counterparts, had a 100% ball recovery rate and had a pass completion rate of over 78%. The right-back's statistics from the game prove just how good he was at the Bernabeu.
Fans might be critical of Semedo though as his one moment of distraction on the pitch left Vinicius free to run through the lines and open the scoring for the home team.
Frenkie De Jong: 5/10
Although Frenkie de Jong had a great game on the passing front, the team needed two things more from the 22-year-old going into the game - the creation of chances and control in the midfield - a task which the Dutch midfielder miserably failed in.
The ex-Ajax midfielder lost the ball in the middle of the park on crucial occasions and could not create a lot of chances for the forwards to bury into the goal. He was brought to fill Iniesta's boots at Barca, and for him to do it, he desperately needs to create more for his team.
Sergio Busquets: 8/10
The Catalans' man of the match from the Napoli game in mid-week outshone the entire Barca team once again as he proved why he is one of the most underrated midfielders in the world.
Despite being more of a defence-minded player, he took De Jong and Arthur's roles to himself and almost created a goal for Lionel Messi to finish. He was, hands down, the best midfielder from both sides in the game from all points of view - ball recoveries, one-on-one duels, and passing.
The Brazilian had a good day at the Bernabeu and he even attempted a shot on goal which was saved by Courtois. However, it wasn't enough as Barcelona lost the game multiple times in his side of the midfield.
Arthur's passing made the difference for the Blaugrana on the counter and maybe if he had stayed on for more time in the dying stages of the game, the Catalans might have just gotten a consolation goal to take back home.
Arturo Vidal: 4/10
Probably Barca's worst player on the pitch last night, Vidal was extremely poor just ahead of the midfield and behind the strikers, failing to strike the right chemistry with his team-mates, resulting in him losing the ball way too often.
A physical attacker from Chile, Vidal was expected to give the Blaugranes that extra muscle in the game when trying to press Madrid playing from the back, but he failed in doing so, resulting in a lack of a bridge between the midfield and the attack.
Antoine Griezmann: 6/10
The French striker may not have converted his opportunities in front of the goal but he should be applauded for trying to make the best of every ball played to him from the wings in the box or on the left side of the pitch.
Griezmann overshadowed Messi on the attacking front last night, a situation that rarely occurs in the presence of the Argentine on the field.
Lionel Messi: 4/10
Lionel Messi was supplied with great opportunities by the midfield trio of De Jong-Busquets-Arthur but failed to convert any of them with Courtois guarding the goal.
With Messi's capabilities known to the entire world, all the opportunities that he had last night should have been converted by him. If Griezmann was in Messi's position for the chances, there is a high probability that he would have done better than the Barcelona skipper.
Martin Braithwaite (sub): 6/10
Barca's new exceptional signing had a great impact on the game after he came on for Vidal in the second half. The 28-year-old was alert and buzzing on the pitch, trying to press the mighty Madrid defence into making mistakes and almost scored as his fantastic effort was saved by Courtois.
Braithwaite did more in his 21 minutes than Vidal could manage to achieve in his 69 minutes in the game.
Ivan Rakitic (sub): 5/10
Rakitic was probably brought on as a replacement to Arthur as the Croatian is capable of being an additional goal-scorer for the team apart from the usual forwards. However, he failed to get into attacking spaces in the game and stayed back trying to control the midfield at a time when Barca needed the players to step up higher on the pitch for an equaliser.
Ansu Fati was brought on too late in the game to have any kind of a meaningful impact on-field for his team.
Published 02 Mar 2020, 09:43 IST