Marc-Andre ter Stegen made an impact on both ends as Barcelona won on the road for the first time this season, beating Getafe 2-0 at Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
The first half was a struggle for Barcelona, who looked on course to repeat the tales of every away game they have played in the early days of the 2019-20 season, as a lull proceeded an early chance that came Carles Perez’s way. In fact, on the other end, it was Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who bailed the visitors out with a strong stop to deny Angel.
Then, it was ter Stegen who inspired the opener, hoofing the ball deep into the final third to find Suarez, who calmly lobbed the ball over David Soria to hand Barcelona the lead. Soon after emerging from the break, the Catalans were two to the good, as Soria made a meal of collecting a long-range effort from Carles Perez.
Junior Firpo was in the right place at the right time, alert to slot home the rebound and score his first goal in Barcelona colours. Thereafter, the defending La Liga champions had a few more sights at goal, including a speculative effort from Arthur, but were unable to add to their advantage.
The visitors were in for a testing last ten minutes, as Clement Lenglet was sent off for a second bookable offence. But, Barcelona held on to grab the win, a big result for a side who were victorious for the first time on the road for the first time this season while also cutting the gap to table toppers Real Madrid to just two points. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Ernesto Valverde’s men.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 9/10
Marc-André ter Stegen provided the assist for Luis Suarez’s goal today.
These players have yet to register an assist this season:
– Raheem Sterling
– Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
– Marco Reus
– Jordan Henderson
– Luis Suarez pic.twitter.com/9e62HDhP8W
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 28, 2019
The reason for Barcelona’s win. Plain and simple. Marc-Andre ter Stegen exhibited his skillset in perfect fashion at a time when the debate over who deserved to be the first-choice goalkeeper for Germany is raging on. Just minutes after making a fantastic save to deny Angel, ter Stegen assisted Luis Suarez for the winner. Winning matches with his hands and feet. Class apart.
Sergi Roberto: 6/10
Speaking of debates, the one on Sergi Roberto’s ideal position ought to have swayed in a definitive direction on Saturday. Looked more at home as a right-back than he has done in midfield so far this season. Engrossed in a captivating battle with Barcelona loanee Marc Cucurella, Roberto enjoyed both positive and negative moments. Should be back as a full-time right-back for good now.
Gerard Pique: 7/10
Nervy at the onset of the game saw Pique being put to the sword. But, the veteran defender soon found his feet and completely shut Getafe off, producing staggering numbers – Pique won 5 duels, made 5 clearances and completed 5 recoveries. Seems to be returning to his best after a slow start to the season.
Clement Lenglet: 5/10
Jaime Mata gave Lenglet a tough time in the early exchanges, but the Frenchman was untroubled after a few hairy moments initially. However, he was sent off for two bookable offences, the second of which was completely unnecessary, with Barcelona in total control of the proceedings.
Junior Firpo: 7/10
With Jordi Alba still out injured, Junior Firpo got another opportunity to impress. And, impress he did. Found tough to get going early on up against the double onslaught of Damian Suarez and Jason. But, a superb second half saw him produce a solid performance at the back, giving his opponents no inch. Also scored the goal, his first for Barcelona, that rounded off the win. A day to remember.
Arthur has had a doubter in Ernesto Valverde. But, on Saturday, he went a long way in nailing down a place for himself in the side, impressing yet again when given an opportunity.
In what was a fantastic all round performances, the Brazilian controlled the proceedings beautifully while making an astounding 11 recoveries and winning a game-high 14 duels. The player who runs the game and one without whom the team does not appear to be complete.
Sergio Busquets: 6/10
A stuttering start to the season continued for Busquets, who had a couple of moments of scare in the first half. Struggled to set the tempo of the game in the first half but was comfortable once Arthur and Frenkie de Jong hit their stride. Clearly starting to regress as he enters the twilight of his career.
Frenkie de Jong: 7/10
Impressive yet again from Frenkie de Jong, who was superb in both the phases of the game. Would have had an assist on another day, with Suarez failing to convert from his pass. As for the stats, de Jong completed 3 dribbles, as many tackles and 2 interceptions, while also winning 6 duels.
Carles Perez: 7/10
Coming into the game on the back of signing a new deal with the club, Perez produced a confident display and was visibly eager to make an impact. His directness created plenty of problems for the Getafe defence and it was the Spaniard’s driven shot that eventually led to Firpo’s goal.
Luis Suarez: 7/10
A poor start to the season has given way to doubts surrounding him. But, on Saturday, Suarez went a long way in proving his naysayers wrong. An early miss could have set the tone for another frustrating evening.
But, Suarez stuck to his guns and scored a superb goal, reaching out to ter Stegen’s hoofed ball to finish impressively past Soria. That strike was the 400th goal of his career, a momentous day for the Uruguayan, who will now hope to push on from here.
Antoine Griezmann: 6/10
Griezmann was solid over the course of the game, linking up well with de Jong and Suarez all throughout. But, he would be exasperated by a lack of end product, which is now translating into a goal drought away from home. Not the most natural of candidates on the left flank and it is really a wonder why Valverde continues to put square pegs in round holes.
Nelson Semedo: N/A
Introduced late into the game, Semedo slotted in the right-back role, allowing Roberto to move into the midfield. With Barcelona in control of the game, the Portuguese was thoroughly professional in ensuring the game ended without any hiccups.
Ivan Rakitic: N/A
On for Busquets, Rakitic helped see the game out.
Jean-Clair Todibo: N/A
A forced substitution due to Lenglet’s dismissal, we will see more of Todibo next weekend.