Lionel Messi’s brilliance was on display yet again, as he scored four goals helping Barcelona record a 5-0 win against Eibar.
After a nervy start to the game, which included a disallowed goal for Eibar, Barcelona found some grip as Messi opened the scoring in the 14th minute. The Argentine then added two more goals before the half-time whistle, assisted by Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic.
Vidal and Arthur started in rather unconventional roles, interchanging positions throughout the game between attacking midfield and central midfield. The latter was also able to add a goal in the last minute of the game taking Barcelona’s tally to 5-0 after Messi had scored his fourth only two minutes ago.
GAME! SETIÉN! MATCH!
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 22, 2020
The Hard Tackle now assesses the performances by the Blaugrana players in what was an emphatic victory against Eibar.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 8/10
Barcelona’s star goalkeeper pulled off another great performance making 5 saves. The German displayed some exceptional goalkeeping in the early minutes of the game making a save from close range that would have definitely been a goal for Takashi Inui. ter Stegen was constantly involved in the buildup as well, attempting 18 long passes, out of which 8 were successful.
Nelson Semedo: 6/10
Portugese right-back Semedo didn’t have a lot to do throughout the game, except keeping Inui at bay during the spare chances Eibar created. He made a key interception on a through ball that would have sent Sergi Enrich through on goal. Apart from that, Semedo did not play a crucial role at Camp Nou today.
Gerard Pique: 7/10
Pique seemed to be on his game today after a long time. The Catalan centre-back did not put a foot wrong in the 70 odd minutes he played. His ball playing skills were absolutely on point today, successfully pulling off 10 long balls. The Barcelona No. 3 also boasted a 90% pass completion rate. Pique was fouled more times today than the number of fouls he committed, 1:2.
Clement Lenglet: 7.5/10
After starting the season well, Lenglet’s performances have really dipped recently. The French defender picked up a red card in his latest game when he played Getafe at home. However, Lenglet was quite flawless today, completing 8 long balls and winning all his tackles, committing 0 fouls.
Junior Firpo: 7/10
Firpo did not let Setien’s men feel the absence of their first choice left-back Jordi Alba. He carried great defensive conduct today, making 3 interceptions and 3 tackles. He was also able to completely shut off Eibar’s best player Fabian Orellana. Junior was not heavily involved in attack, however, which is considered his best trait.
Ivan Rakitic: 7/10
Considered Ernesto Valverde’s go-to man for 2 seasons, Rakitic’s role had been limited to substitute appearances this season. But, the Croatian midfielder completed 90 minutes for the first time after 3 games. He registered an assist for Messi that helped Barcelona take the lead. He started in a deep role, and was able to successfully screen the defence.
Sergio Busquets: 7.5/10
Busquets was the first substitute of the game, coming off for Frenkie de Jong at the 60 minute mark. In the 60 minutes he played, Busquets won 8 off his 9 ground duels. He also made 4 tackles and 6 interceptions during his game time.
Arthur Melo: 8/10
After being left out of the starting XI multiple times since coming back from his injury, Arthur certainly showed today why he’s one of Barcelona’s best players. He completed 100% of his long balls – 3/3, and was involved in the buildup to every goal. To cap off his and Barcelona’s stellar game, Arthur scored in the 89th minute with a brilliant finish off a rebound shot.
📊[SofaScore]| #BarçaEibar | Arthur’s stats against Eibar:
1 Key Pass
1 Big Chance created
87.7% pass accuracy
3 Long balls completed
5 Duels won
1 Fouls won
2 dribbles completed
2 Successful Tackles
Our gem is shining brightly 💙 pic.twitter.com/MPl03gFEkA
— BarçaTimes Statistics (@BT_Stats) February 22, 2020
Arturo Vidal: 7.5/10
Vidal’s role today was quite confusing. He started the game at Left-centre mid, and constantly moved up and to the centre swapping with Arthur. He was also able to contribute directly with an assist to Messi’s second goal.
Antoine Griezmann: 6.5/10
This was just another average game in the rollercoaster season of Griezmann. He would have probably buried two goals in a game like this for Atletico Madrid, but today the Frenchman took time thinking, even in a 1v1 situation. These are not positive signs from the 28-year-old before the Catalans’ Champions League clash vs Napoli.
Lionel Messi: 10/10
He’s done it, again. Of course he has. The 6-time Ballon d’Or winner scored 4 goals today, including a hat-trick within the first 40 minutes of the game.
His goals included dribbling past 4 players to score in the bottom corner; another where he finished from a very acute angle off the woodwork; third one a finish between 3 players who were standing infront of goal; and finally a Lionel Messi classic – rounding off the goalkeeper. Napoli will have to do everything in their will to stop the No. 10, who is in some form.
Frenkie de Jong: 5.5/10
The Dutch holding midfielder came on after 60 minutes, but did not do anything notable in the game, except a turnover in possession when Eibar was on a counter.
Samuel Umtiti: 5.5/10
The French centre-half replaced Pique, and played just over 20 minutes of the game. During his time on the pitch, Umtiti cleared a set piece and a cross off Orellana.
Martin Braithwaite: 7/10
Even though he played just 20 minutes of the game, Braithwaite, on his debut, had more impact than Griezmann. He was constantly involved in the game, and had two shots saved by the Eibar goalkeeper that were then converted by Messi and Arthur respectively. This could actually turn out to be a successful signing given he gets minutes on a regular basis.