Barcelona managed to build on their great form as they recorded 2-0 victory over relegation threatened Leganes on Tuesday.
After returning to action in La Liga in scintillating fashion with a 4-0 win over RCD Mallorca, Barcelona managed to keep a second clean sheets in a row as they registered a 2-0 win against Leganes.
The game started out in a bit of a problematic fashion for the Catalans, who were put on the backfoot by the visitors in the 10th minute when Javier Eraso could not make an open net bulge. Los Pepineros immediately came back to put Marc-Andre ter Stegen under more pressure as Miguel Guerrero struck the post from a difficult angle.
This was the end of all troubles for Barcelona, who took charge of the game from there on with Ansu Fati scoring before the halfway mark. The game was essentially over when Lionel Messi won and scored a penalty in the 69th minute, taking his tally to 21 goals for the season. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Quique Setien’s men.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 7/10
The German shot-stopper was faced with trouble early on but found himself to be on the good side of luck as Leganes failed to score. He only had to make one save throughout the game but did treat us with a ‘sweeper-keeper’ moment.
Sergi Roberto: 6.5/10
Sergi Roberto got stuck in a muddle early on in the game after a corner which led to a Leganes chance, but he had a rather uneventful games otherwise. The only positive from the night for the Spaniard is the half chance he set up for Antoine Griezmann.
Gerard Pique: 7.5/10
Another game when Pique managed to register 95%+ passing accuracy while playing 87 passes. He completed 5 long balls, one of which led to a chance. The former Spanish international showed a lot of grit throughout the 90 minutes, even when he was playing with a knock.
Clement Lenglet: 8/10
Clement Lenglet returned to the Barcelona starting XI after serving a suspension for picking up five yellow cards. The Frenchman produced the highlight of the game with a stunning clearance off the line early on in the game. He also managed to record 97%(!) passing accuracy while playing 124 passes. Top game by the defender.
Junior Firpo: 7.5/10
Junior Firpo replaced Jordi Alba in the four-man backline after the latter picked up a suspension against RCD Mallorca. The 23-year-old created one goalscoring chance, which was put wide by Antoine Griezmann. Showed clear signs of hustle and commitment.
Ivan Rakitic: 8/10
Ivan Rakitic replaced Arturo Vidal as the left-sided central midfielder, but moved to the screening position when Sergio Busquets was brought off. The Croat played both positions to perfection, holding the ball and stopping counter attacks while continuously dinking the ball over the defence for attackers to feed off of.
Sergio Busquets: 7/10
An uncharacteristic performance by Sergio Busquets, who continuously looked to move out of his position to provide an extra passing option in the final third. He won 75% of his ground duels, but had nothing much to do in the one hour he took the pitch.
Arthur Melo: 6.5/10
The Brazilian returned to the starting lineup after being rested last week against Mallorca, but much like Sergi Roberto and Sergio Busquets, Arthur, too, had an uneventful game. He completed 92% of his passes and was taken off for Riqui Puig in the 73rd minute.
Lionel Messi: 9/10
Another matchday, another man of the match performance from Lionel Messi. The Barcelona created multiple chances by running at the defence and beating Leganes’s press quite seamlessly, completing four of his six dribbles. The Argentine won a penalty before putting the game to bed by burying the spot-kick.
Antoine Griezmann: 7.5/10
The Frenchman had a much better game this week around as compared to his underwhelming performance last week. Griezmann’s goal in the 66th minute was disallowed because Nelson Semedo was offside in the build-up. During this and several events, Griezmann showed spectacular off-the-ball running, which helped pin the Leganes defence down.
Ansu Fati: 7.5/10
17-year-old Ansu Fati has the world at his feet, and the reasons for the same were clear against Leganes as he scored the opener for Barcelona with a stunning finish in barely any space. The youngster now has five goals in the league, which is more than Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale combined.
Nelson Semedo: 7/10
Semedo replaced fellow right-back Sergi Roberto seven minutes into the second half, and connected with the midfield and Lionel Messi much better than Roberto did. He also created the goal that was disallowed in the 66th minute.
Luis Suarez: 6/10
Luis Suarez is still not back to peak fitness and this game stands testament to the same. Suarez was not involved in anything after coming on in the 54th minute.
Arturo Vidal: 7.5/10
Arturo Vidal may have had his place nailed on after his showing against Leganes. He came on with around 30 minutes left to play and added the much needed grit to the Barcelona midfield. He also created two goal scoring chances while winning all but one of his ground duels.
Samuel Umtiti: 6/10
Umtiti was brought in for an injured Gerard Pique with less than twenty minutes regulation time left to play. He managed to pick up a yellow card withing five minutes of coming on.
Riqui Puig: 7.5/10
A player Barcelona fans were dying to see, Riqui Puig came on for Arthur and did more in 20 minutes than the Brazilian did in 70. He forced Ivan Cuellar into two fine saves, while winning 3 out of the five duels he indulged in. We might get to see more of the youngster in the coming weeks amid a jam-packed La Liga schedule.