Clement Lenglet and Philippe Coutinho were poor while Lionel Messi stood out as Barcelona succumbed to a shock 2-1 defeat to newly-promoted Cadiz in La Liga.
It was Cadiz who took the lead just eight minutes in as Oscar Mingueza sent a low header towards his own goal prompting Marc-Andre ter Stegen to make a save, only for Alvaro Gimenez to score from the rebound. Barcelona grew into the game, though, with Martin Braithwaite and Lionel Messi drawing saves from the hosts’ goalkeeper but were not able to level up before half-time.
Twelve minutes into the second half, the Catalans found their equaliser, albeit in fortuitous circumstances as Cadiz defender Pedro Alcala diverted a Jordi Alba cross into his own net. The parity lasted just six minutes though, as substitute Alvaro Negredo put Cadiz ahead soon after he came on, pouncing on mistakes from Clement Lenglet and ter Stegen.
With minutes ticking by, Messi tried to turn things around, but Jeremias Ledesma stood in his way to deny two of his efforts, while ter Stegen made an important stop to deny Ivan Alejo at the other end. Ledesma pulled off a couple more stops to keep Miralem Pjanic and Antoine Griezmann out in the dying embers of the game to secure three points for his team.
Barcelona’s poor start to the La Liga season under Ronald Koeman continued. They are now 12 points behind leaders Atletico Madrid. Here’s how we rated the performances of the visiting players on what was another disappointing away night in the league.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 5/10
The best thing about Ter Stegen is that whenever his fans try to slander Neuer he always shuts them up himself with a blunder right afterpic.twitter.com/AUcNXxO2rf
— Don Kimmich (@DonKimmich6) December 5, 2020
Could only parry Mingueza’s header straight into Gimenez, who buried the ball into the net for the opener. Then made a terrible mistake as he was charged down by Negredo and hit his clearance straight into the Cadiz striker, who kept his composure to score the hosts’ second. Did make a good save to deny Alejo soon after, but a disappointing outing for the German.
Sergino Dest: 6/10
Started brightly, combining well with Messi on the right side and sent in a couple of dangerous-looking crosses that his teammates failed to pounce upon. Missed a great chance to equalise for Barcelona in the second half, though, when he just had Ledesma to beat, but sent his effort wide. Fairly solid at the back, making two tackles and an interception.
Oscar Mingueza: 4/10
Culpable for Cadiz’s opening goal as he lost his footing and sent a header towards his own goal, with Gimenez capitalising on the mistake. Apart from that one lapse, he did fairly well, once again impressing with his distribution (42 of 44 passes completed). However, he was withdrawn at half-time for Ousmane Dembele.
Clement Lenglet: 4/10
A torrid evening for Barcelona’s senior centre-back on the night. Failed to control Alba’s throw-in and let it get past him, putting ter Stegen under pressure leading to Cadiz’s second goal. This happened minutes after he had been booked for a silly foul on Yann Bodiger. Misplaced just six of his 91 attempted passes, but his mistake ended up costing Barcelona big-time once again.
Jordi Alba: 6/10
A lively presence on the left as Alba pushed forward at every possible occasion. Attempted (101) and completed (89) the second-highest number of passes on the night and forced the equaliser for Barcelona in the second half, as it was his cross into a dangerous area that was turned into his own net by Alcala.
Sergio Busquets: 6.5/10
Busquets: "I think we're playing well, and we're doing well. Conceding an early goal made things complicated." pic.twitter.com/kuw58Pg2qG
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) December 6, 2020
One of the few Barcelona players who did their job well on the night, Busquets kept things ticking in the middle as the Catalans bossed possession after going behind. Completed 107 of his 121 attempted passes – the most by any player on the night, that included two key passes – the one to create a chance for Dest in the second half being a standout.
Was a reliable presence off the ball as well, cutting off a number of counterattacks, as he made three tackles and an interception, while also winning six of his seven aerial duels as well. Made way for Pjanic late in the game.
Frenkie de Jong: 6/10
Back into the starting XI after being benched in midweek, the Dutchman pushed forward to help Barcelona pile up the pressure on the hosts whenever possible, but was not able to carve out openings in the Cadiz defence. Moved to centre-back in the second half and won his fair share of aerial duels but failed in his attempt to stop Negredo from scoring.
Lionel Messi: 7/10
Looked sharp after being rested in midweek against Ferencvaros, but could not inspire a comeback. Looked the likeliest to make things happen in attack for Barcelona, drawing a number of saves from Ledesma on either side of half-time. Attempted (11) and completed (7) the most number of dribbles on the night, played two key passes – the joint-highest in the game, while also winning 12 of his 18 ground duels.
Lionel Messi for Barcelona vs. Cadiz:
◉ Most shots (10)
◉ Most take-ons completed (9)
◉ Most shots on target (5)
◉ Most fouls won (3)
Can he do any more? pic.twitter.com/6vNwGGE18z
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 5, 2020
Antoine Griezmann: 5/10
A quiet outing for the Frenchman, who failed to build on his recent impressive performances. Hardly got into the game even though there was no lack of effort from his side. Played one key pass all night and drew a save from Ledesma late in the game.
Philippe Coutinho: 4/10
Back into the side after being rested in midweek, the Brazilian should have done better when meeting with a cross from Dest early in the game. While there were a couple of decent link-ups with Messi, Coutinho never really got going and was subbed off at half-time.
Martin Braithwaite: 5/10
The Dane’s goalscoring streak came to an end on Saturday as he found it difficult to get involved meaningfully against a well-drilled Cadiz defence. Had one shot saved in the first half, but that was as good as it got for Braithwaite, who did create a chance for Messi early in the second period.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 5, 2020
Replaced Mingueza at half-time. Linked up well with Braithwaite to create a chance for Messi soon after coming on. Hardly made an impact from then on, although was diligent in his defensive duties.
Ousmane Dembele: 6/10
Came on for Coutinho at half-time and livened things up a bit in the final third with his running. Made two key passes but wasn’t able to drag Barcelona back into the contest.
Francisco Trincao: N/A
Thrown on in place of Dest in the 77th minute. Was not able to make an impact.
Miralem Pjanic: N/A
Came on to replace Busquets with a little over ten minutes left. Tested Ledesma with a goalbound effort from close range.