Jordi Alba and Ilaix Moriba were on the scoresheet, while Lionel Messi shone as Barcelona defeated CA Osasuna 2-0 away from home in La Liga on Saturday.
Even though Barcelona started with great intent, it was Osasuna who had the first big chance of the game through Kike Barja, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen produced a top save to keep the scoreline intact. At the half-hour mark, Barcelona broke the deadlock as Jordi Alba unleashed a thumping effort from a tight angle after being played in by Lionel Messi.
The second half didn’t see many chances for either team, but Barcelona had just about enough to kill the game off in the 82nd minute when substitute Ilaix Moriba produced a fine effort from twenty yards out to make it 2-0. With the win Ronald Koeman’s men are now 16 games unbeaten in La Liga, closing the gap to league leaders Atletico Madrid to just two points.
Here’s how we rated the performances of the Blaugrana stars on the night at El Sadar.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 7/10
Good early save to deny Barja at 0-0 before making another solid stop to keep Ruben Garcia soon after his team had scored. Distribution on point as usual, as he misplaced just two of his 30 attempted passes on the night. Such a reliable figure between the sticks.
Oscar Mingueza: 7/10
Óscar Mingueza made 11 ball recoveries for Barcelona vs. Osasuna, more than any other player on the pitch
A promising future ahead. ✨ pic.twitter.com/35MIMiDGIG
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 6, 2021
Another solid display from the Barcelona youngster who continues to grow in stature with each passing game. Assured on the ball, strong in his challenges, Mingueza has certainly nailed down the right-sided centre-back slot for himself. Finished with two tackles, three clearances and 91% passes completed.
Clement Lenglet: 7/10
Starting at the centre of the three-man backline in the injury-enforced absence of Gerard Pique, the Frenchman had some early issues against Jonathan Calleri but recovered strongly as the game wore on. Won the most number of aerial duels (4) and made the most clearances (6) to ensure an away clean sheet for his team.
Samuel Umtiti: 5/10
Handed a start due to Pique’s injury, Umtiti failed to make the most of his chance. Almost scored an own goal and picked up a booking just 25 minutes in for a cynical challenge on Calleri. Hooked off at half-time by Koeman.
Koeman: "The substitution of Umtiti has been tactical. We wanted to be in better control."
— barcacentre (@barcacentre) March 6, 2021
Sergio Busquets: 6/10
With Barcelona dominating possession for large parts, didn’t have to exert himself a great deal defensively but did what was asked of him without much fuss. Used the ball smartly when in possession before making way for Moriba in the second half.
Sergino Dest: 6/10
Was a willing runner on the right flank and took up some good positions in the final third. However, the USMNT international’s end product left a lot to be desired once again. The wing-back role suits the youngster well, but needs to work on the final ball and his decision-making.
Frenkie de Jong: 6.5/10
Another strong, hard-working display from the Dutchman who tried to pick apart the Osasuna defence with his passing while tracking back effectively when he needed to. Dropped into the deeper midfield role in the second half following Busquets’ substitution and saw things off without any hiccups. Solid, if not spectacular.
Involved heavily in Barcelona’s attacking moves as the youngster constantly tried to get on the ball and make things happen. Showed positive intent when he had the ball at his feet and did not shy away from taking on the opposition. Involved in the move leading up to the second goal. Did his bit off the ball as well, making three tackles and five interceptions.
Jordi Alba: 8/10
ALBA GOAL MESSI UNBELIEVABLE ASSIST 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/RxaBBdXJwO
— mx (@MessiMX10i) March 6, 2021
Got Barcelona off the mark with a powerful strike in the first period after getting on the end of a pass from Messi. Enjoyed some fine link-up with his captain and looked a threat each time he romped forward in the left channel. Alert and responsible defensively as well. Has now equalled his best tally for goals in a single campaign.
Lionel Messi: 8/10
The chief orchestrator for Barcelona once again, Lionel Messi played a crucial role in both of the Catalans’ goals on the night with his deadly partnership with Alba coming to the fore in the lead-up to the first goal while he set youngster Moriba up for the second. Made a game-high six key passes and completed five dribbles.
Lionel Messi for Barcelona vs. Osasuna:
◉ Most chances created (6)
◉ Most shots (5)
◉ Most take-ons completed (5)
◉ Most assists (2)
A prime playmaking performance. 🎨 pic.twitter.com/bEnp7tMQur
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 6, 2021
Antoine Griezmann: 5/10
Handed a starting berth after being benched for the last two matches, the Frenchman failed to make the most of his chance. Not involved a great deal in the final third and did not cause much trouble to the hosts’ defence before being subbed off for Martin Braithwaite. Does not bode well for him amid speculations that Barcelona are looking to sell him.
Ousmane Dembele: 6.5/10
On for compatriot Umtiti at half-time. Livened things up with his directness in the final third. Produced three key passes in his 45 minutes on the pitch.
Martin Braithwaite: 6/10
Came on to replace Griezmann in the 67th minute. Tried to make things happen, created one chance.
Ilaix Moriba: 7/10
Ilaix Moriba after his stunning first professional goal tonight:
“Leo gave me a great pass, you never forget the first goal, I will hold it in my heart. “Messi tells me to get into the area as much as I can.” pic.twitter.com/Z3NbgwdatR
— MC (@CrewsMat19) March 6, 2021
Replaced Busquets with a little over 20 minutes left. Scored his first goal for the first-team with a brilliant effort after receiving the ball from his captain. Another promising display from the teenager who has been linked with Manchester United.
Riqui Puig: N/A
On for Pedri with less than five minutes.
Junior Firpo: N/A
Late substitute for Alba. Booked.