Memphis Depay was on target for Barcelona as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Deportivo Alaves in their first game after Ronald Koeman’s sacking.
In their first game of the post-Ronald Koeman era, Barcelona, led by interim manager Sergi Barjuan, began well against Alaves at Camp Nou, controlling the proceedings and creating openings but could not breach the goal. Eric Garcia came the closest to scoring, forcing a save from the visitors’ goalkeeper with a headed effort.
Four minutes into the second period, though, Barcelona found their opener as Memphis Depay curled into a sublime effort into the back of the net. However, the Catalans’ lead lasted just a little over two minutes as Alaves struck back instantly through Luis Rioja, tapping the ball into an empty net after some lovely interplay.
Barcelona stepped up their efforts to find a winner, with Memphis coming close after a good run from Gavi, but the Dutchman’s effort hit the woodwork. Alaves stayed committed and disciplined, frustrating the hosts as they probed for the second goal without any success. The result now means that the Blaugrana have not won three in a row in La Liga and find themselves in ninth place in the table.
Here’s how we rated the performances of the Barcelona stars on Saturday night at Camp Nou.
Barcelona Player Ratings
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 5/10
• Some fans are starting to doubt ter Stegen who doesn't seem the same as before his injury.
• Very often, in 8 of the 14 games to be precise, the rival's first shot on target has resulted in a goal.
• The statistic is a major worry for Barça's defence.
— Barça Buzz (@Barca_Buzz) October 31, 2021
The German international did not have a lot to do on the night, with Alaves not mustering up much of an attacking threat. Rounded by Rioja for the goal, although he was once again left hanging dry by his defence.
Oscar Mingueza: 5/10
Getting in at right-back in the absence of Sergi Roberto, the La Masia graduate did not look convincing against Rioja on his side when Alaves attacked. When Barcelona had the ball for most of the game, he lacked that bit of attacking intent to get forward and add up numbers.
Gerard Pique: 5/10
The veteran defender was a strong aerial presence for Barcelona but failed to deal with Joselu in the lead-up to Alaves’ goal early in the second half. He was then taken off with an injury.
Eric Garcia: 6.5/10
The summer signing from Manchester City looked confident when he strode out from the back with the ball at his feet. He played some good-looking forward passes and also had a headed effort saved in the first half. Showing signs of improvement.
Jordi Alba: 6/10
The Spanish full-back was a regular attacking outlet for Barcelona and got forward with utmost consistency but lacked that final ball on numerous occasions, which contributed to the Catalans’ inability to kill the tie off. He got the assist for Depay’s goal, however.
Gavi 🇪🇸 vs Alaves
70 Minutes Played
61 Accurate Passes
91% Pass Accuracy
3 Key Passes
1 Big Chance Created
2 Accurate Crosses
3 Successful Dribbles
5 Ground Duels Won
1 Aerial Duel Won
One of his best games for Barcelona. Absolute 💎 pic.twitter.com/7mcK3ePlF5
— ArsenKveFCB (@ArsenKve_HD) October 30, 2021
Reinstated to the starting XI, the 17-year-old midfield prodigy looked very bright yet again, as he showed good energy and intensity on and off the ball. He went on a mazy run before setting Depay up for a chance in the second half, but the Dutchman could only hit the post.
Sergio Busquets: 6/10
The Barcelona captain had a decent enough game on the night as he looked good on the ball and kept things ticking along smoothly, helping his team stay on the front foot. Played some lovely passes into the left-side channels for Alba to run onto.
Nico Gonzalez: 7/10
One of the best players on the field on Saturday night as the young midfielder once again showed the quality he possesses. Did the hard yards when not in possession and was always looking to get onto the ball to make things happen. He went on a fine run to create a chance for Depay, much like Gavi, but the forward failed to take it. A bright prospect.
📊| Nico González vs Alavés.
• 70 Touches.
• 50/54 Passes.
• 2 Crosses.
• 1 Chance Created.
• 1 Key Pass.
• 2 Shots.
• 5/8 Duels Won.
• 3 Dribbles.
• 2 Tackles.
• 4 Ball Recoveries.
Another great performance, following the one in the previous game vs Rayo! 💎 pic.twitter.com/aIhFLH5MaM
— Barça Buzz (@Barca_Buzz) October 30, 2021
Sergino Dest: 5/10
Once again deployed higher up the pitch on the right flank, the USMNT international did not offer much in terms of quality end product on the night for Barcelona, contributing to the lack of cutting edge in attack.
Sergio Aguero: 5/10
Starting his second game for Barcelona, the veteran Argentine striker seemed to lack the understanding with his attacking partners and could not link up effectively. He was taken off 40 minutes into the game in worrying circumstances as he struggled to breathe after a collision with an opponent.
Memphis Depay: 7/10
The Dutchman looked the likeliest to make things happen in attack for Barcelona for most of the game and did so when he opened the scoring with a stunning curler from the edge of the box. However, he was guilty of spurning a couple of good opportunities on the night as well. Nonetheless, will be relieved to have ended a ten-game run without a goal from open play.
— MS (@ms_tweet20) October 30, 2021
Philippe Coutinho: 5/10
The Brazilian came on to replace Aguero close to half-time. He struggled to exert any influence on the proceedings and sent a few efforts over the bar from range.
Clement Lenglet: 5/10
The defender came on for Pique in the 70th minute and had little to do during his short cameo.
Riqui Puig: 6/10
Finally getting a chance following Koeman’s exit, the Barcelona academy graduate looked positive in his cameo after replacing Gavi. He was willing to get on the ball and showed good intent.
Alejandro Balde: N/A
The youngster came on for Nico in the 80th minute and slotted in on the left flank as Barcelona looked for a winner.
Abde Ezzalzouli: N/A
The winger from Barcelona’s B team made his senior debut, coming on for Mingueza for the final ten minutes.