An entertaining 90 minutes which had a lot of ups and downs throughout the game but in the end both the teams got 1 point each. It was an engaging game were 3 penalties were given in total and some controversial decisions were taken. But Barcelona’s very own Lionel Messi got his 700th goal by stroking in a beautiful panenka into the net. This draw can put Real Madrid 4 points ahead of the Champions if they win their next match and will almost go one step ahead of Barcelona to clinch the title. But this is football where anything can happen so let’s move onto the player ratings.
Marc Andre Ter Stegen(6.8/10):
The German shot-stopper yet again conceding 2 goals but this doesn’t take away his heroics to save Diego Costa’s penalty. With no luck to his side, the penalty was called off since Ter Stegen moved out of his line to save the shot. Saul scored the penalty which was retaken. Atletico again got the penalty in the second half and again Saul shot on the same lower right side of the net. This time Ter Stegen dived in the correct direction but the ball slipped away from his hands levelling Atletico on the night with Barcelona.
Semedo was just absolutely horrendous throughout the whole 90min. From his positioning, body movements, ball holding and his lack of concentration were just the signs that he needed to be taken off. Despite winning a penalty for Barcelona, he gave away a penalty as well which I still think should have been thoroughly reviewed by VAR and called off. Yannick Carrasco made him struggle at the back and he got outed by the Belgian’s trick and movements.
Since the restart, Pique is showing consistency in his play and he didn’t disappoint today as well. He constantly read the Atletico forwards well and was helping Semedo to handle Carrasco. He won 5 out of the 6 aerial duels and completed 3 out of the 3 long balls. This is the type of performances and consistency Pique should maintain in upcoming fixtures and UCL matches in August.
This might be an unpopular opinion but Lenglet is definitely a silent warrior and the best performer in the team after Messi. He won’t score or assist but his defensive solidity is definitely something which many don’t observe. Today, he was just on fire. His stats speak for himself, he had 3 clearance, 1 blocked shot, 2 interceptions, 3 tackles to his name. Tonight, as far as I saw, he provided 3 vertical passes straight to the forwards by penetrating the Atletico lines of pressure. This is something which none of the Barca players did throughout the night.
Jordi Alba was kept silent by Correa and Llorente. Both of them blocked the whole flank were Alba operates, forcing Barcelona to progress via the weak right side. This didn’t stop Alba, he was constantly linking with Puig and was providing defensive shield alongside CB’s. He did provide this one pinpoint cross to Vidal which he failed to capitalize. Is this a concern for Barcelona? Yes, it is because nullifying Alba’s offensive prowess means halting half of Barcelona’s creativity and chances to score goals.
The Croat yet again delivered a good performance and was looking very smooth on the play. Today his role was quite different from what it was expected. Rakitic deployed as false left-back to cover the position of Alba, letting Alba move forward without worrying about the backline. But he was constantly moving in the midfield as well when he saw the opportunity to carry the ball. What confused me was Setien subbing him out during the 63rd min of the game. Might be a tactical move.
The Maestro returned to the starting eleven after missing the Celta Vigo game due to suspension. After giving near average performances in the previous games, Busquets actually was looking quite sharp and rejuvenated today. He was circulating the ball better and was giving swift passes whenever needed. Off the ball, he did look good and won the ball quite often. Hope he keeps up the good form.
This gem should be protected at every cost. Despite starting in such a big game for the first time for the first team, Puig was just phenomenal throughout the whole game. Hard pressing, ball carrying, exceptional passing, understanding of spaces, he does everything. He has also gained recognition among the pundits and critics for his game. He was definitely the best midfielder throughout the game. Look at his stats
Riqui Puig vs Atletico Madrid
92% pass accuracy
1 key pass
6 dribbles won
3 tackles won
Fantastic ball retention, close control, vision, energy, football IQ. One of Barcelona's best players today. Big game and big performance from the youngster. pic.twitter.com/BZp8sNWpBF
— Football Talent Scout – Jacek Kulig (@FTalentScout) June 30, 2020
All the fatigue and nonstop game-time has caught up. Vidal was arguably the worst player on the field. His game is degrading after every match and he needs to be given rest in the next match. His passing was okay, he wasn’t clicking well into the play, he and Semedo weren’t connecting on the right side and many deficiencies were found in his game. Also, he was making foul after foul and he got a yellow card as a result. When he moves in right winger position, he missed 2-3 good chances. To add the final nail to the coffin, he gave a penalty to Atletico Madrid as well.
You might be thinking that why I didn’t rate him, right? The reason being that I was not able to spot him throughout the match. He was completely invisible throughout the whole match. Despite being a Target man who constantly engages himself in the buildup, he only had 38 touches in 90min. That is relatively poor for someone like him. It is high time that Griezmann should start instead of Suarez.
After a long wait, Messi finally scores 700th goal with a cheeky penalty against Oblak. The Argentine was looking fresh and so did his haircut which resembles very much to his 2015 look. Alongside the penalty, Messi also assisted from the corner kick which Diego Costa scored but in his own net(own goal). La Pulga continues to give such performances but we hope despite providing, he scores more frequently.
Came in for Rakitic during 63rd min and played at Rakitic’s position. There wasn’t something significant, Roberto was doing. Roberto is not a natural midfielder but he was calm on the ball and was providing accurate passes. He should be starting as RB from next match.
Both of them played less than 10 minutes
With such mixed performance, I hope that the team continues to improve and keep the momentum without losing any points during the remaining games in the league.
*All stats were taken from SofaScore