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Player ratings as Barça thump La Real to keep title dreams alive

todayMarch 22, 2021 8

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Barcelona kept the pressure on La Liga leaders Atlético Madrid as they cruised to a 6-1 victory over Real Sociedad in San Sebastian on Sunday night.

Barça nearly fell behind to fine efforts from Alexander Isak twice early on, but he was twice denied by Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the Barcelona goal.

The visitors took the lead on 37 minutes through an Antoine Griezmann birthday tap-in and did not look back. Six minutes later Lionel Messi slid Sergiño Dest in to blast home, before the USMNT star doubled up after the break from a wonderful Jordi Alba assist.

Messi inevitably got on the scoresheet himself three minutes later to kill off the game, latching on to a sumptuous lofted through ball from Sergio Busquets and applying the finish. Ousmane Dembélé then capped a mazy dribble with a low drive, before Ander Barrentxea fired home a consolation for the hosts.

Blaugrana talisman Messi completed the rout late on, finishing in trademark fashion following fine build-up work from Riqui Puig and Alba.

The resounding result leaves Barcelona four points behind table-topping Atléti in La Liga. Here’s how their players rated…

Marc Andre Ter Stegen
It was a comfortable night for Ter Stegen | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) – 7/10 – Saved well from a close-range Isak effort early on. Tested again by the Swede later in the half but got down to save brilliantly.

Oscar Mingueza (CB) – 7/10 – Tried to support the attack in the first half but was a little loose with his passing. Rarely troubled otherwise and looked calm and confident.

Frenkie de Jong (CB) – 6/10 – Almost paid the price after being shrugged off and dispossessed by Isak in the first half. Looked more comfortable in midfield in the second half.

Clement Lenglet (CB) – 6/10 – Had very little to do all night to be honest, but did the simple things with minimal fuss.

Sergiño Dest (RWB) – 8/10 – Saw a mis-hit cross drop onto the bar. Doubled the lead with a powerful finish – his first in the league – after being picked out by Messi. Got his second and Barça’s third after blocking a clearance into the back of the net after the break.

Sergio Busquets (CM) – 7/10 – Booked for halting a breakaway in the first half. Made amends with a classy assist for Messi and was typically neat and tidy otherwise.

Pedri (CM) – 6/10 – Neat in possession but spurned a good shooting chance from the edge of the box in the first period. Didn’t have too much of an impact other than keeping things ticking over.

Jordi Alba (LWB) – 8/10 – A threat all night long. Got to the byline to provide the pass that led to the opener, then delivered a wonderful assist after another spellbinding run and nutmeg early in the second half, before again supplying Messi in the dying embers. Unstoppable.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-REAL SOCIEDAD-BARCELONA
Barcelona’s strike force was deadly throughout | ANDER GILLENEA/Getty Images

Lionel Messi (RF) – 9/10 – Constantly scheming on the edge of the 18-yard box. Involved in the buildup to the opener and assisted Dest with a lovely through ball. Struck himself for the fourth, finishing from a clipped ball over the top from Busquets. Doubled up in the penultimate minute after some lovely play from Alba and Riqui Puig.

Ousmane Dembélé (CF) – 8/10 – Missed a tap-in in the first half but fortunately the rebound fell to Griezmann. Had a goal ruled out for offside by VAR minutes before going on a scintillating long run and driving home.

Antoine Griezmann (LF) – 8/10 – After a quiet first half-hour on his birthday he pounced on Dembélé’s rebound to open the scoring – his second in as many games. Used the ball well throughout and posed a constant threat.

Riqui Puig – 7/10 – Excellent work in the buildup to Messi’s second.

Francisco Trincão – N/A

Martin Braithwaite – 5/10 – Booked.

Ronald Araujo – N/A

Ilaix Moriba – 6/10 – Got an assist for Dembélé.

For more from Krishan Davis, follow him on Twitter!



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