Ferran 8.0, Kounde 8.0 | Unionistas 1-3 Barcelona: Player ratings


Barcelona's French defender #23 Jules Kounde (2nR) celebrates scoring his team's second goal with teammates during the Spanish Copa del Rey (King's Cup) football match between Unionistas de Salamanca CF and FC Barcelona at Reina Sofia municipal stadium in Salamanca on January 18, 2024.
Photo by CESAR MANSO/AFP via Getty Images

A tense encounter between FC Barcelona and Unionistas sees the Catalan giants emerge victorious. Ultimately, a 3-1 victory is what La Blaugrana could muster from a game that did not exactly go their way. However, when it comes to cup competitions, Barcelona must focus on winning irrespective of the way they do it.

After conceding early and being on the back foot, Barcelona ensured that they did not leave things as they were. Brilliant goals from Ferran Torres, Jules Kounde, and Alejandro Balde ensured that the Catalan giants ended up victorious in Salamanca on the night.

Through individual brilliance and grit, Barcelona now move on to the Quarterfinals of the Copa Del Ray. Here is how the players fared against Unionistas de Salamanca.

Inaki Pena: 7.5

Could not do much about the opener, but was rather unbothered for the rest of the first half. However, he was called into action much more in the 2nd half and did not disappoint as he made some crucial saves.

Alejandro Balde: 8.0

Much more active within the first 45 minutes, Alejandro Balde made quite the start. His electric runs along the left flank helped out Barcelona a lot during the course of the game. However, he truly came to life in the second half. Ultimately, he even scored the third goal for his side with sheer individual brilliance.

Andreas Christensen: 6.0

Taking as many duels as he could, Andreas Christensen’s first half was undeniably a great showcase of his defensive abilities. However, he looked to have felt some discomfort during the half, and was replaced by Pau Cubarsi in the second 45 of the game.

Jules Kounde: 8.0

Similar to his Danish teammate, Jules Kounde was rather strong in the first 45 minutes of the game. Yet, similar to Balde, he was even better in the second half.

Just like his Spanish teammate, moreover, he scored an amazing goal in the second half as well. A well-placed, and well-struck effort from distance gave Barcelona the lead they needed and made the score 2-1 in their favor. He also assisted Balde’s goal later on.

Sergi Roberto: 6.5

Rather surprisingly, Sergi Roberto managed to progress the ball rather well as a right-back. His ball progression was solid and so was his distribution during the game. However, he always does tend to leave a lot of doubt when it comes to his tracking and player marking.

Oriol Romeu: 7.0

The Spaniard seemed to have a decent enough start for Barcelona. However, his slow decision-making ended up costing Barça a little too much at some points of the game. Yet, gradually at least, he synced in with the game’s tempo and began being much more involved in the team’s build-up.

Fermin Lopez: 6.5

Dynamic as always, Fermin Lopez kept breathing down the neck of Unionistas players. This was particularly useful in ensuring that the opposition did not get much time to think about their next move. Apart from that, however, it was a decent enough performance with nothing significant of note.

Frenkie De Jong: 7.0

Whenever the Dutchman seems to have no defensive obligations pushed onto him, he performs a bit more freely. However, against Unionista’s crowded central channels, even Frenkie De Jong seemed to have an off-game. Was not at his usual creative best, unfortunately.

Joao Felix: 8.0

The Portuguese forward was once again showcasing his better attributes on the night. Exposing Unionistas at times with his passes and trickery, he continued to make the opponents question their marking at times. Ultimately ended up providing the assist for the opening goal for Barcelona through Ferran Torres.

Marc Guiu: 6.5

The addition of Marc Guiu in the starting lineup came as a shock to most. While it was the belief of many that either Robert Lewandowski or Vitor Roque would start, Xavi had his own idea to implement.

Unfortunately, however, despite his positioning and dangerous runs, Guiu was more or less ineffective for Barcelona on the night.

Ferran Torres: 8.0

Undoubtedly the most dangerous Barcelona forward on the night and the one who caused Unionistas the most problems. Beyond just creating chances for his teammates, he also continued to thwart the opponent’s goal by himself.

Before the first half concluded, it was his display of individual quality that ensured that his side was not trailing heading into halftime. With his pace and clinical finishing, he ran half the field on an individual counterattack and finished with composure into the bottom corner. Great overall performance.

Pau Cubarsi: 7.0

Despite his young age and the pressure of representing the Barcelona first team, Pau Cubarsi rose to the occasion. In his official debut for the team, the 16-year-old showcased exactly why he has been so hyped up by those who have seen him in the subsidiary. Composed throughout the second half, he even provided the assist for Jules Kounde’s goal.

Robert Lewandowski: 5.5

Arrived late into the game and could not really have much of an impact on the match itself. Had a total of 8 touches, 2 shots, and 2 passes. Quite the stale cameo from the in-form Pole.

Ilkay Gundogan: 6.5

Ilkay Gundogan, however, was much more involved in the 30 minutes that he played. Playing some great passes, showing a veteran’s maturity, and his immovable composure continued to help Barcelona a lot.

Pedri: 6.5

Similar to Gundogan, Pedri also made the most of his time on the field. Threading some creative passes and displaying his magic in glimpses, it is safe to say he seems to be returning to his very best version.

Vitor Roque: N/A

Not enough time or influence on the game to warrant a rating.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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