FC Barcelona manage to conquer their marvel of a hurdle in the shape of Atletico Madrid. A 1-0 victory over Los Colchoneros sees Barca regain their 11-point lead over Real Madrid in the La Liga table. In what was a capitalizing game from start to finish, both teams showed intensity and quality. In the end, it was La Blaugrana who managed to emerge as the deserving victors with the help of their returning stars.
This is how the players fared during the match:
Marc Andre Ter Stegen: 7.5
A vital save against Griezmann’s backheel was arguably the highlight of the German’s game. Beyond that, him being reliable under pressure came in as a huge asset for Barcelona. One step closer to his first-ever Zamora trophy.
Alejandro Balde: 6.5
More or less invisible and indecisive during the game, the youngster has definitely had better guns under the tutelage of Xavi Hernandez and would do well to simply put this game behind him altogether.
Ronald Araujo: 8.0
The unsung hero of the day, the Uruguayan was an absolute unit in defense. Ensuring time after time that Atletico remain contained and completely nullified.
Marcos Alonso: 6.5
A decent outing from the veteran Spaniard, he was one of the first replaced after the half-time mark however, despite having a game where he seemed in control. Mainly a tactical substitution.
Jules Kounde: 7.5
Strong in his duels, the Frenchman commandeered that right-hand flank of the defense expertly and it helped contain the Atletico wingers to a great degree.
Sergio Busquets: 7.0
With the return of both Frenkie De Jong and Pedri, the Spanish veteran did not have to pull off too many flashy moves to help balance his team’s tactical imbalances. Had to resort to more traditionally pragmatic pivot play to keep Atletico in check rather.
Frenkie De Jong: 8.0
A masterful display of control and tempo by the returning Dutchman. Knowing when, where, and how to pass, the plays he made helped Barcelona establish a strong control early on in the game.
His tenacious runs and free-spirited pressing helped the Catalans keep the visitors under constant pressure and worry. Constantly rotated across the front and midfield lines to fill out any holes when necessary.
Ferran Torres: 7.5
Scored the winning goal and did so with great precision. The Spaniard was quick in reacting to loose balls and also quick to offer his teammates a passing outlet to use. A solid display from the winger overall.
Robert Lewandowski: 6.5
Constantly being marked and being isolated in recent games, Lewandowski without a doubt should’ve made more of the chances he was presented. While his holdup play remains consistently good enough, he is certainly not up to the quality that he is very much capable of delivering.
Man of the match, the Brazilian assisted the only goal of the game brilliantly. Constantly creating chances, he would’ve had a perfect game should he have converted the rather manageable chances he was presented in front of the goal.
The youngster completely changed the tempo of the game as soon as he came on. Not just himself, but even those around him began to display greater levels of creativity. Courtesy of both his movement and his genius timing, FC Barcelona felt much more like a cohesive unit.
Eric Garcia: 5.0
The player was brought on as a possible tactical substitution for Marcos Alonso around the 60th-minute mark. What followed was a rather disastrous display of bad timing, misinterpretation of situations, and lazy defending. A game to forget for him.
Franck Kessie: N/A
Did not have enough of an influence on the game to warrant a rating.
Ansu Fati: N/A
Did not have much influence nor time in the game to warrant a rating.