Spanish giants Barcelona maintained their 100% streak, so far, in the new La Liga season as they pulled a 1-0 victory against Athletic Bilbao at San Mames stadium. The winning goal came by way of Ivan Rakitic’s header in the first half – and this victory also makes it the sixth consecutive league game wherein Athletic Bilbao lost to Barcelona. Athletic are yet to score any points, despite playing two games already.
Bilbao lost to Sporting Gijon in their opening game, and it was rather disappointing for them. They were probably hoping to get back to winning ways, but unfortunately for them, Barcelona bested them in every way possible.
Last season’s Spanish Supercup saw Barcelona lose to Athletic Bilbao 4-0, during which a lot of criticism came Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s way, who is the goalkeeper for the Catalonian outfit. However, last night, he would’ve definitely earned his redemption.
Especially at a time when Jasper Cillessen just moved to Barcelona from Ajax last week, Stegen would have to put up considerably improved performances, in order to deal with the competition.
Read on for player ratings!
Marc-Andre ter Stegen
He looked risky initially and almost would’ve allowed a goal, but luck was on his side. He also made a brilliant effort towards keeping out Benat’s strike. Rating – 6.5/10
Williams proved to be a problem for the full-back, as he couldn’t get too forward and Alba seemed to play a safe game. Rating – 5/10
Pique put up a strong, commanding performance like always. He kept building on attacks from the back. Rating – 7.5/
Pique’s experience and presence helped Umiti, as he looked very bold and dominating. Rating – 7/10
Maintained possession in the midfield, and also was always in the right place at the right time to prevent and contain Bilbao’s attacks. Rating – 8/10
He ensured that Barcelona retained possession by crafty yet creative means, thereby impressing once again. Rating – 7/10
He was great on the right, and took a lot of risks as he surged forward, which eventually proved to help. Rating – 7.5/10
He set up Rakitic’s opening goal with a well-timed cross. However, he missed another opportunity to score, right before half-time. Rating – 7.5/10
Rakitic was dynamic in every sense, and the cherry on top being the fact that he scored the only goal of the match. Rating – 9/10
He failed to convert a close-range shot later in the game, but his performance was still pretty strong nevertheless. Rating – 8.5/10
Messi was a major let-down last night, as he looked weak and failed to impress anybody. The La Liga superstar wasn’t as impactful as usual, and even more so as last night was his 350th appearance for Barcelona. Rating – 5/10
Mascherano – Added more experience and strength to Barca’s defence under pressure. Rating – 6/10
Andre Gomes – Defended pretty well, but could not do much while moving forward. Rating – 5.5/10
Rafinha – Replaced Turan and kept up with the possession. Rating – 6.5/10