Ter Stegen's masterclass vs 3 underwhelming displays: Barca players ratings after Athletic draw
Barca have drawn their third game in a row on Sunday at San Mames, with their goalkeeper delivering the Man of the Match performance, which certainly is Not A Good Sign.
Barcelona drew Athletic Bilbao 0-0 at San Mames in the 23rd round of La Liga. The Catalans failed to create any danger in front of Iago Herrerin's goal except for Lionel Messi's shot that was denied by the bar in the first half. On the other end, Marc-Andre ter Stegen had to save his team twice after Basque players' shots to give his side a chance to win the match.
The team looked tired and sluggish with Messi not being 100% ready, Dembele returning from an injury and Suarez, Vidal and Coutinho simply not having their best day. Thus, Barcelona go six points clear at the top of the table with Real Madrid in the second place after defeating Atletico in the Madrid derby a day earlier.
What about individual performances against Bilbao? Well, let's take a look:
Marc-Andre ter Stegen - 10/10
Let's face it: there was only one player who really impressed in the otherwise dull game. The only point Barca gained from this clash was thanks to the German goalkeeper. Ter Stegen made two absolutely spectacular reaction saves against first Susaeta and then Willams, which means that from the last 34 shots he faced Ter Stegen conceded only four. If not for the 26-year-old, Barca wouldn't have enjoyed a relatively comfortable five-point advantage over the second place in La Liga.
Gerard Pique - 8/10
The veteran defender continues to be ever-reliable. His quite and assured presence has a calming effect on Barca back-line. It might be surprising, but Pique is also the ONLY outfield player to have played every minute this La Liga season now. And there is certainly a pattern here: when the Spaniard is in form, Barca defence is in form, too.
Leo Messi - 7
It's not that Leo was bad. Such a thing as 'bad performance' simply doesn't exist for him. Let's put it this way: he was miles away from his extraterrestrial form of the last couple of months. He looked tired. He looked human. Which bring us to a question: had the Argentine been given enough time to recover from the knock he received against Valencia? The goalless and assistless performance by itself doesn't mean much but in a broader context of Barca packed schedule might hint on certain mismanagement from Valverde's side.
Arturo Vidal - 4/10
The Chilean midfielder had no means to deal with Athletic's pressing and progress the ball up front to Barca attackers. Was the least involved midfield player completing only the half of passes Busquets and Rakitic did. Rarely had the ball and when he did, gave it away too easily. A massive downgrade compared to Arthur or even Alena who replaced him later in the game.
Luis Suarez - 5/10
Luis continued his poor January form. He works hard as usual but the output is nowhere near the fine form he reached at the end of 2018. Squandered his best chance against Athletic over the goal. Continued to be out of tune with Messi, which might be the most worrying thing.
The rest of the team gets an average rating of 6/10.
Do you agree with these ratings?