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The Catalonians got a late winner against rivals Atletico Madrid thanks to their talisman Lionel Messi as the game ended 2-1 to Barcelona at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday. It was a very important victory, considering how the La Liga title race is shaping up and Barcelona will be extremely relieved with the result against a tough Atletico side.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen 8/10- The German shot-stopper managed to keep everything out except Diego Godin’s header, which he could do nothing about. Made a fantastic save to stop Griezmann’s effort and spread confidence to his other team-mates.
Sergi Roberto 5/10- Was used as a wingback in the new 3-4-3 formation. However, found himself in the defensive horizon on too many occasions as he could not move forward a lot. Was hardly involved in the attacks and seemed out of place on several occasions following the implementation new formation.
Gerard Pique 7/10- Had a few issues in playing passes from the back and creating play but was superb in handling the Atleti forwards, Gameiro, Griezmann and Torres, when called upon. He was a threat from set-pieces as well.
Samuel Umtiti 7/10- Solid at the back and covered Pique well as they worked together in keeping out any danger. Had a few problems in keeping the ball when pressed but did a good job overall.
Jeremy Mathieu 6/10- The veteran defender did a good job whenever he was required to do so. Went about his business quietly but unfortunately taken off due to an ankle injury.
Sergio Busquets 4/10- A far from the usual performance by the midfield man who gave away the ball on several occasions. He was booked for conceding silly fouls and gave away the free-kick that led to the equalizer.
Andres Iniesta 5/10- A rather strange game for the midfield maestro, as he couldn’t get anywhere close to his normal passing ability when Atletico pressurized him.
Rafinha 6/10- Was particularly average in the game until the decisive moment where he opened the scoring for Barcelona. Gained confidence, belief, and courage from then on.
Lionel Messi 8/10- Was a threat throughout as he looked to be back to his killer best. Almost scored with a superb free-kick but then finally scored the goal that mattered, giving his side all three points.
Neymar 7/10- The Brazilian put on a good performance and his mazy dribbles were able to beat players on the whole. Atletico had to foul him to keep him under control.
Luis Suarez 7/10- Worked hard and his involvement in Rafinha’s goal showed the spirit he is made of. However, still wasn’t able to score as he made a nuisance of himself in front of Atletico’s goal.
Ivan Rakitic 6/10- Came on early for Iniesta and linked up well with the forwards.
Digne 5/10- Replaced Mathieu and did a fairly decent job in defence.
Andre Gomes 5/10- Couldn’t do much as he was subbed on for just 5 minutes, but played his part a bit in Messi’s late winner.
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