Luiz Enrique’s Barcelona managed to keep the pressure up on their title rivals Real Madrid with a late win over a lowly Leganes in La Liga this past weekend. Playing at home, the Spanish giants were expected to walk to a victory but a spirited performance from the visitors made sure that Barcelona were kept on their toes until the end of the game. Lionel Messi opened the scoring in the 4th minute of the game but Unai Lopez came up with an equalizer in the 71st minute to set up a grand slam finish. The hosts piled on the pressure but converted a late penalty to get all three points from the game. Brazil star Neymar was brought down in the box, late in the game and Lionel Messi converted from the spot without too much fuss as the Spanish giants managed to stay within a point of Real Madrid, in the points table. Here are the player ratings for Luis Enrique’s side for this game:
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (8):
The German was the best player for Barcelona on the night, as he made more than 4 top class saves to keep his side in the hunt throughout the game.
Sergi Roberto (4):
An atrocious performance from the only right-back in the squad. Roberto was caught out of position all night and also gave away the ball in a dangerous area in the build-up to the first goal.
Samuel Umtiti (5):
Nowhere near as good as Barcelona wanted him to be on a night where he was constantly under threat from the Leganes attackers.
Jeremy Mathieu (5):
Though impressive at times, Mathieu made a number of errors throughout the game as he allowed the visitors to set foot in the game.
Lucas Digne (5):
After a super start to the game, Digne slowly faded away and was often seen wandering around with no help from his teammates in the second half.
Andre Gomez (4):
Playing just in front of the back-4, Gomez had a horrible night as he was unable to provide any cover at the back and created nothing noteworthy on the attacking front as well.
Ivan Rakitic (6):
Arguably the best midfielder for Barcelona in this game, Rakitic was all over the visitors throughout the game and also came close to scoring on a couple of occasions on a productive night.
Another player who suffered on the night, Rafinha created close to nothing, wasted a couple of chances and struggled to be at his usual best.
Lionel Messi (8):
The best player on the pitch for the night, Messi was superb throughout the game, constantly trying things. He opened the scoring with a tap-in and took the responsibility of the spot-kick late in the game to win his team all three points.
Luis Suarez (6):
Picked up the assist for Messi’s goal and was a constant thorn at the back for Leganes, and it was a productive night for the forward.
Neymar Jr (7):
Was unable to link with his players unusually, so decided to take on the Leganes defenders with every chance he got; a ploy that won them a penalty late in the game.
Andres Iniesta (7):
Made an instant impact on the game but had too little time to stamp his authority.
Denis Suarez (5):
Came in late and did more defensive work rather than offensive moves.
Jordi Alba (7):
Got just 10 minutes under his belt and was superb at that time, making numerous runs down the flank to keep the pressure up on Leganes.