Football Features

Player ratings as “Iniesta-esque” Pedri scores a wondergoal to slay Sevilla and lift Barcelona up to second in La Liga

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:29, 3 April 2022 | Updated: 22:38, 20 September 2022

In a tight and tense night of football, Barcelona beat Sevilla 1-0 to climb to second in La Liga.

The win makes it six victories in a row for Xavi’s men as they sit second for the first time in a year.

Here’s how the players rated at Camp Nou:


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Barcelona

Marc-André Ter Stegen – 6 – Had almost nothing to do until the very end when he made a meal of a cross and almost gifted Sevilla an equaliser but instantly redeemed himself with a great reaction save.

Dani Alves – 4 – Made several nice passes and linked play in attack but he was an absolute car crash defensively. Got stuck into the duels, for sure, but left massive tracts of space behind him for Sevilla to race into.

Ronald Araujo – 9 – Flawless. Not only did he play his own position with consummate ease but he also played right-back in defensive phases, covering for Alves every single time Sevilla tried to penetrate down that flank. “You can even compare him to Carles Puyol,” said Chapi Ferrer after the game, and while Barcelona fans will love to hear that the Blaugrana board may be groaning as they’ll definitely have to pay this kid what he’s worth; he’s too good to low-ball!

Gerard Piqué – 8 – Defended really well, seems to be thriving under Xavi. Struck the bar with a header.

Jordi Alba – 7 – Quality transition defence as usual, but not quite as impactful in attack as usual.

Sergio Busquets – 7 – Good, not great. Kept the ball circulating well.

Frenkie De Jong – 6 – A quiet game for the Dutch midfielder. Helped cover for Alves.

Pedri – 9 – Utterly ridiculous from start to finish. Ran the game with veteran serenity, pinging the ball around the pitch like he was a storied veteran on a farewell tour. Some of his passes were plucked straight out of a charity match they were that effortlessly excellent. “He’s very similar to Andrés Iniesta,” said Xavi post-match, and on this evidence you can’t argue with that.

Of course the best moment of the match belonged to him as he won the game with a goal of the utmost beauty, sitting down not one but two Sevilla players with unreal body feints before lasering it through about four more and into the back of the net from the edge of the box. If he’s not the best midfielder in the world right now then no one else is playing midfield. The golden boy is the gold standard.

Ousmane Dembélé – 8 – A magnificent display from the Frenchman. Defended brilliantly, created a game-high 7 chances and was behind almost all of Barcelona’s best stuff, especially in the second-half as they tired. He even managed to nab an assist for Pedri’s wondergoal and came off the pitch to a standing ovation; which signifies an incredible turnaround in his fortunes.

Ferran Torres – 5 – Didn’t move the ball fast enough, missed two great chances and one decent chance too. Not his best night.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 6 – Made some lovely runs and his pressing was also quality but he was largely starved of service by Sevilla’s superb defensive showing.



Barcelona Substitutes:

Gavi (for De Jong 74′) – 7 – Came on with a rookie’s fury and a veteran’s serenity. At 17 was the most mature head on the pitch, making the smart play to keep possession.

Memphis Depay (for Aubameyang 81′) – 5 – Tried but didn’t really get involved.

Nico Gonzalez (for Dembélé 90’+1) – n/a – Came on late.



Sevilla

Yassine Bounou – 7 – A really good display from Bounou despite the defeat. Made several great saves and dominated his area. It took a wondergoal to beat him.

Jesus Navas – 7 – Gave Ferran Torres a great game on the right.

Jules Koundé – 8 – Some incredible defending to keep Barcelona out. Honestly just preposterous how often he got himself in the way to deny the Blaugrana. Feels like he’s slowly getting back to his best.

Diego Carlos – 8 – Brilliant from start to finish. Got sat down by Pedri for the goal but that was entirely understandable.

Karim Rekik – 4 – Got an absolute roasting from Ousmane Dembélé and was just lucky his centre-backs were in such fine form.

Nemanja Gudelj – 6 – Battled well to block space but was nowhere near good enough to match the Barcelona midfield.

Ivan Rakitic – 7 – Worked his heart out against his old side.

Joan Jordan – 7 – Outstanding battling performance.

Erik Lamela – 5 – Worked hard but really didn’t offer enough in attack.

Lucas Ocampos – 5 – On the one hand his movement was really good and he punished Dani Alves over and over again, but the monumental presence of Ronald Araujo kept on shutting him down and eventually he just started making bad decisions.

Anthony Martial – 5 – He made some good runs but ultimately was no threat to Barcelona.



Sevilla Substitutes:

Tecatito (for Lamela 67′) – 6 – Added a bit of direction and drive.

Youssef En-Nesyri (for Gudelj 79′) – 5 – Got stuck in but did little.

Gonzalo Montiel (for Navas 79′) – 5 – Didn’t have much impact.

Rafa Mir (for Rekik 82′) – 6 – Battled and caused problems in his brief cameo.

Ludwig Agustinsson (for Martial 82′) – 6 – Almost scored an accidental winner.

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