Football Features

“This feels like destiny” – Player ratings as Barcelona’s January signings shine in big 4-2 win over Atlético Madrid

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 17:36, 6 February 2022

In a topsy turvy afternoon of La Liga, Barcelona beat Atlético Madrid 4-2 and took a big step in the race for fourth place.

The win saw Xavi’s Blaugrana leapfrog Simeone’s men and stand two points ahead of them.

Here’s how the players rated at Camp Nou:

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Marc-Andre Ter Stegen – 7 – Made a couple of big saves and passed the ball well under pressure.

Dani Alves – 7 – Beautiful cross for Alba’s equaliser. Wicked free-kick that led to the 3-1. Stunning goal to make it 4-1. Then a baffling red card for a nasty challenge on Carrasco. Still one of the best players on the pitch, even with the red. This game was all about Dani Alves.

Ronald Araujo – 8 – Defended well. Thumped a magnificent finish from close range to give Barcelona a 3-1 lead.

Gerard Piqué – 7 – Out of position on Atleti’s goal but recovered to put in a good defensive display.

Jordi Alba – 7 – Caught out of position for Atleti’s opener but made up for it in spectacular fashion with an outrageous volley to equalise. Played some dangerous passes forward.

Sergio Busquets – 4 – About as poor as you could imagine him being. Constantly ceded possession with sloppy passes and looked nowhere near the usual level he’s been showing under Xavi. Barcelona winning despite his struggles says so much about the rest of the team.

Pedri – 7 – A neat and tidy display from the midfielder. Still not quite back to his best following his injury.

Frenkie de Jong – 8 – A colossal display from the Dutch midfielder who seems to be finally finding his feet under Xavi. Defended incredibly and covered a ridiculous amount of ground trying to make-up for Busquets giving the ball away.

Adama Traoré – 8 – A superb second debut for Adama. It was his fantastic dribbling and pressing that created the space for Barcelona’s equaliser, and he went one better with a delightful dribble and cross for Gavi’s goal. Remained a menace throughout and the game lost something when he went off. This feels like destiny for the man from La Masia.

Gavi – 8 – Feisty as always. Gave Barcelona the lead with a towering (but unmarked) header. Drove beyond Atleti’s defence, dribbling at anyone. A wonderful cut-back led to Alves’ fourth goal. Still only 17. A miracle.

Ferran Torres – 7 – A selfless display from Ferran. Fantastic movement and pressing plus an unintentionally brilliant assist for Araujo. Played Suárez onside for his goal but was really smart late in the game when Barcelona needed help to relieve pressure.

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Barcelona Substitutes:

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (for Adama 61′) – 7 – A bright performance considering the trying circumstances he played in. Showed for the ball, held it up well and displayed fantastic movement to break in behind.

Nico (for Pedri 66′) – 6 – Worked hard.

Sergino Dest (for Gavi 71′) – 7 – Came on and shut down any Atleti attempts to advance down that flank. Offers nothing like Alves’ attacking threat, but is certainly a solid defender.

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Atlético Madrid

Jan Oblak – 5 – Not his best performance in the Atleti goal, although he had little chance with any of the Barcelona goals.

Sime Vrsaljko – 4 – A poor display. Lost Alba for his stunning goal. Taken off at half-time.

José Giménez – 8 – A towering presence at the back, repelling Barcelona attacks for fun. Great headed assist for Suárez’s goal, too.

Stefan Savic – 5 – Constantly exposed by Barcelona’s quick movement.

Mario Hermoso – 4 – Got cooked by Adama Traoré time and time again. Subbed early.

Yannick Carrasco – 7 – Excellent run and finish to open the scoring and, when Barcelona looked miles ahead, the Belgian seemed their only legitimate route back into the match with so many bright runs and adventurous shots.

Koke – 7 – Exceptional slide rule pass to find Suárez for the opener. Fought hard against Barcelona.

Rodrigo De Paul – 6 – Worked hard but not as sharp in his execution.

Thomas Lemar – 5 – Battled well, but

Joao Felix – 5 – Made some exceptional runs into space coming off the left, but never used the ball well.

Luis Suárez – 7 – Nice cross for Carrasco’s opener. Anonymous for the next 50 minutes but pulled Atleti back into it with a poacher’s finish. Simultanously a poor display and an effective display. Classic Suárez.


Daniel Wass (for Vrsaljko 46′) – 4 – Possibly even worse than Vrsaljko and was just lucky that the red card stifled Barcelona’s attacking ambition for much of the second period.

Angel Correa (for Joao Felix 55′) – 6 – Didn’t do anything directly, but his presence nevertheless upped the tempo for Atleti.

Matheus Cunha (for Lemar 55′) – 6 – Helped improve things.

Reinildo (for Hermoso 55′) – 6 – Added a bit more direction in attack.

Hector Herrera (for Koke 76′) – 6 – Ramped things up.