Barcelona were unable to offer an on the pitch distraction to their behind the scenes turmoil as they stuttered to a 1-1 draw with 10-man Alaves in La Liga on Saturday.
Ronald Koeman’s side fell behind just after the half hour mark, Alaves winger Luis Rioja capitalising on a poor touch from Neto to dispossess the Brazilian goalkeeper and roll the ball into an empty net.
The home side then saw Jota sent off for a second bookable offence, and moments later Barcelona were level through Antoine Griezmann’s clipped finish. Barça dominated possession for large spells of the game but could not find a way past a stubborn Alaves backline, who defended deep and got men behind the ball.
Let’s get into some Barcelona player ratings.
Ousmane Dembele (RM) – 4/10 – Enjoyed one particularly exciting burst down the flank as he ignited the burners and flew past Duarte – but it was something he did not produce frequently enough. Surrendered possession cheaply on a couple of occasions and was hauled off at half time.
Sergio Busquets (CM) – 4/10 –
Caught out of position as Alaves launched a slick counter attack in the first half. Sloppy in possession at times, hauled off at half time on a booking.
Frenkie de Jong (CM) – 6/10 –
Much more efficient in possession than his midfield partner. Moved to centre back as part of a back three at half time but effectively continued to play as a central midfielder when Barcelona were in possession.
Ansu Fati (LM) – 6/10 –
Picked out Griezmann with a good cut back in the first half, but squandered one of Barcelona’s best chances when played through by Lenglet. Produced a couple of edge of seat, mazy marauds down the wing. Happy 18th birthday.
Lionel Messi (ST) – 6/10 – Wriggled through in sumptuous Messi style midway through the first half in the buildup to a good opening for Griezmann. Had an effort from close range terrifically palmed round the post in the second half. Crowded out and frustrated at times.
Antoine Griezmann (ST) – 7/10 –
Dragged a shot wide in the first half after being found by Fati. Levelled the scores just after the hour mark with a deft finish.
Pedri – 7/10 – Offered a few reasons to be cheerful with another impressive performance, flashes of real intelligence and star quality.
Miralem Pjanic – 6/10 –
Brought on at half-time for Busquets and put himself about well enough. Still doesn’t strike you as a Barcelona type player.
Francisco Trincão- 5/10 –
On at half-time for Dembele, but didn’t fare much better than the Frenchman. Quiet and ineffective.
Sergino Dest – 6/10 –
A 20 minute run-out yielded very little action of note.
Martin Braithwaite – N/A