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Barcelona terrible as Luis Suarez 7/10 saves 4/10 Antoine Griezmann

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Barcelona terrible as Luis Suarez 7/10 saves 4/10 Antoine Griezmann

Substitute Arturo Vidal earned Barcelona a hard-fought three points as they came from behind to win 2-1 at Leganes in La Liga on Saturday.

The league leaders were given a scare when bottom side Leganes took an early lead at Butarque through Youssef En-Nesyri‘s brilliant effort from the corner of the box.

However, Barca turned things around after the break. Luis Suarez equalised when he headed home Messi’s free-kick and Vidal turned home the winner 10 minutes from time after the home side had failed to clear a corner.

Positives

There were few positives other than three points. Vidal may not have the style many demand at Barcelona, but he continues to play an important role this season. Came off the bench to spare coach Ernesto Valverde’s blushes with his fourth goal of the season.

Negatives

This was another terrible performance from Barcelona. Even when picking up points, they lack the markers of a Barca side. They’re unable to play it out from the back, the midfield and the attack are disconnected and the game is passing too many players by. The manager has been unable to correct all of that despite the numerous warning signs.

Antoine Griezmann needs time but he clearly doesn’t look comfortable where he’s playing, while the wait goes on for Ousmane Dembele to really deliver on his talent. The debate will also continue around Gerard Pique, who could have done with a better performance following a week which has seen him splitting his time between training in Barcelona and the organisation of the tennis David Cup in Madrid.

Manager rating out of 10

4 — Valverde erred with the decision to play Suarez, Messi, Griezmann and Dembele in attack from the start for the first time. While it looked good on paper, it wasn’t the right occasion for it against an ultra-defensive Leganes back five. Set plays helped Barca turn the game around in the end, even if one of his substitutes did grab the winner.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 6 — Could do nothing but watch the goal which arrowed into the side of the net. Most of the other shots he faced were straight forward.

DF Moussa Wague, 6 — Made his first appearance of the campaign with Nelson Semedo (injured) and Sergi Roberto (suspended) both absent. Given the circumstances, the Senegal international did as well as could be expected.

DF Gerard Pique, 4 — Miles off the pace in the first half but did look more steady after the break. That’s unlikely to prevent questions about his focus, though, in a week which has seen him occupied by his involvement in the  Davis Cup. Too loose on En-Nesyri for the goal.

DF Samuel Umtiti, 5 — Like Pique, didn’t come out of the goal looking great. Still needs time to re-find his form following a string of injury problems.

DF Junior Firpo, 6 — Sucked into the middle in the build-up to the Leganes goal, leaving space behind him. Other than that, though, didn’t do a lot wrong as he continued to deputise for the injured Jordi Alba.

MF Sergio Busquets, 5 — Picked up his fifth booking of the season in the first half and will miss next week’s big game at Atletico Madrid through suspension. Taken off early in the second period.

MF Frenkie de Jong, 6 — Had his work cut out with four forwards ahead of him and just Busquets for company in the middle. Produced one really good pass for Messi in the second half, with the Argentine working goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar.

MF Ousmane Dembele, 6 — Constantly gave the ball away early on but did create some of Barca’s better moments once he got going.

FW Lionel Messi, 6 — Leganes had already shut up shop before their goal so you can imagine how little space there was after they took the lead. Messi, therefore, once again did his best work from set plays. His free kick set up the leveller.

FW Antoine Griezmann, 4 — Switched from the left flank to the right flank but was unable to make an impact on either. Was removed before the hour after another subdued performance.

FW Luis Suarez, 7 — The Uruguayan was his side’s biggest goal-scoring threat. Had already seen one header brilliantly saved when he nodded in the equaliser after the break. Worked hard as well.

Substitutes

MF Ivan Rakitic, 6 — Came on for over half an hour, which is as long as he’s played in a long time. Did OK.

MF Arturo Vidal, 6 — Has developed a knack this season for being in the right place at the right time. That was certainly true here.

FW Ansu Fati, 6 — Replaced De Jong as Valverde looked to win the game at 1-1.

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