Barcelona got back to winning ways against Osasuna on an emotional Sunday afternoon, beating the visitors 4-0 at Camp Nou thanks to a Lionel Messi masterclass.
La Blaugrana took the lead on the half-hour mark, when Martin Braithwaite bundled the ball over the line after some great interplay between Messi and Jordi Alba. Antoine Griezmann doubled the advantage 12 minutes later, racing onto a high ball dropping from the sky and crashing an unstoppable volley beyond the goalkeeper.
Barça continued their dominance in the second half, with Philippe Coutinho tapping home from an unselfish Griezmann cutback to make it 3-0.
Messi left his mark on proceedings to notch the fourth on 72 minutes, crashing a strike into the net from the edge of the box and removing his jersey to reveal a Newell’s Old Boys shirt beneath it, in honour of national compatriot Diego Maradona.
Let’s take a look at the Barcelona player ratings from an entertaining afternoon at Camp Nou.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) – 7/10 – Pulled off an absolutely insane double save which ultimately counted for little as the offside flag was raised. Still, mental.
Sergino Dest (RB) – 7/10 – Overlapped beyond Messi when presented with the opportunity, and used his pace to create space for the Argentine. Little to do at the back.
Oscar Mingueza (CB) – 7/10 – A nice, steady game to settle in. Mingueza looked like a classic Barcelona academy product: classy and tidy in possession and comfortable with the ball at his feet. Easy.
Clement Lenglet (CB) – 7/10 – The experienced head at the heart of the defence and snuffed out any danger with typical ruthlessness. Substituted due to injury as defensive issues pile up.
Jordi Alba (LB) – 8/10 – Rolled back the years to race onto a Messi ball, flew down that left flank and put in a dangerous cross. Had little defensive work to do, so mainly resided in the opposition’s half.
Frenkie de Jong (CM) – 8/10 – Some lovely movements floating and drifting around the midfield. The only real central midfielder in the side, so needed to command from the middle. Did so excellently.
Pedri (CM) – 6/10 – A square peg in a round hole, and didn’t look comfortable at all. Particularly lightweight in physical battles, which occur much more regularly in central positions. Subbed at half-time, no surprise.
Antoine Griezmann (CAM) – 8/10 – WHAT A HIT SON, WHAT A HIT! Griezmann hammered his name onto the score sheet with a brilliant volley, and looked so comfortable playing in his usual number 10 role. Assisted the third goal, too.
Lionel Messi (RW) – 8/10 – A joy to watch. Opened up the Osasuna defence with a brilliant cross-field ball to Jordi Alba. Much more involved back on the right-hand side. Smashed in a brilliant strike for the fourth and showed real class with his celebration. Maradona would’ve been proud of that one.
Martin Braithwaite (ST) – 7/10 – Bundled the ball over the line to give Barça the lead. Lovely build up, ugly finish, but they all count. Not up to the necessary quality, but gave the team a focal point to play off. Important.
Philippe Coutinho (LW) – 8/10 – Should have opened the scoring with the goal at his mercy, but saw his effort blocked by a sprawling defender. Sent a cushioned half-volley just over the bar, too. Finally got his goal from close range. Couldn’t miss, really.
Sergio Busquets (CM) – 7/10
Ousmane Dembele (RW) – 7/10
Junior Firpo (LB) – 6/10
Trincao (LW) – 6/10
Carles Alena (CM) – 6/10