13 Feb Messi’s brace vs. Alaves catapults Barcelona into second in La Liga in 9/10 efficiency
Lionel Messi and Francisco Trincao scored two every as Barcelona warmed up for Paris Saint-Germain with a 5-1 win over Alaves in La Liga on Saturday.
Trincao opened the scoring after half an hour and Messi added Barca’s second at Camp Nou in first-half stoppage time from 30 yards minutes after having a purpose dominated out for offside. Luis Rioja capitalised on a defensive mistake within the 57th minute to briefly give Alaves hope of a comeback earlier than Ronald Koeman’s aspect pulled away within the closing stretch of the sport. Trincao scored his second of the night time within the 74th minute and Messi, with one other gorgeous lengthy ranger, adopted swimsuit a minute later. Defender Junior Firpo accomplished the rout late on.
This was the proper technique to heat up for Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 tie towards PSG at Camp Nou. Koeman was in a position to relaxation a number of necessary gamers at numerous phases of the sport whereas nonetheless incomes a good-looking win to stay inside eight factors of leaders Atletico Madrid — albeit having performed a recreation extra.
5 La Masia gamers began the sport, together with 18-year-old midfielder Ilaix Moriba, who was making his first-ever look in La Liga. He arrange the primary purpose, though gave the ball away within the second half to inadvertently arrange Alaves’ purpose.
As for Messi, he is in nice kind, taking his scoring streak in La Liga to 5 video games for the primary time since April 2019. And Trincao discovered that targets are very very similar to London buses; he waited for 27 video games earlier than breaking his duck towards Actual Betis final weekend, and scored two extra right here and will have scored a hat trick.
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Barca as soon as once more gave up loads of probabilities with sloppy passing within the center and passive defending. Alaves solely took one in every of them however, if Lucas Perez had his taking pictures boots on, they could have scored extra.
Supervisor score out of 10
7 — Koeman stored gamers recent for PSG and those who he introduced in, corresponding to Trincao, Riqui Puig and Junior, delivered on the pitch to make it the proper night time for the Dutch coach.
Participant rankings (1-10; 10 = greatest. Gamers launched after 70 minutes get no score)
GK Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 6 — Made a few good interventions, together with one save from Rodrigo Battaglia. May do little in regards to the purpose.
DF Oscar Mingueza, 6 — Was a part of a three-man defence with out the ball and was a right-wing-back with the ball. Higher at defending however is enhancing in assault, along with his cross resulting in the opening purpose.
DF Frenkie de Jong, 6 — A relaxation for the Dutch midfielder nowadays appears to imply taking part in at centre-back. Did effectively with out having to exert himself.
DF Clement Lenglet, 6 — Did OK however nonetheless appears to be like wanting confidence, which is worrying going into the PSG recreation.
DF Junior Firpo, 7 — Has executed effectively when given an opportunity in latest weeks and bought ahead to take his purpose effectively.
MF Sergio Busquets, 7 — Solely performed 45 minutes with PSG in thoughts however performed two of the sport’s greatest passes: one excessive for Antoine Griezmann earlier than a disallowed Messi purpose and one other into Messi’s ft for Barca’s second.
MF Ilaix Moriba, 6 — Good composure to arrange the purpose however erred with a move to provide one away, too. General, a memorable night time as he made his La Liga debut.
MF Riqui Puig, 7 — A uncommon 90 minutes for the younger midfielder who bought higher as the sport went on. Linked effectively along with his teammates and confirmed selection along with his passing.
FW Francisco Trincao, 8 — Took each his targets effectively and will have scored a hat trick. Denied by Fernando Pacheco when he ought to have handed to Ilaix and had a late effort dominated out for offside.
FW Lionel Messi, 9 — Scored two targets of the very best high quality and had a 3rd dominated out for offside. Now has 15 in La Liga, only one fewer than high scorer Luis Suarez.
FW Antoine Griezmann, 6 — Improved within the second half with some good touches and was concerned in a few the targets. Missed his greatest probabilities, although, together with a second-half volley from shut vary after a high quality Messi move.
DF Samuel Umtiti, 6 — Did not do lots mistaken however was far too passive for Rioja’s purpose and confirmed him into far an excessive amount of house.
MF Pedri, 8 — It isn’t a coincidence that he got here on at 2-1 and the sport completed 5-1. A superb move to Messi led to Trincao’s second purpose.
MF Miralem Pjanic, N/R — Got here on to provide De Jong a breather.
DF Sergino Dest, N/R — Returned from a thigh downside late on to get some necessary minutes pre-PSG.
FW Ousmane Dembele, N/R — Given the ultimate jiffy rather than Griezmann.