Result, Player Ratings, What We Learned

FC Barcelona hosted Cadiz in a La Liga match at Camp Nou on Sunday. Here’s the result, some player ratings, and what we learned from the tie.

FC Barcelona 2-0 Cadiz

Roberto, 43

Lewandowski, 45+1

Marc-Andre ter Stegen

Was cheered on at the start of the match by the ultras behind the North Goal, who went mad when he punched two quick balls out of harm’s way past the half hour mark. Made a brilliant save by knocking one onto his post to keep a clean sheet with around 10 minutes to spare. 7

Alejandro Balde

Willing to get forward and linked up with Fati well. OK but probably didn’t do enough to get the nod over Jordi Alba against Manchester United next week. 6

Eric Garcia

Came close with a header from a corner on four minutes and began tidily in a rare start. Played the offside trap with a Cadiz goal on 19 minutes that was ruled out. Wasteful on one attacking move that almost resulted in a dangerous counter attack. Pretty much fault-free in the second half. 7

Andreas Christensen

Made an important block in the box that could have been a goal and was generally solid at the back with excellent passes from his own half. 8

Frenkie de Jong

Was better than Thursday against Manchester United in a subdued display. Brought off for Franck Kessie. 7


Set Balde free on one of Barca’s first promising moves, but his fellow La Masia graduate miscontrolled the pass. Played a lovely crossfield ball for Kounde followed up by a nutmeg and was technically brilliant all round while always trying to push play forward. Stepped up in Pedri’s absence. 8

Sergi Roberto

Hushed critics with his goal on the stroke of half time, and then provided an assist for Robert Lewandowski to irritate them further. Mr. Reliable for Xavi, who deserves a strong mark. 8

Ansu Fati

Missed his connection with a Balde cross inside the first 15 minutes but tried to set up the left back on a brilliant passing move before which involved most members of the team. Was tackled when played into the box, but it wasn’t the easiest chance. Started the second half by almost setting up Ferran Torres. Generally speaking, however, he didn’t take his chance to impress. 6

Robert Lewandowski

A cross into the box for Sergi Roberto on 35 minutes looked like it would be his only involvement of note in the first half. Could have done better at the back post when trying to meet one himself but was better when forcing the rebound that led to Roberto’s goal. Had the favor returned to him by the midfielder and took both his time and shot well to double Barca’s lead. A quieter second half but still replaced by Raphinha to raptorous applause. 7

Ferran Torres

Recieved hearty applause for his courage on a darting run kicked off by a nutmeg. His pass across the box was almost converted as an own goal in quick succession, and he came close with a shot that went wide of the far post that was all his own making. Almost provided for Lewandowski with a cross, and then did so again in the move that led to Roberto’s opener. Maintained his level in the second half, and his confidence will only grow after this evening. 9 – MAN OF THE MATCH

What We Learned

Xavi rotated his players well on this occasion, and starts for the likes of Ferran Torres were a good way of boosting confidence while Ansu Fati again didn’t take his chance to shine.

Robert Lewandowski was slightly better this time round, but it is against the bigger teams that Barca and their fans expect more from him that hasn’t really been forthcoming post-World Cup.

Gavi has the personality, talent and fight to lead the attacking section of the midfield in Pedri’s absence, but that should hardly be a surprise. Sergi Roberto may get the nod on Thursday against United after his goal and assist contribution.

Barca remain eight points clear ahead of their biggest match of the season approaching next weekend.