Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Barcelona: Player ratings as Dramatic late VAR reprieve ensures Xavi’s men restore nine-point lead


A late VAR reprieve ensured Barcelona clung on to a slender 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao as Raphinha continued his impressive form to restore the Blaugrana’s nine-point lead at the summit.

Barca looked to have been pegged back by a dramatic Inaki Williams equaliser, but it was disallowed for handball and Xavi’s side just about held on in the face of intense pressure.

The visitors had to weather a storm in the first half as well, making the most of their survival on the stroke of half-time when the in-form Raphinha struck.

Williams’ disallowed goal was then followed by more late chances for Athletic, but the hosts’ efforts amounted to nothing as Barca got one over former coach Ernesto Valverde.

Barcelona player ratings

GK – Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 9/10 – Made three very stunning saves in the game. You can see why he’s conceded barely any goals this season.

RB – Sergi Roberto – 5/10 – Solid enough outing.

CB – Jules Kounde – 6/10 – Made a few very eye-catching tackles.

CB – Andreas Christensen – 5/10 – Tracked back well to prevent Berenguer from drawing level.

LB – Alejandro Balde – 6/10 – Got forward well at times.

CM – Gavi – 7/10 – Threw himself into every challenge like it was his last. A great, industrious, performance from the youngster.

CM – Sergio Busquets – 7/10 – His clever pass into Raphinha lead to the opening goal. Read play well throughout.

CM – Frenkie de Jong – 5/10 – Dropped slightly too deep to get the ball, especially when he was playing alongside Busquets.

RW – Raphinha – 7/10 – Finished well at a crucial time in the game.

ST – Robert Lewandowski – 4/10 – Just not on his game. Hold up play was meh and he never really looked like he was going to score on Sunday evening which is odd because he’s literally Robert Lewandowski.

LW – Ferran Torres – 3/10 – Almost scored a fantastic goal inside the opening two minutes but barely featured after that.

SUB – Franck Kessie – 2/10 – Did nothing when he came on. Barely ran the length of himself.

SUB – Marcos Alonso – 5/10 – Made a crucial late block.

SUB – Ansu Fati – 4/10 – Quiet when introduced.

SUB – Angel Alarcon – N/A.

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