Barcelona 1-0 Osasuna: Player ratings as Roque grabs his first goal as Barça inch past Osasuna for important win


Barcelona had Vitor Roque to thank for a 1-0 win against Osasuna to move up to third in La Liga, at least for a few hours.

Barça suffered an early blow, the latest injury victim being Ferran Torres, who limped off after just eight minutes.

They struggled to create any clear-cut chances in the opening 30 minutes, Torres’ substitute Fermín López coming closest to getting to balls from Pedri and Lamine Yamal.

López was his team’s best player for most of the first half, getting on the end of João Cancela’s ball, but Osasuna goalkeeper Aitor Fernández did well to smother the ball before the 20-year-old could get a shot.

The visitors could have taken the lead soon after, their top scorer Ante Budimir heading wide following a corner aimed at him. It was their only effort of the first half, which they spent negating their illustrious opponents.

By the second half, Barça were crying out for a spark and found it in another substitute, Vitor Roque. The Brazilian came on for the unfortunate López in the 62nd minute and opened the scoring just 64 seconds later with a header from Cancelo’s cross.

Four minutes later, Roque was again at the center of the action when he was pulled out by Unai García as he looked on the counter. The Osasuna defender was given his marching orders as a result.

Barça could and probably should have doubled their lead before the end when Robert Lewandowski had a goal ruled out for offside, just as Cancelo and Roque went close.

It didn’t matter as they were going for an important win after a dramatic few days for everyone at the club.

Barcelona player ratings

GK: Inaki Pena – 6/10 – Finally, a fairly serene outing for the stand-in.

RB: Jules Kounde – 6/10 – Proved a threat from set pieces but couldn’t convert. Safe in possession, but was pretty steady defensively.

CB: Ronald Araujo – 7/10 – After struggling at the weekend, this was much more measured. There were a couple of overzealous sequences, but the defender was dominant.

CB: Pau Cubarsi – 7/10 – A cool customer on the left side of defence. The 17-year-old was proficient on both feet and aggressive in duels when he needed to be.

LB: Joao Cancelo – 7/10 – Functioned high down the left flank and had frustrated in the final third before he produced a moment of quality for Roque’s opener.

CM: Frenkie de Jong – 6/10 – Uncharacteristic element of caution about De Jong’s possession play on Wednesday night, exemplified by his refusal to shoot after receiving the ball in an excellent position on the edge of the box at the start of the second half.

CM: Pedri – 7/10 – We saw more elements of Pedri’s game against Osasuna. The midfielder regained possession on multiple occasions and produced a couple of wonderful passes that penetrated the visitors’ high defensive line.

CM: Ilkay Gundogan – 6/10 – Barely involved in the opening period, but grew into the contest after the restart. Should’ve scored before Roque’s goal, but generally had a positive influence between the lines.

RW: Lamine Yamal – 7/10 – Isolated down the right but was able to produce several moments of quality in the first half. Enjoyed the space which opened up after Osasuna were reduced to ten.

ST: Robert Lewandowski – 5/10 – Combined well on occasions and drew a few soft fouls, but the striker was once again on the periphery throughout.

LW: Ferran Torres – N/A – Withdrawn in tears in the opening exchanges with a hamstring injury.

SUB: Fermin Lopez (8′ for Ferran Torres) – 7/10 – Barca’s brightest player of the first half, and was cowardly withdrawn by Xavi on the hour – presuming he wasn’t carrying a knock.

SUB: Vitor Roque (62′ for Fermin Lopez) – 8/10 – Game-changer.

SUB: Oriol Romeu (77′ for Pedri) – 6/10

Subs not used: Ander Astralaga (GK), Diego Kochen (GK), Andreas Christensen, Marc Casado, Unai Hernandez, Hector Fort.

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