Athletic Club 0-0 Barcelona: Player ratings as Pedri and De Jong suffer injuries in bore draw

  • De Jong and Pedri went off injured on Sunday
  • Barca missed the chance to go second in La Liga
  • The visitors struggled in the final third
Injury concern
Injury concern / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

Frenkie de Jong and Pedri both went off injured during Barcelona's drab 0-0 draw with Athletic Club in La Liga on Sunday evening.

Barca had gone into the game hoping to avenge their Copa del Rey defeat to Athletic earlier in 2024, but their offensive plans were totally scuppered by the injuries suffered by their star midfield duo.

The result means that Xavi Hernandez's side missed the opportunity to move up to second place in La Liga, failing to capitalise on Girona's 1-0 defeat to Mallorca.

How the game unfolded

The opening 30 minutes were fiercely contested by both sides, with neither side able to really grab a foothold in proceedings.

Things began to turn in Athletic Club's favour however when Frenkie de Jong was forced off with a worrying ankle injury - twisting it after going up for an arial duel. Without their usual out-ball in the middle of the park, Barca proved to be less resistant to the home side's high press, leading to a few half-decent opportunities as a result.

Despite Athletic taking some control of proceedings, it was the visitors who'd come closest to opening the scoring before the half-time whistle.

After spotting Unai Simon well off his line after sweeping up a through ball over the Athletic Club defence, Joao Cancelo would see his near 50 yard (yes, 50 yard) chipped effort be prevented from going over the line by a mix of Simon's fingertips and defender Yeray Alvarez.

Barca's injury woes would go from bad to worse before the half-time whistle, as Pedri hobbled off with yet another hamstring injury in added time at the end of the first 45.

The injured suffered by Pedri proved to totally scupper Barca's offensive shape and were pegged back into their own half for much of the rest of the game. The back four were able to defend stoutly under intense pressure from Athletic Club, with Pau Cubarsi impressing by making a few last ditch tackles in the box.

Barcelona player ratings (4-3-3)

Alex Berenguer, Jules Kounde
Solid outing for Kounde / Ion Alcoba Beitia/GettyImages

GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen - 6/10 - Despite Athletic largely dominating the game, he didn't have much to do.

RB: Jules Kounde - 8/10 - Back to his best on Sunday evening, winning nine duels, making six clearances and winning 100% of his tackles.

CB: Ronald Araujo - 7/10 - A solid outing alongside Cubarsi at the heart of Barca's defence.

CB: Pau Cubarsi - 7/10 - Put in a very impressive performance, winning the ball back for his team four times and making a vital block in the second half to keep the scores level.

LB: Joao Cancelo - 6/10 - Came within a whisker of scoring the best goal of the season so far in the first half.

CM: Frenkie de Jong - N/A - Forced off with a rather worrying looking ankle injury.

CM: Andreas Christensen - 5/10 - Couldn't prove much quality on the ball in the middle of the park.

CM: Ilkay Gundogan - 5/10 - Forced out of his more advanced midfield role when the injury bug struck in the first half.

RW: Raphinha - 3/10 - Barely touched the ball during his 75 minutes on the pitch.

ST: Robert Lewandowski - 5/10 - The Polish striker wasn't given much service from his teammates.

LW: Pedri - 5/10 - Limped off injured in the first half with the yet another injury.


SUB: Fermin Lopez (25' for De Jong) - 6/10 - Struggled offensively, but worked hard in the defensive third.

SUB: Lamine Yamal (45' for Pedri) - 5/10 - Failed to make an impact off the bench.

SUB: Inigo Martinez (75' for Cubarsi) - 6/10

SUB: Joao Felix (75' for Raphinha) - 5/10

SUB: Oriol Romeu (75' for Christensen) - 6/10

Manager - Xavi Hernandez - 6/10 - His tactical plan went up in smoke when De Jong and Pedri hobbled off.

Player of the match: Jules Kounde (Barcelona)