FC Barcelona

Barcelona 1-1 Alaves: Player ratings as Blaugrana held to draw in first game after Koeman sacking

Max Cooper
Another slip up for Barcelona
Another slip up for Barcelona / Alex Caparros/GettyImages
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Sergi Barjuan's career as Barcelona interim coach got off to a nervy start on Saturday evening, as the Catalan giants stumbled to a 1-1 draw with Alaves in La Liga at Camp Nou.

The first half was a tame affair, with the Blaugrana controlling possession and looking the most likely to break the deadlock. The final ball was often lacking however, and Alaves goalkeeper Antonio Sivera was rarely called into action.

The visitors did cause a moment of panic in the Barça area in the first 45 minutes, but a header flashed agonisingly wide of Marc-Andre ter Stegen's far post. The hosts were also left sweating over the wellbeing of striker Sergio Aguero, who was substituted after having trouble breathing towards the end of the half - although he at least was able to walk off the pitch.

Barça needed only four minutes to break the deadlock in the second half, and they did it in style. Memphis Depay collected Jordi Alba's pass on the edge of the box, shifted the ball onto his right foot and bent a delicious curler into the top corner of Sivera's goal to hand the initiative to the hosts.

That lead lasted only two minutes however, as Alaves winger Luis Rioja danced through a series of challenges, played a one-two, rounded Ter Stegen and tapped into an empty net to level the scores almost instantly.

Memphis had the chance to restore the advantage minutes later, but he could only hit the post after Gavi had dribbled through three lunging challenges and sneaked a pass behind the backline.

Barça pushed to try and claim all three points, and Philippe Coutinho came close, curling a free-kick over the bar from the edge of the box. The hosts failed to break through the stubborn visitors' backline, meaning life after Ronald Koeman continues to fuel misery for Blaugrana supporters.

Let's get stuck into the player ratings.


Barcelona player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Gerard Pique
Gerard Pique struggled / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) - 6/10 - Watched nervously as a header darted beyond his post. Rounded by Rioja for the equaliser, but the defence didn't help him out.

Oscar Mingueza (RB) - 5/10 - Never looked particularly threatening in the final third, and didn't do enough against Rioja as he marauded down his flank for the equaliser.

Gerard Pique (CB) - 5/10 - Always looked to get his head on the end of crosses in the final third, and caused a bit of chaos with his gangly physique. Not great in defending the equaliser, then went off injured. Oh dear.

Eric Garcia (CB) - 6/10 - Confident on the ball and always happy to drive into the midfield and carry Barcelona up the pitch. Defensively, not so confident.

Jordi Alba (LB) - 7/10 - An annoying inability to pick out his man in the middle. Made amends in the second half, pinging the ball into the feet of Depay, who did the rest.


2. Midfielders

Nico Gonzalez, Toni Moya
A starlet of the game / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

Nico (CM) - 7/10 - A real exciting prospect in this Barça side. Provides the physical presence that can be lacking from this neat Blaugrana team, and never once shied away from his responsibilities. Set up Memphis, but the forward hit straight at the keeper.

Sergio Busquets (CM) - 5/10 -
The old man in the centre of the park, particularly next to the spring chickens on his either side. Wasted a couple of good chances to create goalscoring opportunities with poor final passes.

Gavi (CM) - 6/10 - Offered an abundance of bite and tackles in the midfield, and was always willing to receive the ball. As for the eye for the defence-splitting pass - a majestic, mazy run almost provided Barça's second, but Depay hit the post.


3. Forwards

Memphis Depay
The man of the hour / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Sergino Dest (RW) - 5/10 - Played out of position, and it showed. Final ball has often been his problem, so playing him higher up the pitch never really looked like solving that issue.

Sergio Aguero (ST) - 5/10 - Sniffed around the box waiting for scraps to fall his way, but poor deliveries left him starving throughout the first half. Mysterious injury meant he couldn't continue. Such a shame.

Memphis Depay (LW) - 8/10 - Boasted bags of trickery on the ball and beat his man time and time again. Bent home the opener just after half time - a beaut. Hit the post soon after when he should have reinstated the lead.


4. Substitutes

Philippe Coutinho (LW) - 6/10

Clement Lenglet (CB) - 7/10

Riqui Puig (CM) - 6/10

Abdessamad Ezzalzouli (LW) - N/A

Alejandro Balde (LB) - N/A

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