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A weakened Barcelona were held to a goalless draw on matchday 32 by Huesca

With a total of 10 rotations to the side that played against Manchester United, FC Barcelona had both their eyes on the return leg at the Camp Nou. Still, with a B string side comprising of 3 debutants and many fringe players, the Catalan giants absolutely dominated the game with 75% possession.

Although, they didn’t seem to be pushing for a win here as the match lacked urgency as the game didn’t really impact the race for the La Liga title. This was a good draw for Barcelona away from home as not only they managed to keep a clean sheet, but they players some of their most promising youth players to give them valuable La Liga experience. Here are the player ratings from the game:


Ter-Stegen – 6

The Barcelona captain on the night did not much to do as Barcelona dominated the game. He had a single shot on target to save which he did with ease. He collected all the short pieces comfortably as the Huesca attack couldn’t create any danger.


Wague – 7

Making his debut for the first team, Wague was a constant man in attack. Playing as a wingback, he pushed up with enormous pace every chance he got. He made some good dribbles as he grew into the game. He seemed to be going for glory leaving his defensive duties assured with three centre-backs behind him, but he proved the doubters wrong with a perfect last-ditch slide tackle in the dying moments of the game to prevent Huesca a scoring chance.


Todibo – 8

Another player making his debut, Todibo was phenomenal on the night. Bought by Barcelona in the winter transfer window, the coaching staff is reportedly very happy with level Todibo has shown since he’s been here. In his first la liga game, Todibo was comfortable, calm on the ball, used his height to good advantage and made some clean tackles!  He covered extremely well for an adventurous Wague, while his ball playing ability was on full display.


Murillo – 6

Not trusted by Valverde enough to rest his usual starter Pique, Murillo was handed a rare start this game. Playing in the center of the three at the back, he had some stray passes as he couldn’t find his attackers in decent positions.


Umtiti – 7

Still finding his feet after his knee injury, this was a much better performance from the Barcelona center back. As a part of a defensive three against a rather toothless opposition, Umtiti had a comfortable game as Huesca couldn’t threaten the Barcelona defence.


Malcom – 7

A tireless performance from Malcom as he continues to try to impress Valverde to give him more minutes on the pitch. As to play as a left-wingback, Malcom rose upto the occasion. He worked hard and made some decent runs on the left but was isolated for large parts of the game. He was very unlucky to have struck the post in the second half after his thunderous strike!


Vidal – 7

This was a brilliant display from King Arturo. Tasked to lead the youngsters, the Chilean international was impressive. A constant menace for the Huesca, Vidal kept harassing attackers as he broke down attack after attack. Starting in the Busquets role, Vidal had to not only screen an inexperienced defense, but also have to cover up for the likes of Puig who slacked off in the defensive parts of the game.


Alena – 5

An uninspired display from the la masia graduate. In the absence of the likes of Busquets and Rakitic, Alena was expected to step up and put on a display for Valverde but he struggled to find space in midfield and could not influence the game. Slow on the ball, he didn’t offer much offensively. He could see himself fall down the pecking order with a stacked midfield, even more so as the likes of Frenkie De Jong join the club next season.


Riqui Puig – 6

The young Barcelona gem made his La Liga debut(!) with his start against Huesca. Constantly looking for the ball, the youngster was full of creativity and attacking bursts. He should have had an assist on the night when he played a stunning disguised pass to Dembele through the entire Huesca defense. He faded as the game went on as he couldn’t cope up with the physicality of the Huesca side. Barcelona have a gem on their hands, who might need another season or two to break it at the first team as he learns to cope with the pace and physicality of the top division.


Dembele – 6

Making his comeback after yet another injury lay-off, Dembele felt a little out of rhythm. Yet, starting the game as a second striker behind Boateng, Dembele was a bright spot in an otherwise dull Barcelona attack. He made some good runs with the drop and dropped deep in Messi-esqe fashion to create chances for his team. He had a chance to put Barcelona ahead when Riqui found with a fabulous pass inside the box but a poor first touch let Dembele down as he couldn’t beat the keeper from a rushed shot.


Boateng – 3

Finally given some minutes on the pitch, Boateng disappointed. A lot. In the entirety of the 90 minutes, Boateng had only 40 touches on the ball, 3 more than Ter stegen. Against one of the weakest defenses in La Liga, Boateng could not muster up anything threating, he couldn’t link up with Dembele or any player on the team, and even when he did, he managed to kill off any potential attack with a poor touch or a misplaced pass. With the business end of the season on top of us with potential trophies to play for, we could have seen the last of Boateng’s Barcelona career.


SUBSTITUTES:

Coutinho – 5

Coutinho came on as a direct replacement for Dembele in the 67th minute and could not influence the game at all. Without all due respect to Huesca, against a side sitting 20th in the table, a player of Coutinho’s caliber should be dominating, creating chances and carving open defenses at will, but Coutinho had an anonymous display on the night.


Alba – 6

Subbed in for Riqui in the 67th minute, he was asked to play as left-wingback as Malcom moved into attack. Alba combined well with Umtiti and Coutinho but could not create anything of note with his usual partners-in-crime missing.


Arthur – N/A

Coming on for Alena in the 81st minute, the Brazilian could not impact the game as both sides went back and forth in search for a late winner.
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