Heading into the game vs Getafe tonight, Xavi was forced into several changes in the starting lineup. With Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo, and Sergino Dest unfit, and Jordi Alba suspended, the entire first-choice back-four was out for the clash.
Alejandro Balde was awarded his second-ever start in Barcelona colours, and his first appearance since December. Riqui Puig also came into the starting lineup in the absence of Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, and Nico Gonzalez.
The two sides played out of an extremely dull first-half with no attempts on goal by Barcelona. Getafe were on target thrice but did not do enough to trouble Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
The second half, somehow, was even worse. The players looked slower, the passing barely sharp enough, and little to no intent in the attack. It’s almost like Xavi came with the intention to play out of a draw and secure second place.
Barça Universal takes over the task of assessing each individual representing the Catalans following this 0-0 stalemate.
Made three easy saves in the first half, and almost conceded a penalty, too. Was great with his feet, as always, but had very little to do.
Dani Alves: 7
Nemanja Maksimovic and Mathias Olivera did not give Dani Alves trouble on the wing, fortunately. On the ball, he was conservative, chose safe passes and ended the game with a decent display.
Oscar Mingueza: 8
Frankly, the only player who can leave this game with his head held high. Mingueza was constantly on his toes and defended superbly. Covered for both Alves and Lenglet on a few occasions, and coupled that with near-flawless passing.
Could have even walked away with an assist on a better day.
Clement Lenglet: 6.5
Lenglet was a lot more clumsier on the ball compared to his usual self, but equally clumsy off it. Overall a decent outing for the Frenchman.
Alejandro Balde: 7
Balde was evidently enthusiastic about starting, trying to take on players right from the whistle. The rest of the team did not match his energy, though. With pace that frightening, Balde could turn out to be a very useful player should the manager trust him.
A slower game that usual for Gavi, who did not impact the game like he would at his best.
Sergio Busquets: 6.5
Controlled the game like the genius he is, keeping it slow and breezy for everyone involved. Understood the task, and executed it perfectly.
Riqui Puig: 6.5
Puig had a decent game, too. Did not do anything hasty and maintained the flow of the ball like Gavi and Busquets.
Ferran Torres: 5
Another subpart outing for Ferran Torres, who has looked lost for a few games running now. Further confusing since he started on his preferred wing.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 5
Aubameyang was barely involved in the game on the ball even though he made several runs off it to help open the scoring. His anchor play was less than adequate, and clearly needs to improve in that aspect if he wants to continue as the first-choice striker.
Memphis Depay: 6
Memphis was the only forward who tried to create something on the ball, creating space with his passing and dribbling. Eventually hobbled off with an injury.
Ansu Fati: 6
Ansu had the chance to open the scoring after the 80th minute but refused to shoot with his left foot. He was clearly conservative, and one cannot blame him for that.