João Félix – 7
Félix has hit the ground running for Barça, picking up another assist. He played on the left, of course, but came into the middle quite a bit. Just like the rest of the team, his first half was sluggish. He improved as the game went on, however, and Balde’s substitution helped him out a lot. His assist was a beautiful little chipped ball into the path of Lewandowski.
Robert Lewandowski – 8
Speaking of the Polish striker, it’s been wonderful to see his resurgence as of late. With plenty of help around him in Félix and Gündoğan, he doesn’t have to drop deep to receive the ball anymore. He can stay in the box, and there his striker skills can shine through. His first goal was a outside-of-the-boot karate kick that just sneaked its way past the keeper, and his second was a classic striker’s finish across the face of goal. Much better in this one, and galvanizing the team for a big comeback.
Ferran Torres – 5
Ferran was another player, like Koundé, who might’ve been destined for a bad game. He was barely involved in the first half, mostly a decoy to artificially create some width. In the second, he was forced to track back on defense quite a bit, which he did do fairly well. When he did get a chance to score, one-on-one with the keeper, he wasn’t able to put it away. With Ferran’s recent good form, it’ll be best if he just forgets this one and starts thinking about the next game.
Lamine Yamal – 6
Came on at the half for Marcos Alonso. While not entirely his fault, he struggled to receive balls. He might’ve touched the ball once in his first 20 minutes. However, he did pose some threat later on, as Celta had to be wary of him at all times. When he did eventually receive the ball, he generally did well on it.
Raphinha – 7
We’ve seen a bit of a new role for Raphinha recently, and it’s one I quite like. Rather than playing the Brazilian on the right and Yamal on the left, Yamal stayed wide as the right winger and Raphinha played in the half-space on the right. He was almost in the same position as Gündoğan was at the start of the match, but with freedom to roam the inside spaces too. He looks to be productive there, and provided a lovely ball to Cancelo for the pre-assist on the second goal.
Quite an interesting match, and one Barça definitely would’ve lost just a couple years ago. This team, however, feels different. Despite playing very badly for large stretches, they were able to pull out the win. It seems Xavi finally has a deep team, one that he can use to throw out multiple different looks and tactical setups. When Pedri comes back, he’ll have one those good problems on his hands – how to set up an XI with so many deserving players in the squad.