Sports

Griezmann, Braithwaite 5/10 as Barca’s forwards fail to fire


Barcelona‘s stuttering season continued on Tuesday as they were held to a 1-1 draw in La Liga at home by Eibar.

Ousmane Dembele‘s second-half strike cancelled out Kike Garcia’s 57th-minute opener, which came after a mistake from Ronald Araujo. Martin Braithwaite had earlier missed a first-half penalty and had another goal ruled out for offside for a Barca side that was without the injured Lionel Messi, who watched from the stands at Camp Nou.

The draw sees Barca fall to sixth in the table as they dropped points for the eighth time in 15 league games this season, including in their past two matches at home.

Positives

Amid the frustration of more dropped points, there were at least some positives. Dembele looked sharp off the bench as he returned from a hamstring problem and there were also encouraging performances from Pedri and Junior Firpo, who was filling in for the suspended Jordi Alba.

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Negatives

Another mistake, another goal conceded. This time it was Araujo who was caught on the ball in his own half, allowing Garcia a free run on goal. When you don’t take your chances at one end, errors at the other are highlighted even more. Elsewhere, stepping in for the injured Messi, Antoine Griezmann failed to deliver once again, while there was another injury setback late on when Philippe Coutinho hobbled off.

Manager rating out of 10

6 — You can see why Ronald Koeman stuck with the back three after last week’s performance at Real Valladolid, but it wasn’t necessary at home to Eibar. Did well to rectify that by changing formation at the break and his subs helped Barca improve. He’s not without blame but the amount of missed chances and defensive mistakes are not his fault.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 6 — Made a couple of saves you would expect him to make and was left exposed for the Eibar goal. Composed passing out from the back.

DF Oscar Mingueza, 6 — Showed good versatility to switch from centre-back to right-back in the second half. The only La Masia graduate to start the game.

DF Ronald Araujo, 5 — Won the penalty that Braithwaite missed but gave the goal away by losing the ball in a dangerous area. Mentally strong to pick himself up after.

DF Clement Lenglet, 6 — Substituted late on as Barca chased the three points. Appears to be behind Mingueza and Araujo in the pecking order at the moment.

MF Sergino Dest, 5 — Taken off at half-time after a first half in which nothing went for him in the final third.

MF Miralem Pjanic, 5 — Linked well with Messi in the win at Valladolid but never got going against Eibar.

MF Frenkie de Jong, 5 — After a string of good performances, this felt like a step back, although he did play some good passes in the second half.

MF Junior Firpo, 7 — Did well in the final third, setting up Braithwaite’s disallowed goal and Dembele’s equaliser. Worked well with Pedri.

FW Pedri, 7 — Barca’s most creative player. Produced one brilliant pass to send Dembele clean through only for the Frenchman to shoot straight at the goalkeeper. Missed a good chance late on.

FW Antoine Griezmann, 5 — Replaced the injured Messi but failed to perform. Looked brighter at the start of the second half but was taken off after an hour.

FW Martin Braithwaite, 5 — The missed penalty tars his performance. If that goes in so early, the game is completely different. Had a goal ruled out for offside and worked hard, creating a good opening for Coutinho in the final few minutes.

Substitutions

FW Ousmane Dembele, 7 — Made an instant impact, bending a shot just wide before missing a one-on-one. Made amends by scoring the equaliser with a well-taken finish.

FW Francisco Trincao, 6 — Inches away from winning the game with a wonder goal after dribbling across the area.

FW Philippe Coutinho, 5 — Limped off to leave Barca with 10 men.

MF Sergio Busquets, N/R — Given the final 10 minutes.

MF Riqui Puig, N/R — Came on with one minute to go.



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