Player Ratings

Athletic Bilbao 2-3 Barcelona, Player Ratings: Messi and Pedri majestic in superb win

The Argentine produced one of his most impactful performances of the season while the 18-year-old shone again in Bilbao

 
10:57pm on Wednesday 6th January 2021
By
Paul Macdonald

Barcelona's much-improved form continued thanks to the brilliance of Lionel Messi and Pedri as they defeated Athletic Bilbao 3-2 at San Mames.

The Argentine scored twice while Pedri provided a goal and an assist for another performance which showcases all of his talent.

Athletic 2-3 Barcelona: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats

But who were the standout performers in the contest?

✔️ GOOD PERFORMANCE

Pedri: 8.4

With every week that passes Pedri's performances for Barcelona get better and better. He may only be 18 but he looks as if he's been in this team for a long time.

And here he added quality goal contributions to his arsenal. In the first half he took up the poacher's position inside the area to be in the right place to nod home Frenkie De Jong's cutback into his patch.

And then he assisted Messi, waiting intelligently for the goalkeeper Simon to come off his line and then allow his team-mate to slot easily into the net.

Frenkie De Jong: 8.1

De Jong's performances for Barcelona were being criticised in some quarters this season but in the last few weeks the change in formation has encouraged him to move forward and he is showing his offensive capability.

He scored the winner at the weekend against Valladolid and provided a vital assist at a pivotal time here, meeting Messi's deep cross to slide back across into the path of Pedri to equalise.

He continues to be a high volume passer in the team but he and Messi are linking well in the final third and it's an interesting development for Barcelona.

STAR MAN

Lionel Messi 9.0

Who said anything about Messi not being able to score? The little Argentine put that to bed in a very impressive performance which showcased all of his skills.

It was his high, sweeping pass to the back post which found De Jong who in turn set up Pedri, then he scored his own, linking with Pedri to slot into the empty net.

But he saved the best until last, stepping onto an Antoine Griezmann pass at the end of a sweeping move to smash his shot in off the crossbar.

Of late, efforts like that were either just going over or being saved by the goalkeeper. Not here. Messi is back and is driving Barcelona up the La Liga table.

Athletic 2-3 Barcelona: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats

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