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Luis Suarez, Ter Stegen impress to keep Barcelona top of La Liga table | Quick Reaction and Player Ratings


Barcelona added another three points to their La Liga tally by defeating Leganes (0-3) in Madrid. Luis Suarez came back to life, performing far better than Cules have been used to in recent times, and contributed two goals which unbalanced the games in the Blaugranas' favour. Paulinho, who came on as a late substitute, scored for Barca with only seconds to go after taking advantage of a loose ball inside the area.

Barcelona's performance in the first half was a reflection of what they have been for the majority of the current season: Slow-paced movements, sloppy passing and a lack of decisiveness when moving forward. The game did not change much after the break but, as has been the case in recent times, the substitutions made by Ernesto Valverde added much-needed purpose and direction to the team.

While the team are not playing brilliantly, however, it is hard to argue against Barcelona's results under Valverde. Sure, the essence of the gorgeous football the Catalans played under Pep Guardiola is well and truly gone, but the cohesive, solid unit that the manager is building this season is getting enviable results so far: Unbeaten with 11 wins in 12 games in the league, having scored 33 goals and only conceded four.

Let's hope that the team can survive the upcoming match against Valencia despite the absence of Gerard Pique (banned, five yellows) and Javier Mascherano (injured).

Player Reaction:

Luis Suárez: "Piqué will miss the next match, but we have many good players to cover for him. We have not won the league yet, but we currently we have a good goals difference, we're leaders but we have to keep going like this. My lack of goals? It was a matter of feeling good, important because it helps to win three points against a very difficult opponent. I think the important thing was to win today, we always try to play better every game but sometimes it's not possible".

Match Stats:


Player Ratings:

Ter Stegen - 8

Semedo - 6
Pique - 6
Umtiti - 7
Alba - 6

Busquets - 6
Iniesta - 6
Rakitic - 5

Alcacer - 7
Luis Suarez - 8
Messi - 7

Subs:
Aleix Vidal - 6
Denis Suarez - 7
Paulinho - 7

Undoubtedly, Barcelona need to sign quality players in January in order to strengthen the squad. Plus, there are others whose poor performances to date simply don't justify the wages they are currently getting. We talked about candidates here, you should check it out:


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