FC Barcelona v Cadiz CF – La Liga Santander
Barcelona stumbled to a 1-0 defeat to Cadiz in La Liga at the Camp Nou on Monday, April 18. The visitors put in a combative performance to secure their first-ever away win at Barca in their 111-year history.
Barca came into this game on the back of a humbling exit from the Europa League at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt. However, they had won five out of five of their league games prior to this one. Cadiz, on the other hand, entered the contest having won two, drawn one and lost two of their last five league games. Both sides were eager to earn points to compete on opposite ends of the table.
The hosts started well, with Ousmane Dembele leading the charge. However, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang benched, the Frenchman had a few hiccups while trying to combine with Memphis Depay. They drove into good areas but failed to play the final ball that would create chances. Ferran Torres, too, looked a bit clueless in the attacking areas after doing superbly to get there.
Cadiz had a stunning chance midway through the second half as Lucas Perez played the ball from the right wing with Ruben Sobrino. However, the former Arsenal man failed to even hit the target after being put off by a sliding challenge from Sergino Dest.
Barcelona’s captain on the night, Sergio Busquets, made his 674th appearance for the club. He is now level with club legend Andres Iniesta in third place on the all-time list. Unfortunately, he was shown a yellow card for a reckless challenge in the first half. Despite the minor blip, Busquets continued to anchor the midfield alongside Frenkie de Jong.
However, Cadiz looked tough to break down and arguably had the best chance of the half as the teams went into the break at 0-0.
Barcelona looked the sharper of the two sides after the restart with Dembele and Gavi. However, it was the visiting team that broke the deadlock. Marc-Andre ter Stegen made two sharp saves but could not stop the third attempt from going in. Lucas Perez redeemed himself with a smart finish to put Cadiz up 1-0 after 48 minutes.
The hosts continued to commit their men forward as they looked to create overload in key areas in a bid to create goalscoring opportunities. Aubameyang came on for Depay in the 61st minute with Xavi hoping his pace would cause problems for the Cadiz defenders. However, it took him some time to settle in as Barcelona looked to carve their way back into the game.
A special mention for Cadiz custodian Jeremias Ledesma, who made some exemplary saves to deny Barcelona in the second half. He saved shots from Eric Garcia, Aubameyang, Luuk de Jong and Dembele. He was arguably the visitors’ man of the match after being a wall in goal. He completely shut out Barca to help secure a historic result for his side.
Barcelona still find themselves 15 points off Real Madrid as their bitter rivals seem to be running away with the league title.
With that said, let’s take a look at their player ratings from tonight.
Barcelona Player Ratings
FC Barcelona v Cadiz CF – La Liga Santander
Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 7/10
Ter Stegen looked confident and even got out of a tight spot with an impudent scoop that wowed the Camp Nou. He made two sharp saves to deny Ruben Sobrino shortly after the restart but was unlucky to concede as Perez tapped in the follow-through. Made a stunning stop in the dying embers but play was pulled back for offside anyway.
Sergino Dest – 6/10
The American looked a bit off-color from the start, taking a few heavy touches and playing passes with the incorrect power on them. He put in a decent performance, winning five of his eight duels, but was booked during the game.
Eric Garcia – 6.5/10
Garcia made a solid start to the game. He did well to keep Cadiz at bay for the first half but was unlucky to concede early in the second half. He had two tackles and five interceptions to his name.
Attempted a well-struck thunderous effort in the 83rd minute which was saved by Ledesma.
Clement Lenglet – 6/10
The Frenchman had a decent outing at the back for Barcelona. He won two out of his three duels, made one interception and played four accurate long balls from five attempts.
Jordi Alba – 7/10
Alba was lively as ever, running up and down the wing and reminding everyone of his so-called heyday years ago. He made three tackles and also created a goalscoring chance.
However, he could have done better to prevent Sobrino from running past him so easily. He was booked late in the game after acting out in frustration.
Frenkie de Jong – 6/10
The Dutchman looked composed and played some silky passes to his teammates from the heart of midfield. He won four of his six duels and made one interception and one tackle. De Jong passed the ball with a 91% accuracy.
Sergio Busquets – 7/10
The veteran put in an important performance in a landmark appearance for Barcelona. He won 12 of his 23 duels and made three tackles and two interceptions. He also passed the ball with 84% accuracy. Busquets was unfortunately booked in the first half for a clumsy tackle.
Gavi – 6.5/10
The young Spaniard had a lively start, playing with his usual passion and grit. He also made some driving runs forward to help Barcelona advance into the attacking third. He played four accurate long balls from four attempts.
Ousmane Dembele – 8/10
Dembele caused Cadiz’s defenders issues on the right wing. He arrived in threatening areas in the box but was unable to provide an end product. He completed a staggering 11 successful dribbles from 13 attempts, won 13 of 19 ground duels and made two crucial tackles. By far the best Barcelona player tonight.
Ferran Torres – 6/10
Torres started the game well and looked comfortable on the ball. He played some good combinations with his teammates, passing the ball with 90% accuracy to help Barcelona pile the pressure early on. However, he had a lackluster game overall with little to no final output.
Memphis Depay – 6.5/10
Depay has been out of the first-team mix for a considerable amount of time. Despite that, he looked at home from the start and was sharp on the ball. He created one scoring chance. He was replaced by Aubameyang shortly after the hour-mark after a decent performance.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 6/10
He came on after 61 minutes and made a positive start. Missed a glorious opportunity to equalize at the death as he smashed his volley straight at the goalkeeper.
Luuk de Jong – 6/10
The Dutchman came on with 13 regulation minutes left on the clock and nearly equalized with his first touch of the ball.
Adama Traore – 7/10
He used his physique well and ran into key areas on the right wing. He completed three out of three dribble attempts and also won three of his five ground duels.
Oscar Mingueza – N/A
He came on for the injured Sergino Dest in the closing moments and did not do enough to warrant a rating.