Barcelona hosted Real Betis at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on matchday 5 of La Liga, in a bid to keep up the pace with their rivals Real Madrid at the top of the table.
Their nervy start to the season, which has been marred by injuries, finally saw a confidence-inspiring display against Los Verdiblancos for a sensational 5-0 win, with some resolute defending and clinical attacking.
While Real Betis had some clear-cut chances of their own, the Catalans managed to hold on and claim the most assured win they have had so far this season, with a five-star performance.
Here are the Catalans’ individual displays dissected from Saturday evening’s fixture on an evening where hardly anyone put a foot wrong.
Marc Andre ter Stegen: 7.5/10
Did not put a foot wrong, distributed perfectly and made a huge save to deny Willian Jose in the dying embers of the first half to keep Barcelona’s 2-0 lead intact heading into the break.
Joao Cancelo: 9/10
Making his first start for Barcelona, Cancelo showed his class with some great driving runs into the opposition half and inverted really well to generate numerical superiority for Barcelona in the midfield.
Also made some terrific tackles and recoveries, one of which was particularly important, leading to the opening goal.
He added the sweetener in the final ten minutes with another stellar run, a deadly feint and clinical finish to cap it all off.
Sparkling. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Jules Kounde: 7.5/10
Despite a couple of nervy moments, the Frenchman continued his assured performances at centre-back, showing some great composure while carrying the ball forward as well.
Andreas Christensen: 8/10
Shrugged off injury concerns and produced a commanding presence at the back, as we have come to expect since last season.
The Dane was also credited with an assist for Robert Lewandowski’s goal to make it 2-0, one of 44 passes he completed with 100% accuracy in the first half alone.