Barcelona Player Ratings Vs Arsenal: Balde, Stegen, Dembele shine while Marcos Alonso, Dest poor

July 27th, 2023 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Barcelona kicked off their pre-season campaign with a 5-3 loss to Arsenal in California this morning. The Gunners were competing in their 4th game and Barca their first, and the lack of sharpness was evident from the start. We’ve got your player ratings from the game, with Barca fielding different sides in each half.

The first half was a feisty affair with 24 fouls and 4 yellow cards, three of them for the English team, with Araujo picking up a yellow for a good tackle on Kai Havertz. His reaction afterwards could have led to a red card in a normal match, with the Uruguayan booting the ball away in frustration.

The second half was much calmer but Barcelona failed to find their momentum throughout and I’m sure they’ll be disappointed to concede 5 goals, despite it being just the first pre-season game.


Marc André ter Stegen (45 mins) – 6
Conceded two goals but he couldn’t do a lot with either. His ball distribution was as good as it normally is and he showed good composure on the ball. Went the wrong way with the missed penalty, but a largely uneventful game.

Iñaki Peña (45 mins) – 5
Didn’t really do anything wrong with any of the three goals he allowed, but when you concede three times you’re only ever getting a 5.


Sergino Dest (45 mins) – 4
Dest wanted to try and use the US tour to convince Xavi he was the answer at RB, he’ll need to do a lot better. Positioning wise he was all over the place, gave the ball away numerous times and didn’t offer anything in attack.

Ronald Araujo (45 mins) – 6
Gave away the penalty, although due to it being missed he almost certainly saved a goal. Needs to control his temper more as another day he would have been sent off. Some good long passes mixed in with his normal physical game.

Andreas Christensen (45 mins) – 5
Heavy touch led to Saka’s first goal but overall he had a decent game. Positioning to cut out crosses was good, carried the ball foreward which led to a Havertz card. Calm on the ball as you’d expect.

Marcos Alonso (45 mins) – 4
Saka dominated him throughout the game, wasn’t physical enough for the second goal and most of Arsenal’s attacks came down the right. It was a tough task for Alonso but you can only rate based on performance.

Alejandro Balde (45 mins) – 8
Showing absolutely no signs of issues with his ankle, Balde was a constant threat down the left, he linked up well with Fati and also hit the post with a blistering shot. Very good run out for Balde.

Sergi Roberto (45 minutes) – 5
The Barca captain didn’t do anything wrong but a lot of the Arsenal attacking threat in the second half came down the left and Sergi has certain limitations.

Jules Kounde (45 minutes) – 5
Lost his footing a couple of times, Troussard got the best of him on a few occasions as well. Playing in his natural central position, he’ll get better as the pre-season goes on.

Eric Garcia (45 minutes) – 5
Seemed to struggle with high balls in terms of judgement, backs off players too much allowing them time to make a decision. I’d be surprised if Garcia got much time in the first team this year.


Oriol Romeu (45 mins) – 5
Barely noticed he was on the pitch. Didn’t do anything wrong, but didn’t really do anything. You usually see that position control the ball and Romeu certainly didn’t do that.

Ilkay Gündogan (45 mins) – 6
Was pressing the ball well and it’s clear how comfortable he is with the ball in tight spaces. Largely uneventful as far as debuts go, but plenty of positive movement off the ball to show he’ll fit into the Xavi system.

Pedri (45 mins) – 6
Showed a willingness to carry the ball and his skill and close control was on show from the start. A couple of loose passes that you’d expect in the first pre-season game but a decent first run out for Pedri.

Fermin Lopez (33 mins) – 5
Came on at half time and then was substituted for Lamal. Didn’t do a lot wrong, but didn’t have a huge opportunity to get involved in the game. Had one chance which he whiffed on.

Franck Kessie (45 mins) – 5
Won the ball back a couple of times, also gave away a couple of fouls. Didn’t really do a great deal and sometimes got caught a bit too far upfield.

Frenkie de Jong (45 mins) – 5
A couple of loose balls and wasn’t able to dictate the game like he usually does, some nice passing between the lines but Barca as a team couldn’t get a lot of momentum through the middle today.

Lamine Yamal (12 mins) – 5
Didn’t really have time to impact the game. Had one shot that was curled well wide, but apart from that there wasn’t enough action to judge him.


Robert Lewandowski (45 mins) – 6
Scored a goal in typical centre forward fashion and was a willing runner. Really didn’t have any other opportunities.

Raphinha (45 mins) – 6
Scored a free kick that took a huge deflection and had his shot saved leading to the first goal. Didn’t offer any protection for Dest who was struggling and had a few silly fouls.

Abde Ezzalzouli (45 mins) – 7
Won the ball back and carried it 50 yards before finding the cutback which directly led to the first goal. Very comfortable on the ball, controlled difficult passes well, showed strength to hold the ball up which led to Ben White getting booked.

Ousmane Dembele (45 mins) – 6
Always looked dangerous, had a few loose passes but also hit the post and ran at the Arsenal defense. He’ll never offer a ton of coverage at the back, but his ability going forward is what makes him special.

Ansu Fati (45 mins) – 6
Linked up well with Balde down the left, gave Ben White a lot of issues and showed a willingness to run at the defense. Confident on the ball and showed some confidence in his play.

Ferran Torres (45 mins) – 6
Scored a late goal on a very nice finish which should do his confidence the world of good. Outside of the goal it was a very uneventful game for Torres.

Photo Credit: FCBarcelona/Twitter

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