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Frenkie De Jong
The leader. Barça’s reaction after Athletic Club scored came from the midfield maestro. Everything passed via the Dutchman’s feet as he simply got better and better as the game progressed. De Jong led the team for recoveries (88), completed passes (70), chances created (2) and completed dribbles (2). But it wasn’t just stats, he made all the difference both in attack and defence, marking the rhythm of the game. A fabulous performance.
He was always going to get his first competitive goal at some point or other and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Memphis is always a player who stands out from the rest and his maiden goal was an absolute humdinger. He received the ball from Sergi Roberto and didn’t think twice before thumping in an unstoppable delivery. From a similar position, he very nearly added a second, but the ball trickled frustratingly wide.
The 18-year-old Austrian on loan from Rapid Vienna made his FC Barcelona debut to become only the second player from his country to wear the famous jersey, following on from the legendary Hans Krankl. Yusuf Demir came on for Martin Braithwaite in the 61st minute, thus becoming the youngest foreign Barça debutant since Leo Messi in October 2004. Demir was 18 years and 80 days old when he took to the San Mamés field.
After scoring the fourth of Barça’s goals against Real Sociedad, Sergi Roberto also made a big difference when he came on for Pedri after 62 minutes in Bilbao. He had barely been on for ten minutes before he was setting up Memphis to score the equaliser.
Roberto has only played 47 minutes this term and has already scored one goal and given one assist.
The Uruguayan came on as a replacement for the injured Gerard Piqué and did not disappoint at all. He was a commanding figure at the back and his goalmouth clearance proved especially decisive. He also managed to find the net with a simply spectacular overhead kick just before half-time, but unfortunately (and some would say rather harshly) the goal was ruled out for an earlier infringement by Martin Braithwaite.
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