Barcelona beat Real Valladolid 5-1 to go top of the La Liga table in a brilliant display by the Catalan side. With Lionel Messi pulling the strings, as usual, there was one player who went unnoticed with his hard work in the middle of the pitch.
Clement Lenglet drove in the first goal just two minutes into the game following a short corner, but the visitors shocked the Camp Nou when Olivas Alba bundled in to equalise.
That goal proved to be a mere consolation as Messi took over in a sumptuous display. The Argentina international assisted Arturo Vidal for the second Barcelona goal before whipping in a superb free-kick for the third.
Messi and Luis Suarez then scored in the 75th and 77th minutes respectively to complete the five-goal rout.
Indeed, it was another Messi masterclass as the attacker showed just why he’s one of the very best. The diminutive attacker had the most shots, attempted the most dribbles and played the most key passes in a display which has become a regular occurrence over the years (via WhoScored).
However, it was that mixture of defensive solidity and attacking hunger from Vidal that seemingly went under the radar. The Chile international was superb in shielding the back four, making the most tackles and the third-most clearances.
In attacking areas the 32-year-old was brilliant as he got off two shots with one of them ending up as a goal. He also had possession of the ball the joint-third most amount of time of any player on the pitch, proving a key outlet in freshening up attacks.
AS were also impressed with Vidal’s performance as they praised his willing nature.
They said: “Good game from the Chilean, a player whose willingness to give everything on the pitch can never be denied and who fights for every ball as if it were the last one he would ever touch.” (Source: AS)
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