Barcelona

Unsung hero: Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti puts in impressive under-the-radar performance

Unsung hero: Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti puts in impressive under-the-radar performance

Barcelona cruised to a 3-0 victory over Eibar in the La Liga’s early kick-off on Saturday afternoon as domestic football returned to Spain for the first time following the international break.

The Catalan’s lethal trio all got themselves on the scoresheet (BBC), with Antoine Griezmann putting the visitors in front in the first half.

Lionel Messi doubled Blaugrana’s lead just before the hour-mark before Luis Suarez sealed all three points with 25 minutes to go.

The Uruguay international also kept his personal record of scoring against Eibar up, having netted in his last seven games against the Basque outfit (per the club’s Twitter account). Indeed, the effort also meant he would take his tally to 184 and matched the legendary figure Josep Samitier.

However, whilst goalscorers (and potential match-winners) will quite rightly get a number of the plaudits for getting the points, perhaps, defenders can also earn some of the recognition that is handed down to them.

Samuel Umtiti is one such individual that could be deserving of some praise, as although he was rarely tested, the France international managed to put in a solid performance that appears to have gone under-the-radar for the most part.

The 25-year-old, who has only been re-introduced to Ernesto Valverde’s side because of injury, managed to achieve three interceptions, nine clearances and won four aerial duels as he played the duration of the clash against Eibar (WhoScored).

90min.com‘s player ratings appeared to pick out Griezmann as their Man of the Match, however they had only given Umtiti a score of just six – one that was identical to the injured Sergi Roberto who was forced off just after the restart.

Indeed, WhoScored appeared to hand him a score of 7.78 which, perhaps, was fairer, although there may well be a suggestion that the £40.5m-rated enforcer (per TransferMarkt) could have been even higher.

Of course, Umtiti is going to be facing some tough competition with the likes of Clement Lenglet, Gerard Pique and Jean-Clair Todibo all vying for a place in Valverde’s backline, however if the 25-year-old performs as well as he did on Saturday, it could leave the manager with a positive selection headache in the future.

Barcelona fans, what did you make of Umtiti’s performance? Let us know your thoughts below!

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