Carles Perez and Arthur earn 8s for saving Barcelona at Osasuna, but Gerard Pique gets a 5

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Carles Perez

Champions Barcelona dropped points for the second time in three La Liga games after they were held 2-2 by newly promoted Osasuna and Pamplona.

Roberto Torres opened and closed the scoring with an incredible volley and a calmly taken penalty. Substitutes Ansu Fati and Arthur scored in-between to ensure the Catalans took something from the game despite staging a poor display.

How did the players perform individually? We take a look.

Marc Andre ter-Stegen – Not much he could have done with the first goal, made some good saves in the second half. 6

Nelson Semedo – Awful performance, out of position during Osasuna’s goal and rightly taken off at half-time. 4

Gerard Pique – Endured some nervy moments at the face of Osasuna’s press, conceded an unnecessary penalty in the death and cost his team two points. 5

Clement Lenglet – Average performance, had a tough time dealing with Brandon but displayed an improved second-half performance. 5

Jordi Alba – Bearer of the primary blame for the first goal Barcelona conceded. Caught out of position several times, failed to produce in attack. 4

Sergio Busquets – Sharp performance including crucial interceptions and some very efficient pressing, started the move for Barcelona’s second goal. 7

Frenkie de Jong – Never seemed to adapt to the left-interior role and gave the ball away often. Followed it with improved second-half performance on the right. 5

Sergi Roberto – Lifeless performance in the first half in the heart of midfield, average in the second half at right-back. 5

Carles Perez – Best player on the pitch, great movements, incredible performance strengthened further with two assists, one of which was an inch-perfect cross. Scuffed a simple chance in the death, burying which could have earned him a statue. 8

Antoine Griezmann – Hardly involved in the first and an improved second half, stayed in the shadows of the La Masia kids nevertheless. 6

Rafinha – Another player who failed to turn up in the first half but had some key moments for a short period in the second after a change in position. 5

SUBSTITUTES

Ansu Fati – Came on at half-time to become the first player to score against Osasuna this season and third youngest to score in La Liga. 8

Arthur – Instant impact after coming on for Rafinha in the second half, carried the ball well and scored the winner. 8

Arturo Vidal – Came on for the last 10 minutes. N/A

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Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata suffers knee sprain in training

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Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata looks set for a spell on the sidelines after suffering a “moderate knee sprain” in training.

The former Chelsea frontman sustained the injury during training on Wednesday evening and will not take part in Thursday’s session as he receives treatment.

A statement on the club’s website read: “Alvaro Morata finished Wednesday’s evening training session with a severe pain in his knee due to a twist.

“The striker has undergone radiological tests to know the extent of the injury and has been diagnosed with a moderate knee sprain.

“The Spaniard will not participate in Thursday’s session and is pending response to treatment.” 

Provided by Press Association Sport

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La Liga president says Barcelona star Lionel Messi is an essential element of La Liga

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La Liga president Javier Tebas claimed that Lionel Messi is an essential element of La Liga and not Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar.

Neymar has been linked with a move back to the Camp Nou all summer, having now missed all of PSG’s first three games of the Ligue 1 campaign.

And while Tebas admitted that he would like to see Neymar back in Spain, he insisted the presence of the Brazilian would not be as vital as Messi when it comes to growing the league overseas.

“Yes, of course [I’d like Neymar to return]. With his qualities he’s in the top three players in the world. It would be very important for La Liga if he came again, although it wouldn’t be defining for the Spanish league,” Tebas told Marca .

“The defining thing is that we play 10 months a year, with 20 clubs each playing each other and generating passion and joy each weekend for fans in Spain and across the world.

“A player like Neymar gives you a following in countries that look out for him, but he’s not an essential element, not even Cristiano Ronaldo was. Lionel Messi, on the other hand, is an essential element because he’s the heritage of La Liga.”

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