The Brazilian did a great match against BATE in many aspects
Without Messi on the field, Neymar is in charge of leading the team during the absence of the Argentine star. The Brazilian's participation increased: he has been involved in the last 8 goals of Barcelona.
Blaugrana's number 11 assumed the relevance of number 10 and his performance was key to become La Liga's coleaders and get a great advantage in front of Champions League Group E. These are the five numbers that proof Neymar's good performance in the last matches:
1. He has participated in 100% of the last 8 goals
5 goals and 3 assists in the last 3 matches. Neymar knows that without Messi in the front, he has to be decisive —together with Luis Suárez. He scored the penalty goal in the defeat against Sevilla, he scored four goals and assisted once versus Rayo and he also assisted in the two goals of Rakitic against BATE. He is on fire and Barcelona must take advantage of that.
2. His participation increased 50%
After these 3 UCL matches, Neymar's interventions —touching the ball— increased up to 75 times. The average in last Champions was 50 times, as seen in data collected by Carles Domènech at Weloba Analytics. The game is not only in the right with Messi but also in the left. Besides being a scorer, Neymar is now a playmaker as well.
3. The most destabilizing player
Against BATE, Neymar was the player with more dribbling attempts (5/11) and also the one to create more goal chances (8). Without Messi and Iniesta, he was in charge of the corner kicks, which was one of the main weapons against BATE. He was also the leader of shot attempts (5), but he wasn't lucky enough to score.
4. The 4th in km run against BATE
Striker rarely stand out for kilometers run during a match, but Neymar was 4th in this aspect against BATE, only overcome by Jordi Alba, Dani Alves and Marc Bartra. According to data collected by UEFA, the Brazilian ran 10,122 meters. He was really active and more than once he ran to take the ball on his own field and to start the play.
5. He received most of the fouls
BATE defenders saw in Neymar the biggest threat, so they tried to stop him with some harsh tackles. In total, the referee whistled five fouls on the Brazilian, so Neymar become the player who got more.