Copa del Rey: Deportivo Alaves 0-3 FC Barcelona: Player Ratings

A photo for all occasions - will Pinto be celebrating again in May? - Angel Martinez

A detailed player-by-player breakdown of FC Barcelona's 3-0 Copa del Rey victory over Segunda B2 leaders, Alaves.

Jose Manuel Pinto 6.6
Minutes played90

Arron says7.0

A typically eccentric performance from Pinto in the Blaugrana goal, although as he kept a clean sheet, you won’t hear any complaints from me. Certainly, Pinto’s style is rather different from Valdés’, but it’s just as effective. There were a couple of moments where my heart was in my mouth as Pinto kept hold of the ball a fraction too long for my liking up against the pressure of the Alaves attack and thankfully being struck by an object threw from the crowd didn’t end his game.

Dani Alves 7.1
Minutes played90
Assists1

Arron says8.5

Isn’t it nice to have the old Dani Alves back? Alves was back to his world-class best on Tuesday night, marauding up and down the right-flank, creating numerous chances for his teammates and stopping multiple Alaves attacks. The Brazilian’s crossing can be hit and miss at times (quite literally), so it was refreshing to see Alves consistently find his target in the area. Unlucky not to register more than a single assist, hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

Marc Bartra 7.0
Minutes played90

Arron says7.0

It was a quiet match for Bartra, who wasn’t troubled nearly as much as he was against Celtic. However, when called upon Bartra was excellent, and combined with Martin Montoya to stop one particularly dangerous counter-attack. With Gerard Piqué unlikely to feature on Saturday, could Bartra start in consecutive matches?

Javier Mascherano 6.7
Minutes played90

Arron says7.0

Similar to Bartra, El Jefecito had a relatively quiet game in the centre of defense as Alaves failed to muster much in the way of sustained pressure on the Barca goal.

Martin Montoya 6.6
Minutes played90

Arron says8.0

Is it a rule that all Barcelona full-backs have to be able to play in more than one position? Adriano is something of a utility man, both Alves and Alba are capable of playing in more advanced positions and now we have Martin Montoya showcasing his versatility with an assured performance at left-back. For the most part, Montoya didn’t put a foot wrong, even in an unfamiliar position and as noted above, he combined with Bartra to stop a dangerous Alaves counter. Furthermore, Montoya pressured Guzman well, restricting the host’s top-scorer to a couple of half-chances.

Sergio Busquets 7.0
Minutes played55

Arron says7.0

It came as a bit of a surprise that Tito opted to start Sergio Busquets in the centre of midfield, especially with two such capable replacements on the bench, but it’s hard to complain when you watch Busquets played. With Busi back in his usual midfield role, Barcelona dominated possession against their lower-league opponents and the Catalan’s presence in midfield allowed both Andrés Iniesta and Sergi Roberto to surge forward without fear of repercussions.

Sergi Roberto 6.6
Minutes played90

Arron says8.0

Speaking of Sergi Roberto, boy this kid is talented. I don’t want to wade into the debate regarding whether or not Sergi can replace Xavi and or Iniesta when the time comes, but what I will say is that Barcelona’s midfield will be in safe hands if and when Roberto features. His passing is exceptional and he does share a few similarities with Xavi and Iniesta, although if anything, I would compare his playing style to a young Cesc Fàbregas. Whatever the case, it was an encouraging display and hopefully this will not be the last we see of Sergi Roberto this season.

Andrés Iniesta 8.6
Minutes played75
Goals1
Assists1

Arron says9.0

Moving onto Andrés Iniesta, did we really expect anything less from the Best Player in Europe? The goal was simply phenomenal, while his pass for David Villa’s opening goal was equally sublime. Yes, it was only Alaves, but I challenge any goal-keeper to save a strike like that, and while we’re at it, that pass would have caused even the best defense some trouble.

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Alexis Sanchez 6.8
Minutes played90

Arron says7.0

Despite making all the rights decisions, Alexis still couldn’t get that much-needed goal as the Chilean was denied a confidence boost by a number of saves from Alaves keeper Urtzi Iturrioz and a mistake from an assistant referee.

Cesc Fabregas 7.7
Minutes played90
Goals1

Arron says7.0

Cesc helped himself to the game’s third goal, reaching Dani Alves’ magnificent cross to head home a tap-in, but aside from that, I was a little disappointed with his performance. Maybe it was the "new" position; maybe it was because he didn’t have Leo creating space for him to thrive in? Whatever the case, this wasn’t the same Cesc that we saw at the weekend. Let’s hope he was just conserving energy...

David Villa 8.1
Minutes played70
Goals1
Assists1

Arron says9.0

When exactly will Tito stop fooling around and just keep Villa in the starting XI? It’s clear that El Guaje is back to, or fast approaching his best, and we simply cannot leave a player with his attributes on the bench for much longer. The opener was well-taken and crucial in equal measure. Up to that point, Alaves had put up a good fight and who knows what would have happened if Barca would have went in at the break without that opening goal? It was also nice to be reminded of Villa’s selflessness as well; many strikers would have gone for goal themselves rather than set up Andrés Iniesta and Villa certainly made the right choice.

Alex Song 6.6
Minutes played35

Arron says6.5

Alex Song replaced Sergio Busquets fairly early into the second half and performed fairly well without ever really involving himself in the match.

Cristian Tello 6.2
Minutes played20

Arron says7.0

Tello played well off the bench, forcing one good save out of Iturrioz after cutting in from the left-flank.

Jonathan dos Santos 6.0
Minutes played15

Arron says7.0

Poor JDS, he did play well in his short time on the field, but unfortunately that may not be enough for him to keep his place in Tito Vilanova’s squad.

The Team 8.0

Arron says8.5

Overall, it was a solid performance from the Blaugrana who put in enough effort to see off the spirited challenge of their hosts. The upset never really looked likely, and aside from Sanchez, Barca were pretty clinical in front of goal as well, which is always a bonus.

Tito Vilanova 7.5

Arron says8.0

A easy day at the office for Tito, who merely selected as strong an XI as possible, watched them pull away against their lowly hosts before resting a few key players.

MOTM - Iniesta 44%

Arron saysVilla

A MoTM performance from the Best Player in Europe, who really was the difference between the two sides. His assist came at just the right time and he took his goal magnificently, although I would have opted for Villa. Shout-out to Alves as well for a good comeback performance that could have put him in contention for the award.

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