UEFA Champions League: Chelsea FC 1-0 FC Barcelona: Player Ratings

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 18: Carles Puyol of Barcelona talks to Didier Drogba of Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match between Chelsea and Barcelona at Stamford Bridge on April 18, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Victor Valdes 4.5
Minutes played90
Touches22
Passes12
Pass Accuracy83%
Shots Faced4
Saves Made0

Guidance says6.0

He did touch it, but couldn’t stop it; that’s the only shot on target Victor had to face from the London-based opposition. Talking about "ifs" and "buts" won’t really help, because the reality is that the team is one down going into the second leg. He has kept clean sheets at home before, a lot of them; he’ll be hoping to do it one more time in the return leg to help secure a spot in the final for the second year in a row. He does deserves a lot of credit for playing the ball though as the team created a lot of chances and most of them had his contribution in the build-up to thank.

Dani Alves 5.3
Minutes played90
Touches128
Passes90
Pass Accuracy88%
Shots/Shots on Target3/0
Tackles4
Interceptions1
Clearances5
Turnovers2

Guidance says6.5

He had a mixed performance and words like "good" or "bad" are not on their own enough to summarize his contribution. The cross for the goal came from his flank; the quicker transition play from Chelsea after winning the ball meant he was caught out of position and couldn’t stop the attack. He did make a couple of crucial clearances from inside the box and helped ease things up during one dangerous corner on the hour mark. Both his powerful long range efforts were over the crossbar and his sole free-kick hit the wall on the 77th min mark.

Javier Mascherano 5.6
Minutes played90
Touches76
Passes74
Pass Accuracy95%
Shots/Shots on Target0/0
Tackles0
Interceptions0
Clearances0
Shots Blocked0

Guidance says6.0

He had a considerably difficult game, more so than usual. His positioning was not best and couldn’t deal with that Ramires cross. Drogba got the better of him a couple of times but still contributed a lot in helping play the ball from deep in defense as the team looked to get the elusive equalizer.

Carles Puyol 6.6
Minutes played90
Touches78
Passes68
Pass Accuracy94%
Shots/Shots on Target1/1
Tackles2
Interceptions2
Clearances4
Turnovers1

Guidance says7.0

There are a lot of young men in the club with bright futures ahead of them, it will be a serious mistake if they fail to learn as much as they can from the captain seeing as his years ahead might be numbered. He ran his guts out during the game and screamed words like "stand-up" and "focus" when things got rosy, ofcourse with the occasional death stare. He was the last man on the 6th and 33rd min when a Chelsea attacker seemed to have been through on goal, but he neutralized the threat like a charm. He was great in the air too as his aerial interception on the 54th min was a fantastic defensive move and his header off a Messi free-kick on the 88th min was brilliantly saved by a well positioned Petr Cech.

Adriano Correia 5.4
Minutes played90
Touches68
Passes50
Pass Accuracy94%
Shots/Shots on Target1/1
Tackles0
Interceptions1
Clearances1
Turnovers3

Guidance says6.0

Although he conceded a throw-in in the process, he displayed his great defensive skills on the 39th min to stop a dangerous counter attack from Chelsea. He was not fast enough to catch-up with Drogba for that goal in the first half’s stoppage time but his brilliant dribble and shot on the 51st min could have got the team a deserved equalizer had it not have been for that save from Cech.

Sergio Busquets 5.6
Minutes played90
Touches119
Passes108
Pass Accuracy91%
Shots/Shots on Target1/0
Tackles1
Interceptions1
Key Passes0
Turnovers2

Guidance says7.0

He was very good on the ball as he help link-up play between defense and attack and his through ball on the 15th min could have been very dangerous had it not been intercepted. He pressed the Chelsea midfield and attack efficiently and helped protect the defense behind him for almost the entire game; limiting Chelsea a very low amount of opportunities. He was booked on the 76th min for a late challenge on Ramires and he flunked his chances to score from an Iniesta-esque volley deep into stoppage time as he bulleted it over the bar.

Cesc Fabregas 4.2
Minutes played78
Touches70
Passes64
Pass Accuracy92%
Shots/Shots on Target3/2
Successful Dribbles0
Fouls Won3
Turnovers2

Guidance says5.5

Oh man, he was really bad in this game. He could have buried this tie with the glorious chances he got, but he blew all of them; either targeting the keeper or having a lame shot cleared of the line. He lost the ball too; it’s not like he lost too much of it, but he always seemed to lose it when it mattered the most. He gets credit for that lobbed pass to Alexis on the 56th min, even though the latter failed to bury it from a yard out. He left the pitch on the 78th min to be replaced by Thiago and this writer was a little relieved when that happened.

Xavi Hernandez 6.0
Minutes played87
Touches145
Passes134
Pass Accuracy95%
Shots/Shots on Target3/0
Successful Dribbles0
Turnovers2
Key Passes1

Guidance says7.0

It’s hard to criticize a man when he dished out a performance like Xavi did; he did everything you’ll expect from a determined playmaker, but it was not to be. He created a lot of chances for the team and all were either squandered or saved. He completed 111 passes out of 126, that’s 88%, but the team just couldn’t finish. Two free-kicks he took, one went over the bar and Cech went away with the credit for easily collecting the other one. He left the pitch on the 86th min to be replaced by Cuenca.

Alexis Sanchez 5.1
Minutes played66
Touches29
Passes21
Pass Accuracy90%
Shots/Shots on Target2/0
Fouls Won0
Successful Dribbles0
Key Passes1
Turnovers3

Guidance says5.5

Just like Cesc; he could have buried this tie. His lob over Cech hit the crossbar on the 9th min and he definitely should have done better with his shot from a yard out on the 56th min after being released by a perfectly weighted Fabregas lob. He did deliver a great cross in the box for Messi from which the latter was unlucky not to score. He was also offside on one occasion and was dispossessed of the ball a couple of times before leaving the pitch on the 66th min to be replaced by Pedro.

Lionel Messi 6.2
Minutes played90
Touches97
Passes71
Pass Accuracy92%
Shots/Shots on Target7/1
Fouls Won3
Successful Dribbles6
Key Passes3
Turnovers4

Guidance says7.0

It was not a day to remember for the brilliant Argentine and I hope he’ll be in god-mode in the return leg. He would dribble past 3 or even 4 Chelsea defenders only to lose the ball just a second before the shot. In fact come to think of it all of his shots were blocked by a Chelsea player and that includes his sole free-kick which bounced off the wall. His powerful header off a Sanchez cross was saved by Cech. He lost the ball that eventually led to the goal and he’ll probably be beating himself for that. He did create a lot of chances for teammates through, it’s just a pity that none of them could convert.

Andres Iniesta 6.4
Minutes played90
Touches99
Passes84
Pass Accuracy94%
Shots/Shots on Target2/1
Fouls Won0
Successful Dribbles1
Key Passes2
Turnovers5

Guidance says7.0

Brilliant, just brilliant. It’s difficult to count the number of times he pulled out an elusion, dancing past the Chelsea defense. The team had a lot of chances and most are to his credit. He had a powerful shot saved on the 17th min and his other effort on the 49th was blocked and went out for a corner. The dribbling and control he showed to ghost past Cahill on the 25th min, moving the ball on the line and into the box; He was eventually given a light push inside the box but a penalty would have been a little harsh, I think.

Pedro Rodriguez 4.9
Minutes played24
Touches13
Passes10
Pass Accuracy100%
Shots/Shots on Target1/0

Guidance says5.5

He came in for Alexis 6 min after the hour mark and got his yellow card just four minutes after that. He didn’t really offer much for the game and he in fact grabbed his right to occasionally lose the ball. He had a horrible first touch one minute into stoppage time after a corner by Alves.

Thiago Alcantara 5.1
Minutes played12
Touches26
Passes24
Pass Accuracy100%
Key Passes0

Guidance saysN/A

He came in for Cesc on the 78th min and didn’t really offer much to warrant a full rating.

Isaac Cuenca 4.8
Minutes played3
Touches3
Passes3
Pass Accuracy100%

Guidance saysN/A

Replaced Xavi with 4 min of normal time remaining and also didn’t see enough of the ball to get a complete rating.

The Team 5.2
Passes845
Pass Accuracy93%
Shots/Shots on Target24/6
Tackles12
Aerial Battles Won44%
Fouls Won/Committed12/9

Guidance says7.0

Well the finishing aside, I think the boys did everything right in this game. They controlled the game the usual way and even created better opportunities. They were punished from a rare opportunity by Chelsea and they couldn’t score from 24 shots on goal. A similar performance in the return leg with improved finishing will definitely win the tie.

Pep Guardiola 5.3

Guidance says7.0

I’m not sure but I feel like he shouldn’t have started Cesc and I think some of his substitutions were a little late. Did he have one eye on the Clasico or maybe he just thought that we do better under-pressure in the return leg. Apart from my thoughts above, I strongly believe he had a great game considering the fact that the team created chances like they normally do and could have won it had their finishing been better.

MOTM - No-one 35%

Guidance saysPuyol

Considering the performance yesterday it isn't surprising to see that "No-One" accounted for the majority of the votes. Even less surprisingly, Lionel Messi was the top player with 20% of the votes.

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