La Liga: Real Zaragoza 1-4 FC Barcelona: Player Ratings

Our community MOTM for the second successive match - Lionel Messi

Victor Valdes - Yellow 7.6
Minutes played90
Touches25
Passes10
Pass Accuracy80%
Shots Faced5
Saves Made4

Guidance says7.0

He was challenged a couple of times as the team allowed Zaragoza a fair share of attacking opportunities. He was at fault early (on the 4th min) as his poor long pass went out for a throw in which could have resulted in an early goal, but Aranda did us all a favour by squandering the resulting opportunity. He also managed to concede, even though the victim milked it, and brilliantly save a penalty, getting a yellow card in the process and although he had saved Aranda’s initial shot on the 30th min, could do nothing about the quick rebound off the same player’s head.

Dani Alves 7.2
Minutes played68
Touches98
Passes75
Pass Accuracy88%
Shots/Shots on Target1/0
Tackles4
Interceptions2
Clearances2
Turnovers0

Guidance says7.0

Executed two quick brilliant tackles on the 16th min in the space of about 30 seconds and had another important one 5 minutes later to stop what initially looked like a dangerous attack from Zaragoza. He did misplace his fair share of passes and his contribution in attack was not as intense as we are used to seeing. He was replaced by Martin Montoya on the 67th and reports suggest that a minor hamstring problem might have been the cause.

Note: Alves is doubtful for Tuesday's match with Getafe

Carles Puyol 7.6
Minutes played90
Touches73
Passes61
Pass Accuracy92%
Shots/Shots on Target2/1
Tackles1
Interceptions0
Clearances7
Shots Blocked1

Guidance says8.0
He was beaten a couple of times on the left flank as the home side delivered crosses towards Valdes 18 yard area. He could only slide into the net as his pace could not get him in time to stop the ball from going in for the first and only goal for Zaragoza on the 30th min. He was not happy about conceding at all and he might have felt it was justice being done as he capitalised from a goalkeeping error to score on the 36th off a Cesc Fabregas corner. The team was not at its best but his efforts in defence were enough to see off the home side until the end of the game.

Javier Mascherano 7.3
Minutes played90
Touches80
Passes72
Pass Accuracy81%
Shots/Shots on Target0/0
Tackles1
Interceptions3
Clearances2
Shots Blocked0

Guidance says7.0

He made a brilliant tackle in the box on Aranda who had combined well with Lafita on the 14th min and even though he conceded a corner in the process, the danger he neutralised was greater. His passing was not at its best but his link up play and combination with Puyol was very good; as they exchanged roles of playing the ball from deep in defence and into the attacking third.

Adriano Correia - Yellow 6.4
Minutes played90
Touches81
Passes56
Pass Accuracy95%
Shots/Shots on Target0/0
Tackles1
Interceptions3
Clearances2
Turnovers3

Guidance says6.5

He performed decently in defence even though he was caught out of position a couple of times. He was involved a lot in attack but he was very wasteful. He could have scored or assisted on the couple of opportunities he had but he either made a mistimed pass, a poor cross or decided not to shoot. He also got himself booked on the 57th min for arguing or protesting during a Barca free-kick. Overall, he’s doing a good job in the absence of first choice Abi and everyone who knows him well will testify that it’s amazing that he is still dodging injuries for the time being.

Seydou Keita - Yellow 5.6
Minutes played55
Touches36
Passes30
Pass Accuracy90%
Shots/Shots on Target0/0
Tackles0
Interceptions1

Guidance says5.5

He seemed to squander most of the opportunities he had to impress and he is doing a good job at proving that he can’t be an effective defensive midfielder, at least not in the Barca system. He easily lost possession on the 14th min in a move that executed a chain of events that involved a counter attack in which the home side could have punished the team if it weren’t for Mascherano. He was booked on the 43rd min for dangerous play and although a decision to award a penalty could have been harsh, he seemed to handle the ball in the 18 area (a ball-to-hand situation). He was replaced by the master of the position in Sergio Busquets at about 5 minutes from the hour mark.

Thiago Alcantara 6.9
Minutes played90
Touches107
Passes92
Pass Accuracy92%
Shots/Shots on Target0/0
Successful Dribbles1
Turnovers4

Guidance says6.5

Just like his fellow midfielders who started, he struggled to get a handle of things in the middle to calm the game down as it was played at a pace which allowed more chances to lose possession in dangerous areas of the pitch. His tackle on the 51st min was brilliantly executed as he quickly won the team possession; his long passes were at their best for the majority of the game. He had a lot of space in the box as Alexis laid the ball on a plate for him, but his resulting effort was very poor.

Cesc Fabregas 6.9
Minutes played89
Touches93
Passes74
Pass Accuracy82%
Shots/Shots on Target1/0
Successful Dribbles1
Turnovers4

Guidance says6.5

He still looks very uncomfortable when he plays in midfield in the Barca system and he looked better every time he took his game closer to goal. He played an awesome back-heel to Alexis early in the game and the brilliance of the creativity was undermined by the finishing. He squandered a couple of passes during the game but his shot on the 35th min and his capitalisation on the rebound won him the corner that resulted in Puyol’s goal. He was replaced by Xavi on the 90th minute of the game.

Pedro Rodriguez 6.9
Minutes played90
Touches42
Passes31
Pass Accuracy87%
Shots/Shots on Target1/1
Fouls Won2
Successful Dribbles0
Key Passes0
Turnovers2

Guidance says6.5
He was very anonymous for the majority of the game and on the few opportunities he had of impressing with the ball; he made a poor pass, was easily dispossessed or was offside. He was working very hard defensively (as usual) as he closed passing lanes and pressed the home side. He was later at the end of a brilliant team move to score the team’s fourth goal, ending a longer than usual goal-drought. Someone in the comments space said that an on-form Pedro might guarantee us the Champions League title and I can’t disagree.

Lionel Messi 8.7
Minutes played90
Touches76
Passes43
Pass Accuracy81%
Shots/Shots on Target7/3
Fouls Won2
Successful Dribbles4
Key Passes2
Turnovers4

Guidance says8.5

It was not the most impressive of games for Lio, but no one can deny what the effect of two goals and an assist has on a game. He took three free kicks, two of them getting safely to the hands of the shot stopper and the other one hitting the wall. He also had a lot of shots either missing the target or blocked by the opposition defence. He scored a brilliant goal on the 39th min during a counter attack after combining well with Alexis, then went on to score a his second goal off a perfectly taken penalty (won by Alexis) before making the final pass to assist Pedro for the team’s fourth.

Alexis Sanchez 7.9
Minutes played90
Touches63
Passes41
Pass Accuracy78%
Shots/Shots on Target2/2
Fouls Won5
Successful Dribbles4
Key Passes2
Turnovers7

Guidance says7.5

He was unlucky not to register an assist at the start of the game as he combined well with Cesc to deliver a dangerous cross into the area, an opportunity that Messi couldn’t get a handle of. He looked tireless as he ran the entire game, pressing the home side’s defence. He made the assist for Messi’s first goal after a very successful counter attack armed with precision passing. He also drew both fouls that got Abraham Minero his two bookings and he was later tripped in the box on the 85th min to win the penalty that resulted in the team’s third goal. He had a powerful shot from close range saved on the hour mark from a position in which a pass to either Messi or Cesc might have sufficed and he Thiago squandered the opportunity he had of making it up by an assist on the 80th minute as the young Spanish international’s finish was very poor.

Sergio Busquets 7.3
Minutes played35
Touches41
Passes37
Pass Accuracy92%
Shots/Shots on Target0/0
Successful Dribbles0
Turnovers0

Guidance says7.0

He replaced Keita on the 56th min and the team looked way better as he calmed things down in midfield. He destroyed a couple of Zaragoza’s attacking moves, notably on the 58th and 66th min, closed down passing lanes, made key interceptions and he circulated possession well as he displayed his long-range passing skills.

Martin Montoya 6.4
Minutes played22
Touches18
Passes16
Pass Accuracy88%
Shots/Shots on Target0/0
Interceptions1
Turnovers0

Guidance says6.5

He came in to replace Alves on the 68th min and did a great job both in attack and defence, throwing in a decent cross in the process. He’ll no doubt be ready for a start against Getafe if Pep decides to feature him seeing as Dani might not be available.

Xavi 6.3
Minutes played1
Touches5
Passes5
Pass Accuracy100%

Guidance saysN/A

He replaced Cesc with only stoppage time remaining and although he was deeply involved in the build up to Pedro’s and the team’s last goal, his time on the pitch does not warrant him a complete rating.

The Team 7.5
Passes681
Pass Accuracy87%
Shots/Shots on Target14/7
Tackles16
Aerial Battles Won40%
Fouls Won/Committed22/13

Guidance says7.5

The team was far from being the mesmerising side we’ve all learned to love especially in the first half as they allowed the home side a lot of opportunities and they could easily have conceded more than twice in the process. The midfield of Keita, Thiago and Cesc couldn’t control the pace of the game to the conditions the team is used to. The fighting spirit kept them in the game though as they came from behind to score two goals in the first half. They still didn’t look as convincing in the second half while playing against ten men but the substitutions made were enough to see off a resilient Zaragoza side. They got the important three points and who knows, it might be the most valuable points of the season seeing as the race for the title is still in the process.

Pep Guardiola 7.8

Guidance says8.0

It was a good idea to rest some of his star players, especially with the difficult schedule ahead, but I fee like he could have done better with the inclusion of Keita; like playing him in a more advanced midfield role or using one of his youngsters for the defensive role. He’ll be going to consult his drawing board for the next fixture against Getafe seeing as he might be without the services of his first choice Right Back.

MOTM - Lionel Messi 67%

Guidance saysMessi

About two third of the community voted for the unstoppable Argentine to bag home the man-of-the-match award and it’s difficult to disagree; In a game where the team scored four goals, you can’t stand against a man who was directly responsible for three of them. He’s got sixty goals now in case you didn’t know. The two goals meant he is the current leader in the league (38), the Champions League (14), and ofcourse the continent for goals in all competitions. This writer doesn’t disagree with the community vote in this edition, well deserved. Special mention will be to Carles Puyol and Alexis Sanchez who both had a strong case.

Follow Barca Blaugranes on your preferred social network:


Follow me on:

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Barca Blaugranes

You must be a member of Barca Blaugranes to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Barca Blaugranes. You should read them.

Join Barca Blaugranes

You must be a member of Barca Blaugranes to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Barca Blaugranes. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker