FC Barcelona 0-0 Manchester United: Player Ratings

Deal with it :P

Note: There are no detailed stats for the match, so many of the regular accompaniments to the ratings are absent for today - and indeed the rest of pre-season.

Victor Valdes 7.4
Minutes played45
Goals Conceded0

Arron says7.0

Valdés was his usual calm, composed self in goal, and although Pinto stole the headlines yet again with his fabulous save in the penalty shoot-out, it is worth remembering that Valdés saved a penalty of his own in the first half. Wayne Rooney’s effort was fairly well-taken and Valdés’ save was excellent, but if we can be critical for a second, Rooney should have buried the rebound. Aside from that, Valdés had very little to do for the second game in succession.

Note: Valdés’ rating for the match against PSG was 6.1

Dani Alves 6.8
Minutes played66

Arron says6.5

Another quiet game for the Brazilian full-back although it has emerged that he picked up a knock and could therefore miss the match with Dinamo on Saturday. With United offering little in the way of a sustained offensive threat, Alves was free to roam forward and attack, but contributed little. He did have a long-range shot, but typically it posed no problem to David De Gea.

Note: Alves’ rating for the match against PSG was 6.8

Javier Mascherano 6.8
Minutes played66

Arron says6.5

Much the same as Puyol, it was a quiet game for Mascherano, despite the strength of the United XI. Welbeck was virtually anonymous (did he even touch the ball?), while Rooney was a disappointment (no change there). He could have closed down Nani’s long-range shot on 22 minutes, although that was Adriano’s responsibility, and he looked ready to safely challenge Nani, before Tello went to ground that is; he was replaced with 25 minutes left by Marc Bartra.

Note: Mascherano’s rating for the match against PSG was 6.7

Carles Puyol 6.6
Minutes played45

Arron says6.5

After an impressive return from injury against PSG, expectations were high heading into this match, but Puyol was barely tested in his 45 minute appearance. That being said, we can take solace in the fact that Barcelona are yet to concede this pre-season with Puyol on the field of play.

Note: Puyol’s rating for the match against PSG was 7.0

Adriano Correia 5.8
Minutes played66

Arron says6.0

Unlike his teammates, Adriano was actually called into defensive action during his time on the pitch, but on this performance alone, he is unlikely to be challenging Jordi Alba for a starting place. Clearly Sir Alex had pinpointed Adriano as a weakness in the Blaugrana backline, so time and time again United worked the ball to Nani on the right-hand side. As mentioned above, Adriano should have closed down the Portuguese winger when he went for a shot on the 22nd minute, but ironically it was Cristian Tello who would make the biggest mistake of all when defending the left-hand side.

Note: Adriano was injured for the PSG game, but Planas started in his place and his rating for the match against PSG was also 5.8

Sergio Busquets 6.3
Minutes played76

Arron says6.0

Hardly the crowd favourite for whatever reason, Busquets had another quiet game in midfield making it clear that some of our players are struggling to regain that match sharpness after their summer break. There was nothing wrong with his performance per se, but he was far from his best and it was evident. Once Busquets finds his rhythm though, expect the whole team to look a lot better.

Note: Busquets’ rating for the match against PSG was 6.5

Andres Iniesta 7.5
Minutes played45

Arron says8.0

Undoubtedly the best player on the field in the first half, Iniesta had a hand in virtually every dangerous Barcelona move in his time on the pitch. Right from the start, he took the game by the scruff of the neck, creating chances both for himself and his teammates. His early attempt on goal wasn’t the best, although Andrés has never really been renowned for his goal-scoring ability, especially in pre-season, but his passing was excellent, as demonstrated by his neat little chip over the United defense in the opening five minutes.

Note: Iniesta’s rating for the match against PSG was 6.8

Sergi Roberto 6.1
Minutes played45

Arron says6.5

Sergi saw a lot of the ball early on in the "Xavi role", and he performed that role well, but it was only when Xavi came on at half-time that we saw what we were missing. There is no doubting Roberto’s ability, but there is only one Xavi and you could argue that Barcelona suffered in the first half without their metronome in the middle of the park.

Note: Sergi Roberto’s rating for the match against PSG was 6.2

Cristian Tello 5.7
Minutes played45

Arron says5.0

The less said about Tello’s performance, the better. He was wasteful in front of goal, frequently made the wrong decision, and despite being one of, if not the quickest guy on the field, he frequently wandered offside.

Note: Tello’s rating for the match against PSG was 5.4

Alexis Sanchez 6.5
Minutes played66

Arron says7.0

Yet again it was a quiet performance from the Chilean winger, as he found it difficult up against the experience of Patrice Evra. Positioned out closer to the touchline than he would perhaps prefer, Alexis was clearly on the field to stretch the play, but it negated his strengths and left Messi isolated in the middle of the attack. Personally, I have no problem with wingers being used to stretch the play, but I can’t help but feel it’s a waste of Sanchez’ talent. He did have one good chance to score, after Messi had been taken off at the break, but David De Gea kept him off the scoresheet.

Note: Alexis’ rating for the match against PSG was 7.1

Lionel Messi 7.8
Minutes played45

Arron says6.5

It was a tough game for our all-conquering Argentine, as the experience of Ferdinand and Vidic, not to mention the sheer number of markers combined to frustrate Leo into a goalless display. With his goal against PSG coming from the penalty spot, it means Messi has gone a whole two matches without scoring from open play! With only Iniesta ever available in support, Messi was frequently out-numbered by the United defense, and with Xavi on the bench, Leo was forced to drop deeper than usual to create the attacks. Not the best performance, but by no means the end of the world.

Note: Messi’s rating for the match against PSG was 7.8

Jose Manuel Pinto 8.2
Minutes played45

Arron says8.5

Pinto had an excellent game in goal on Wednesday, and deservedly grabbed the headlines with yet another fabulous display in a penalty shoot-out. While he didn’t save Nani’s penalty himself, he can claim that he was responsible for the miss with his mind-games, and even though Young’s penalty wasn’t well-taken, Pinto still did well to go the right way. Furthermore, Pinto had to be at his best to deny two shots from Shinji Kagawa, but he did let himself down by giving the ball away later on in the half.

Note: Pinto’s rating for the match against PSG was 7.6

Gerard Pique 7.3
Minutes played45

Arron says7.0

Replacing his long-time friend and defensive partner Carles Puyol at the break, Piqué put in a decent showing at the back, helping to keep United off the scoresheet. Geri also displayed great composure to put away the winning penalty.

Note: Piqué’s rating for the match against PSG was 6.5

Xavi Hernandez 7.3
Minutes played45

Arron says7.5

Xavi replaced Sergi Roberto at the half, and proceeded to control the game from midfield. As always, his passing was excellent and despite claims to the contrary, he looks fresh for the new season. Xavi also scored the opening penalty in the shoot-out.

Note: Xavi’s rating for the match against PSG was 6.8

Cesc Fabregas N/A
Minutes played45

Arron says6.5

Cesc also came on at the break, replacing Andrés Iniesta, but unfortunately wasn’t up to the level of his teammate. More of a steady influence in the midfield as opposed to an out-and-out game-winner, Cesc did have a chance to win the game in the 84th minute after a great pass from Jordi Alba, but was crowded out by the United defense.

Note: Fàbregas’ rating for the match against PSG was 7.0 but due to a mistake on my part, was not on the voting form (sorry everyone!)

Ibrahim Afellay 6.2
Minutes played45

Arron says6.5

Ibi replaced Messi at the interval in a substitution that was decided prior to the match, but devoid of chances, the Dutchman couldn’t quite reach the level we have grown accustomed to so far this pre-season. However, his movement off the ball was good, and if Pedro could have found space to pass, Ibi may have gotten on the scoresheet.

Note: Afellay’s rating for the match against PSG was 6.3

Pedro Rodriguez 6.8
Minutes played45

Arron says6.5

Thankfully Pedro came on at the break to replace the ineffective Cristian Tello, and one or two blips aside, he vastly improved the Blaugrana attack. Pedro displayed superb technique and determination to test De Gea with a diving header, but the ex-Atletico man kept it out well.

Note: Due to human error (sorry again!) I left Pedro off the poll for the match against PSG

Martin Montoya 6.0
Minutes played24

Arron saysN/A

Montoya came on with 24 minutes remaining, and didn’t see enough of the ball to warrant a full rating.

Note: Montoya’s rating for the match against PSG was 5.5

Marc Bartra 5.5
Minutes played24

Arron saysN/A

Same as above, Bartra came on with 24 minutes left, and didn’t see enough of the ball to warrant a full rating.

Note: Bartra’s rating for the match against PSG was 5.6

Rafinha Alcantara 6.0
Minutes played24

Arron saysN/A

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Rafinha wasn’t on the field long enough to warrant a rating.

Note: Rafinha’s rating for the match against PSG was 6.9

Jordi Alba 7.0
Minutes played24

Arron says7.0

While Jordi wasn’t on the field any longer than Montoya, Bartra and Rafinha, he did see a fair amount of the ball and impressed in his short time on the field. He created a half-chance for Cesc, and when you consider that he hadn’t even trained with the team prior to his substitute appearance, it was a promising cameo from the Catalan.

Note: Jordi Alba did not feature against PSG, but Carles Planas did, and his rating for the match was 5.8

Ilie Sanchez 6.0
Minutes played14

Arron saysN/A

Ilie came on with around 15 minutes remaining for Busquets, and therefore did not do enough to deserve a full rating.

Note: Ilie did not play against PSG, but Jonathan Dos Santos did, and his rating for the match was 5.5

The Team 7.5
Shots/Shots on Target11/4
Fouls Won/Committed8/15

Arron says6.5

As I stated in the match review, much improvement is needed ahead of the season opener. Barca were sluggish, and at worst, lacked any sort of creativity. The Blaugrana only registered four shots on target in the 90 minutes, so when you consider that one of those was Iniesta’s tame effort in the opening minutes, and that a further two came within a couple of minutes of each other, Barcelona really did lack their usual cutting edge. On the other hand, Barcelona will not face Manchester United every week. They will not have their rhythm disrupted by 11 substitutions every match either, and with time, the squad will regain its match sharpness.

Note: The team’s rating for the match against PSG was 7.3

Tito Vilanova 6.6

Arron says6.5

It’s still pre-season, so it’s hard to accurately judge whether or not Tito will succeed in the role. He has a responsibility to rotate his entire squad in pre-season – which he has done – and at this early stage, it’s safe to say that the team is still adapting to the subtle differences of his tactical set-up. As Inder mentioned in the Live Game Thread, Messi was dropping deeper at times, with a midfield runner taking his place in attack, pressuring the defense – perhaps with Cesc Fàbregas in mind?

Note: Tito’s rating for the match against PSG was 7.2

MOTM - Messi 34%

Arron saysPinto

Surprisingly, you voted that Lionel Messi was the man of the match, despite Pinto's (and Valdes') penalty save. Personally, I would have gone for Pinto, with Iniesta a close second, but as Leo was involved in most attacks, I can see why he won this one.

Note: Messi was also MOTM against PSG with 45% of the vote

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