La Liga: Getafe CF 1-4 FC Barcelona: Player Ratings

Happy days!

If you had any doubts over Tito Vilanova as Barcelona coach, I would like to think they are now gone; his team put in an exceptional performance Saturday night to not only defeat, but destroy Getafe 4-1. This was the same Getafe that defeated Real Madrid, at the same ground; but the final result couldn’t have been more different. Perhaps that’s why Barcelona are eight points ahead of their great rivals...

Everything about the match went as planned. Tito Vilanova made a few notable changes, but they made no difference to the style of play. Barcelona still kept a lot of possession, they still had that cutting edge, and in Martin Montoya and Thiago Alcântara, they had two excellent performances from two bright prospects. Well, I say prospects, but Montoya and Thiago are already world-class players in their own right; it’s just a question of how high their ceiling is. In the second-half, Barca brought on Lionel Messi and David Villa; both of whom found time to get themselves on the score-sheet. Players were rested, some fringe players made a case for a starting place and most importantly, the Blaugrana showed no signs of last season’s away form.

Ratings for the win are after the jump:

Victor Valdes 7.3
Minutes played90
Touches27
Passes8
Pass Accuracy50%
Shots Faced3
Saves Made2

Arron says7.0

Valdés had a quiet game in the Barcelona goal, but when called upon, I think he did very well indeed. Pedro Leon had two of the better Getafe chances, one with a volley from the edge of the penalty area and one from a free-kick, but Valdés was equal to both. His passing accuracy was an improvement on recent matches as well, which undoubtedly played a factor in Barcelona’s dominance.

Martin Montoya 7.5
Minutes played90
Touches91
Passes66
Pass Accuracy91%
Tackles1
Interceptions1
Turnovers5

Arron says8.0

Martin Montoya has only played in 14 matches for the senior team, but one could be forgiven for thinking that that figure could have been 140. Despite his inexperience, Montoya excels in each and every performance and if it wasn’t for Dani Alves, he would certainly be starting for the Blaugrana. Yesterday was no different, Montoya provided an outlet on the right-hand side, but was rarely caught out at the back. While we can’t credit him with the assist for Messi’s second goal, it was Montoya’s hard work down the right that effectively "created" the goal.

Carles Puyol 7.4
Minutes played57
Touches40
Passes28
Pass Accuracy82%
Tackles4
Interceptions1
Clearances5

Arron says7.5

Puyol only played an hour, but he made the joint-most tackles of anyone on the team and the joint-highest number of clearances. In short, Carles Puyol was absolutely vital to Barca’s defensive efforts. His injury wasn’t entirely unexpected, and isn’t catastrophic either but it is inconvenient, especially with a Clasico on the horizon. Get well soon Puyi!

Gerard Pique 7.3
Minutes played90
Touches57
Passes49
Pass Accuracy84%
Tackles2
Interceptions1
Clearances5

Arron says7.0

With Getafe setting up shop in their own half, Piqué had little to do for much of the game, but performed well when called upon. In particular, Geri won 100% of his aerial battles and it cannot be a coincidence that Barcelona also looked more comfortable defending set pieces.

Adriano Correia 8.0
Minutes played90
Touches94
Passes64
Pass Accuracy86%
Shots/Shots on Target2/1
Tackles4
Interceptions2
Key Passes2
Turnovers1
Clearances2

Arron says8.5

Coming off the back of a MOTM performance against Valencia, Adriano once again proved why he is currently starting at left-back ahead of summer signing Jordi Alba. I know, Alba is ill at the moment, but Adriano deserves the place on merit anyway. Another game, another goal (it’s worth reminding everyone that he has the same number of goals as Cristiano Ronaldo); offensively, Adriano is excellent, but he is also a great defender, virtually shutting down ex-Real Madrid star Pedro Leon. It’s amazing what he can do when he isn’t on the sidelines injured.

Sergio Busquets 7.3
Minutes played90
Touches80
Passes71
Pass Accuracy87%
Tackles2
Interceptions5
Clearances1
Key Passes1

Arron says7.0

Not the most spectacular match Sergio Busquets will ever play, although it was effective. He will still want to push that passing accuracy above 90%, but aside from that, it was a typical Busquets performance. Sergio made the joint-most interceptions (surprisingly tying with Xavi), put in a couple of tackles and most importantly, kept the ball rolling in the centre of the field. What more do we need?

Xavi Hernández 8.3
Minutes played90
Touches124
Passes101
Pass Accuracy93%
Shots/Shots on Target2/1
Tackles1
Clearances5
Turnovers2

Arron says8.5

In the absence of his usual midfield partner Andres Iniesta, and with Lionel Messi starting on the bench, the onus was on Xavi to "step-up" – as if his usual level of performance isn’t high enough. Regardless, Xavi was superb on Saturday, leading the team in a number of stats, including the number of touches and passes. He also tied for the highest in some other stats, including the number of successful dribbles and in interceptions. His partnership with Thiago was utterly brilliant to watch.

Thiago Alcântara 7.9
Minutes played59
Touches77
Passes62
Pass Accuracy97%
Shots/Shots on Target2/1
Fouls Won1
Turnovers5
Key Passes1

Arron says9.0

Speaking of Thiago, I’m not sure this guy is human. This was his first game since May, meaning that he had no pre-season, and he only returned to training in the past week or so. Despite all of that, Thiago was an absolute monster in the middle of the field and dominated Saturday’s match. Thiago plays with a certain swagger; he has confidence in his own ability and while he is capable of the spectacular, he pulls off even the most daring of moves with an unnerving simplicity. It was his back-heel to Xavi that contributed to Barcelona’s opening goal, and he could have scored himself if it wasn’t for the crossbar. Oh, and to do all of that with 97% pass accuracy is simply unreal.

Cristian Tello 6.1
Minutes played76
Touches46
Passes31
Pass Accuracy90%
Shots/Shots on Target3/2
Fouls Won0
Successful Dribbles0
Key Passes0
Turnovers6

Arron says6.5

Let’s not throw the kid to the wolves just yet; this wasn’t his worst performance in a Blaugrana shirt. Unfortunately for Tello, that came in a Clasico, so it isn’t easily forgotten but this was a performance with a number of bright spots. For example, Tello may not have finished his chances, but he did well to create three chances for himself, and not even Messi is 100% in front of goal. Getafe is a tough place to go and after wearing the defense down for 76 minutes, he must get at least some credit for Villa’s goal.

Cesc Fabregas 8.0
Minutes played90
Touches94
Passes83
Pass Accuracy89%
Shots/Shots on Target1/0
Fouls Won2
Successful Dribbles0
Key Passes4
Turnovers7

Arron says8.0

A great performance from the under-fire midfielder; Cesc reprised his centre-forward role to great effect, assisting Adriano’s opening goal and David Villa’s goal at the death. With respects to the latter, Cesc’s lobbed pass was utterly sumptuous, setting Villa up perfectly for a chance at goal, which El Guaje obviously dispatched. He couldn’t get the goal his critics so desperately want, but I’m sure his two assists are more than a consolation.

Pedro Rodriguez 7.3
Minutes played90
Touches51
Passes42
Pass Accuracy90%
Shots/Shots on Target1/1
Fouls Won2
Key Passes1
Turnovers4

Arron says7.5

It was a quiet game for Pedro as Barcelona favoured attacking down their left-hand side despite Cristian Tello’s wastefulness. That being said, Pedro didn’t make as many good runs as we have grown used to seeing from him – perhaps as a result of fatigue after the international break. Whatever the reason, Pedro grew into the match and ended up winning the penalty that clinched the game with a typically mazy dribble.

Javier Mascherano 6.5
Minutes played33
Touches26
Passes19
Pass Accuracy84%

Arron says6.5

An unexpected substitute appearance for El Jeficito, who arguably would have sat out the entire game if it wasn’t for Carles Puyol’s injury. As a result, he was a little slow to adjust to the game when coming on, but he quickly recovered and the only blemish on his performance was that unfortunate own-goal, although no-one can blame him for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Lionel Messi 8.8
Minutes played31
Touches29
Passes24
Pass Accuracy88%
Key Passes1
Shots/Shots on Target3/2

Arron says8.5

Starts on the bench for the first time in almost a year, but still scores twice anyway – that’s Lionel Messi in a nutshell. Saturday’s cameo appearance was not the usual Messi – well, there wasn’t much dribbling anyway – but we did see perhaps Messi’s best trait: his ability to score. It sounds stupid, but Leo was in the right place at the right time for his second goal, a trait many strikers do not boast and it’s part of what sets him apart. He got lucky with his penalty, but after having a stone-wall penalty appeal of his own turned down, I say it’s karma.

David Villa 8.4
Minutes played14
Touches15
Passes11
Pass Accuracy82%
Shots/Shots on Target1/1

Arron says7.5

What a finish. David Villa looked bright (as he has done in every match since his return), but I didn’t quite expect a goal like that. The run was brilliant, the control was exquisite, while the finish, well, it was what we were missing in the latter stages of last season.

The Team 8.7
Passes695
Pass Accuracy89%
Shots/Shots on Target15/9
Tackles17
Aerial Battles Won43%
Fouls Won/Committed14/10

Arron says9.5

As close to perfect as it's going to get - at least in my opinion. Barcelona dominated possession, dominated the scoring and at current, they are dominating the La Liga standings. Four wins from four, none of which come close to matching the performance on Saturday night. Despite the injuries and despite the international break, Barcelona won convincingly away from home - their first three-goal win away (or more) from home since late April and the 7-0 demolition of Rayo Vallecano.

Tito Vilanova/Jordi Roura 8.4

Arron says8.5

A great game for Tito and Jordi, who made all the right decisions - right from their initial selection to the timing of the substitutions. Maybe Tello shouldn't have started, but only a very small blight on an otherwise good day for the pairing.

MOTM - Messi 40%

Arron saysThiago

You didn't think we would go two consecutive matches without Messi winning a MOTM award did you? Cesc came close with his two assists, but ultimately the award goes to the scorer of the brace that secured the game. I would have picked Thiago, but Messi was a close second.

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