La Liga: FC Barcelona 1-0 Valencia CF: Player Ratings

Song was excellent on Sunday

Barcelona have three wins from three, sit atop the league table and are five points clear of Real Madrid. Could we possibly wish for a better start? After the disappointment of the Supercopa defeat, the Blaugrana responded in fine fashion with a 1-0 win over Valencia at the Camp Nou thanks to Adriano's golazo. Aside from a little dip in their performance levels in the second-half - which can be attributed to the tough game in midweek - Barcelona dominated Los Che, something very few teams can claim to have done.

Here are the ratings for that 1-0 win:

Victor Valdes 6.3
Minutes played90
Touches25
Passes13
Pass Accuracy31%
Shots Faced1
Saves Made1

Arron says7.0

Valdés had a quiet match in the Barcelona goal with Los Che failing to muster any kind of real threat in the 90 minutes. A few questioned how Victor Ruiz could score so easily from a set piece and Valdés received some of the blame, but the goal was offside, so it doesn’t really matter. The first clean-sheet of the season, and bizarrely this wasn’t his best performance. Football is a funny old game.

Dani Alves 6.6
Minutes played45
Touches67
Passes52
Pass Accuracy100%
Tackles3
Interceptions0
Turnovers2
Key Passes3

Arron says7.5

Dani Alves may have been withdrawn at half-time with a hamstring injury, but his first-half performance was nothing short of fabulous. So much gets made of Joe Allen in England when he goes a half without misplacing a pass, but Alves has done the very same to little acclaim - even though he completed over double the number of passes. Three of those passes created chances, which is more than any other Blaugrana player managed in the entire match, while his three tackles kept Valencia at bay. All this while carrying a slight injury. Just imagine how different the Clasico would have been with Alves at the back...

Javier Mascherano 6.8
Minutes played90
Touches58
Passes47
Pass Accuracy91%
Tackles1
Interceptions4
Clearances6

Arron says7.0

An impressive performance from the diminutive Argentine who may not be at his best, but is doing enough to nullify opposing attackers. His four interceptions in this match are further proof of his excellent positioning, and when you read the game as well as Mascherano does, you don’t even need to tackle to win possession for your team.

Gerard Pique 6.8
Minutes played90
Touches68
Passes55
Pass Accuracy78%
Tackles0
Interceptions2
Clearances7

Arron says7.0

Much like Mascherano, this wasn’t a vintage performance from Gerard Piqué, but it was enough to keep Roberto Soldado and Jonas quiet. Aside from one yellow card (which came from a questionable refereeing decision) and a brief moment where Soldado was allowed just enough space to shoot, Piqué had a relatively simple match. His passing accuracy was a little worrying though.

Adriano Correia 8.1
Minutes played90
Touches106
Passes78
Pass Accuracy96%
Shots/Shots on Target4/2
Tackles3
Interceptions2
Key Passes1
Turnovers1
Clearances5

Arron says8.5

Easily the best player on the field, Adriano put in a sublime performance on both sides of the defense, scoring the winner in the process. It was a fantastic strike, not to mention his first at the Camp Nou. After the disappointment of his sending-off against Real Madrid, Adriano bounced back magnificently and once again proved why he deserves a place in the starting XI. Just look at his stats for the game if you need any further convincing.

Alex Song 7.7
Minutes played90
Touches73
Passes66
Pass Accuracy91%
Tackles2
Interceptions2
Clearances1
Key Passes1

Arron says7.5

If I could sum up Alex Song’s debut start in one word, it would have to be "promising", but thankfully I have a few more as well. We all questioned his signing at one point or another, and our grievances may well surface at some stage, but going by this performance, Song made a seamless transition into the Barcelona system, and above all else, he kept it simple. His movement, his tackling, his positioning, even his passing; there was nothing outrageous about this performance, but it was exactly what Barcelona required at pivote with Busquets experiencing a temporary loss of form. More of the same please.

Cesc Fàbregas 5.7
Minutes played64
Touches80
Passes71
Pass Accuracy90%
Shots/Shots on Target2/0
Tackles2
Turnovers2

Arron says6.5

Luis dedicated an entire article to Cesc's troubles last night, so if you haven't already, take this opportunity to have a read. Getting back to his performance against Los Che, I think Cesc did show signs of improvement, and was desperately unlucky not to get a goal for his troubles. Maybe he should have scored, but it shouldn't take away from his performance in the rest of the match. His passing was solid, and he never fails to put in a shift defensively; maybe if he was given the opportunity to play 90 minutes as opposed to an hour every game, we might see Cesc with a little more confidence.

Xavi Hernandez 7.7
Minutes played90
Touches128
Passes118
Pass Accuracy97%
Shots/Shots on Target1/0
Fouls Won4
Turnovers3
Key Passes2

Arron says7.5

What else can I say about Xavi? Once again, the stats to the right tell the whole story; he is a passing machine who always creates chances for the team, and he also draws multiple fouls over the course of 90 minutes. Just look at the casualness with which Xavi pulls off this nutmeg, there will never be another quite like him:

FC Barcelona - El caño de Xavi a Guardado (via fcbarcelona)


Alexis Sanchez 6.7
Minutes played87
Touches72
Passes50
Pass Accuracy82%
Shots/Shots on Target0/0
Fouls Won0
Successful Dribbles4
Key Passes1
Turnovers8

Arron says6.5

A much better performance from the Chilean, even if he couldn't manage to break his goal-scoring duck. Starved of any real chances in front of goal, Sanchez worked hard for the team, and that's about as much as you can ask of a player. It's staggering to see that he didn't win at least one foul against the Valencia defense, but it's nice to see that he didn't resort to any of his usual tactics. Eight turnovers is a little high for my liking though.

Lionel Messi 7.3
Minutes played90
Touches95
Passes65
Pass Accuracy83%
Shots/Shots on Target5/1
Fouls Won5
Successful Dribbles9
Key Passes2
Turnovers7

Arron says7.5

Lionel Messi is no longer on course for 76 league goals this season, but his four goals in three games would be good enough to equal his record of 50 goals in a season, if he keeps up this record anyway. A match without a goal is hardly worrying, but aspects of his performance were; the nine successful dribbles for instance hint that he was feeling a little isolated, while seven turnovers is far too many for a player of his calibre.

Pedro Rodriguez 7.3
Minutes played90
Touches71
Passes61
Pass Accuracy89%
Shots/Shots on Target2/2
Fouls Won2
Key Passes1
Turnovers3

Arron says7.0

Another good performance from Pedro who has certainly found his best form after a couple of average seasons. His passing accuracy remains the highest of any Barcelona attacker, while his shot accuracy remains exceptional. Pedro didn't have as many clear-cut chances as previous matches, but he made countless runs and could have scored if not for a good save from Diego Alves.

Andrés Iniesta 6.9
Minutes played26
Touches28
Passes28
Pass Accuracy96%
Key Passes1

Arron says7.0

Iniesta replaced Fabregas with around 25 minutes left to play and played well in his time on the field.

Jordi Alba 6.8
Minutes played45
Touches57
Passes40
Pass Accuracy90%

Arron says6.5

Alba replaced the injured Alves at half-time, but couldn't quite make the impact that his Brazilian colleagues managed. That's not to say he didn't play well though, a clean-sheet is proof that he had a decent 45 minutes.

Sergio Busquets 6.0
Minutes played3
Touches3
Passes3
Pass Accuracy33%

Arron saysN/A

Busi came on for Alexis with three minutes left to play and was little more than a time-wasting substitution, so it would be harsh to judge his performance.

The Team 7.1
Passes769
Pass Accuracy90%
Shots/Shots on Target14/5
Tackles17
Aerial Battles Won63%
Fouls Won/Committed12/10

Arron says7.5

Another three points in the bag, and at the end of the day, that is all that matters. Barcelona dominated proceedings, and really should have had more to show for their efforts than a single goal. Isn't it odd how we tend to be better in the air at the Camp Nou as well? Whatever the case, it was a good performance and to all those disappointed with the scoreline, at least we fared better than Real Madrid.

Tito Vilanova/Jordi Roura 6.8

Arron says7.5

The 6.8 rating seems a little harsh to me, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what Tito (or Jordi) did wrong in this match. Starting Adriano was a move few of us expected, but it worked magnificently, while his decision to start Cesc could well have ended in a goal or two. Three wins from three league games is a fantastic record, and need I remind everyone that it is better than both Pep and Mourinho?

MOTM - Adriano 49%

Arron saysAdriano

It's always nice to see a new face win the MOTM award, and it was richly deserved in this case. Adriano scored the winner and put in an excellent shift on either side of defense. Messi was second, while debutant Alex Song was third.

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