La Liga: Malaga 1-3 FC Barcelona: Player Ratings

David Ramos

A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona's 3-1 win over Malaga at La Rosaleda

Victor Valdes 6.4
Minutes played90
Touches18
Passes9
Pass Accuracy67%
Shots Faced2
Saves Made1

Arron says6.5

A quiet night in the Barcelona goal for Victor Valdés, who was rarely tested by a sub-par Malaga attack. Understandably, Malaga only ever threatened from set pieces; meaning that Valdés made just one save in the entire 90 minutes, as he stood firm to deny Roque Santa Cruz’ header on the 37th minute. There was nothing he could do about Diego Buonanotte’s free-kick though.

Dani Alves 6.9
Minutes played90
Touches103
Passes72
Pass Accuracy83%
Key Passes2
Tackles3
Interceptions2
Turnovers3

Arron says7.0

An adequate performance from Dani Alves, who struggled for consistency with his crossing all throughout the match. Aside from his disappointing crosses, I think Alves actually played quite well; he made a couple of key passes but he also did his fair share of defensive work too. Eliseu certainly couldn’t cope with the Brazilian’s work-rate and in that sense, Alves played a key part in the Barcelona win.

Gerard Pique 7.5
Minutes played90
Touches63
Passes47
Pass Accuracy98%
Tackles1
Interceptions3
Clearances4
Key Passes1
Shots Blocked3

Arron says9.0

This is exactly what we were missing last season. Piqué was dearly missed in the final Clasico of last season, and had he of played in both legs against Chelsea, I am certain that Barcelona would have progressed to the final. There are still some people who claim that Piqué is overrated – but I would urge them to take a glance at this game and indeed any one of his performances this season. Piqué stepped up to lead the defense and if it wasn’t for Buonanotte’s free-kick he would have been celebrating a richly deserved clean sheet.

Javier Mascherano 6.8
Minutes played90
Touches68
Passes61
Pass Accuracy92%
Tackles3
Interceptions1
Clearances3

Arron says7.0

There’s something about Mascherano that just isn’t the same as it was last season. He’s playing well, but I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that his performances have declined since Tito took over. There were glimpses of the old Mascherano – in particular his crunching tackle on Diego Buonanotte – but for the most part, he just looked that fraction of a second off the pace. Unlike Piqué, who didn’t make a single foul, Mascherano gave away two free-kicks, the second of which was dispatched by Buonanotte. On the other hand, his passing was good, and in particular his long-range passes add a whole new dimension to the Barcelona attack; it’s just that I wouldn’t pick him ahead of Puyol based on current form.

Jordi Alba 7.2
Minutes played90
Touches90
Passes76
Pass Accuracy95%
Key Passes1
Tackles4
Interceptions1
Turnovers0
Clearances1

Arron says8.0

Surprisingly, it was Jordi Alba who made the biggest contribution to the defense – at least when it came to tackles anyway. Battling away on the left-hand side of defense, Alba made four successful challenges, but he also gave away three fouls – possibly the only downside to this performance. All in all, another solid performance – and barring a disaster – Jordi looks to have made that left-back spot his own.

Sergio Busquets 7.9
Minutes played90
Touches100
Passes86
Pass Accuracy95%
Tackles6
Interceptions3
Key Passes0
Fouls Won5

Arron says8.5

Following on from last week’s stellar showing against Espanyol, Busquets again proceeded to dominate the midfield, putting in solid work at both the offensive and defensive end. Busquets made the most tackles of any player on the pitch, tied for the joint-highest number of interceptions, but he also drew the highest number of fouls as well. Busi did pick up a yellow card though, and for that he loses half a mark.

Cesc Fàbregas 7.8
Minutes played73
Touches88
Passes81
Pass Accuracy86%
Shots/Shots on Target4/1
Tackles0
Turnovers1
Successful Dribbles0
Key Passes1

Arron says7.0

Yesterday evening, we saw a Cesc Fàbregas who was largely wasteful from long-range, but despite his troubles, Fàbregas still managed to get himself on the score-sheet with a well-taken goal just five minutes after the restart. Cesc definitely won’t win any awards for this performance – his passing accuracy was amongst the worst of the team, his shooting was (for the most part) sub-par and he was virtually non-existent at the defensive end – but at the end of the day, he got the job done. When you consider the start he’s had to the season, I think we can allow him the odd "off-day".

Xavi Hernández 7.7
Minutes played63
Touches135
Passes125
Pass Accuracy95%
Shots/Shots on Target0/0
Turnovers1
Key Passes0

Arron says7.5

As per usual, Xavi didn’t put a foot wrong over the course of the 90 minutes, dictating the tempo of the match from his role in midfield. Xavi completed over 30 more passes than anyone else on the field, and while he wasn’t at his spectacular best, his steady performance was one of the keys to victory.

Pedro Rodriguez 6.9
Minutes played78
Touches59
Passes48
Pass Accuracy96%
Shots/Shots on Target0/0
Fouls Won2
Key Passes0
Turnovers3

Arron says6.5

Poor Pedro. Last week, he scored a brace in El Derbi against Espanyol. A week later he goes 90 minutes without a shot. Well, he played 78 minutes, but you get what I mean. Considering that Cesc was struggling to find the target, one might have thought that Pedro would be given a chance to try his luck against Caballero...

Lionel Messi 8.6
Minutes played90
Touches88
Passes65
Pass Accuracy89%
Shots/Shots on Target4/1
Fouls Won3
Successful Dribbles3
Key Passes2
Turnovers5

Arron says8.5

We’ve almost come to expect this level of performance from Messi, which is both terrifying and amazing in equal measure. Scorer of the game’s opener where he pounced on an error from Ignacio Camacho, Messi also set up the other two Barcelona goals in a decisive showing at La Rosaleda. In particular, his pass for Fàbregas’ goal was absolutely exquisite, although in general, it was disappointing to see Leo lose the ball so often.

Andrés Iniesta 8.3
Minutes played90
Touches111
Passes93
Pass Accuracy90%
Shots/Shots on Target1/1
Fouls Won1
Key Passes2
Turnovers6
Tackles0
Successful Dribbles2

Arron says7.5

It wasn’t Iniesta’s most memorable game on the left-hand side of attack, but that’s not due to a lack of effort on Andrés’ part. Malaga defended valiantly, and instead of making a difference with goals, or assists, Iniesta tended to drop a little deeper last night, allowing Jordi Alba more space on the overlap. Iniesta’s tendency to drift from the left-wing also allowed Cesc Fàbregas to get in behind the defense unnoticed for the game’s second goal.

Thiago Alcântara 7.6
Minutes played17
Touches21
Passes20
Pass Accuracy85%
Key Passes1
Shots/Shots on Target1/1

Arron says8.0

Thiago Alcântara was on the field for a mere 17 minutes last night, but he made each and every second count. Heading into the game off the back of a MOTM performance against Cordoba, Thiago made an instant impact against a tiring Malaga defense, scoring with his first – and only – shot of the match. It was a splendid finish, and Thiago should have had an assist to go with that goal, but Alexis Sánchez could only hit the side-netting with the game drawing to a close.

Alexis Sanchez 5.8
Minutes played12
Touches11
Passes8
Pass Accuracy100%
Shots/Shots on Target1/0

Arron says6.0

Speaking of Alexis...I don’t quite know what to make of his last-minute miss. On the one hand, it was an easy chance that we would expect a striker to take with aplomb, but on the other hand, are we being too harsh on a player who admittedly had seen little of the ball in the short time he was on the field – especially when the miss in question made no impact with regards to the final result? A goal would have been nice, but wouldn’t have given Barcelona an extra point; nor did his miss deprive us of the full three points.

The Team 8.3
Passes822
Pass Accuracy91%
Shots/Shots on Target12/4
Tackles20
Aerial Battles Won36%
Fouls Won/Committed17/14

Arron says9.0

An impressive performance from the Blaugrana, who dominated Malaga from start to finish at La Rosaleda. Manuel Pellegrini’s side did make life difficult for us – especially early on – but even then, the win never seemed to be in question. After all, Malaga barely threatened with the possession they did have, and with someone as influential as Messi in the team it was simply a matter of time before the Blaugrana pulled ahead. Can anyone stop this team?

Tito Vilanova 8.3

Arron says9.0

Vilanova selected almost exactly the same team that defeated Espanyol last weekend, and his selection paid off. Mascherano did a decent job in the centre of defense, and more importantly, he allowed Puyol to get some rest for the season ahead.

MOTM - Messi 53%

Arron saysPique

Messi walks away with yet another MOTM award, after contributing to all three Barca goals. I went with Pique, but Messi is a worthy winner.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

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,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

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.vc97ec6e

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