La Liga: FC Barcelona 4-0 Espanyol: Player Ratings

David Ramos

A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona's 4-0 win over Javier Aguirre's Espanyol

Victor Valdes 7.6
Minutes played90
Touches22
Passes10
Pass Accuracy70%
Shots Faced1
Saves Made1

Arron says7.5

Finally, another clean sheet! Valdés had little to do in the Blaugrana goal over the course of the 90 minutes, but when called upon, he was excellent. Rushing from his goal in the 80th minute, Valdés denied Juan Albin what would have been a certain goal and for that alone, he deserved his clean sheet.

Dani Alves 6.9
Minutes played90
Touches113
Passes82
Pass Accuracy90%
Key Passes1
Tackles3
Interceptions1
Turnovers5

Arron says7.0

Soon after the FIFPro World XI was announced, I was tweeted by a member of this community, @ian_reynolds, who argued that Alves' inclusion shows how spoiled we are as Barcelona fans - and it's difficult to disagree. Alves played well on Sunday, and while he isn't as efficient as Sergio Busquets, or Xavi, it's all part of his charm. Sometimes he can be unplayable; sometimes he can be poor - but you always know that you are going to receive 100% effort from the Brazilian - and judging by that World XI, we should probably cut him some slack.

Gerard Pique 7.5
Minutes played90
Touches84
Passes71
Pass Accuracy89%
Tackles2
Interceptions4
Clearances2
Shots/Shots on Target1/1

Arron says8.5

Pique was also voted into the FIFPro World XI, and it's easy to see when he puts in performances like this. It's almost like having a brick-wall in the heart of defense; his reading of the game is simply phenomenal, and as a result, strikers must dread coming up against the elegant centre-half. Oh, and he's not half-bad with the ball at his feet either.

Carles Puyol 7.5
Minutes played90
Touches36
Passes30
Pass Accuracy100%
Tackles1
Interceptions2
Clearances2

Arron says7.5

So dominant was Pique's performance, that I nearly forgot that Puyol was on the field. Quietly going about his business, Puyol was as solid as ever and barely put a foot wrong in the entire 90 minutes.

Jordi Alba 7.9
Minutes played90
Touches135
Passes108
Pass Accuracy94%
Key Passes0
Tackles7
Interceptions2
Turnovers0
Clearances1

Arron says8.5

Who cares if Marcelo was voted into the World XI, it's clear that Jordi Alba is better. In his first Derbi match, Alba showed no signs of nerves and put in a colossal performance on the left. The statistics show his importance to the Blaugrana attack, but it's his defensive contribution that really makes the difference.

Sergio Busquets 8.4
Minutes played90
Touches156
Passes141
Pass Accuracy94%
Tackles4
Interceptions5
Key Passes1
Fouls Won4

Arron says9.5

Sergio Busquets is the most complete defensive midfield player in World Football today - and that's all the really needs to be said.

Cesc Fàbregas 8.2
Minutes played66
Touches93
Passes77
Pass Accuracy88%
Shots/Shots on Target1/0
Tackles1
Turnovers2
Successful Dribbles3
Key Passes4

Arron says8.0

At this point in time, I'm questioning whether Fabregas actually got injured against Real Betis. Cesc settled back into the groove so seamlessly and delivered a fine performance against a combative Espanyol midfield. It's a shame that he didn't have an assist to show for his probing passing, but even so, Cesc will be content with his return.

Xavi Hernández 8.3
Minutes played63
Touches105
Passes97
Pass Accuracy96%
Shots/Shots on Target2/1
Turnovers1
Key Passes1

Arron says7.5

As per usual, Xavi put in an excellent performance in the centre of midfield and Espanyol simply couldn't cope. His movement off the ball was exceptional and even led to the game's opener and Xavi's fifth (La Liga) goal of the season.

Pedro Rodriguez 8.9
Minutes played75
Touches63
Passes52
Pass Accuracy92%
Shots/Shots on Target3/2
Fouls Won1
Key Passes1
Turnovers3

Arron says8.5

Isn't it nice to have the old Pedro back? While there was a touch of fortune about his first goal, the second - a clinical lob over Casilla - just oozed quality; something that Pedro has been lacking in recent weeks and months.

Lionel Messi 8.3
Minutes played90
Touches114
Passes96
Pass Accuracy81%
Shots/Shots on Target5/2
Fouls Won2
Successful Dribbles4
Key Passes2
Turnovers1
Tackles3

Arron says8.5

A complete performance from the Argentine superstar, who managed to help pin Espanyol back by defending from the front. Sure, it wasn't his best performance in front of goal, but it wasn't his worst either - as Messi not only scored from the penalty spot, but also struck the woodwork with a free-kick and supplied Pedro with an assist for the game's second goal.

Andrés Iniesta 8.7
Minutes played90
Touches136
Passes114
Pass Accuracy88%
Shots/Shots on Target4/1
Fouls Won2
Key Passes2
Turnovers3
Tackles2
Successful Dribbles7

Arron says8.0

How did we ever survive without Iniesta on the left-side of attack? Once again, Andres excelled in what used to be an unfamiliar position to supply an assist for the game's opening goal. However, that only tells half the story. Iniesta's presence allows Alba more space to work, and it also enables the Blaugrana to keep possession higher up the field, closer to the opposition goal. With eleven assists in thirteen La Liga appearances, it's clear to see that Iniesta is at the top of his game.

Thiago Alcântara 7.2
Minutes played27
Touches42
Passes31
Pass Accuracy100%
Tackles2
Successful Dribbles3
Turnovers3

Arron says7.0

A decent substitute appearance for Thiago, who did a bit of everything in his time on the field. His passing is always superb, but he could benefit from a little more caution on the ball.

David Villa 6.5
Minutes played24
Touches18
Passes14
Pass Accuracy93%
Key Passes1
Shots/Shots on Target1/1

Arron says6.5

Sandro Rosell reaffirmed Villa's importance this past week, and while he didn't see a lot of game-time on Sunday, Villa did show glimpses of what he brings to the team. He tested the keeper for example with his only shot and with a little more minutes, I'm certain that he could score a number of important goals.

Alexis Sanchez 6.2
Minutes played15
Touches5
Passes3
Pass Accuracy33%
Key Passes1

Arron saysN/A

With just five touches in 15 minutes, it would be harsh to rate Sanchez' performance.

The Team 9.0
Passes961
Pass Accuracy91%
Shots/Shots on Target19/8
Tackles26
Aerial Battles Won58%
Fouls Won/Committed17/3

Arron says9.0

What about that opening half-an-hour? Rushing out the blocks, Barcelona raced into a four-goal lead and never looked back. The movement off the ball was excellent, and as a result the Blaugrana looked as dangerous as they have all season. Another goal, and we probably would have been looking at a perfect 10/10 rating.

Tito Vilanova 8.7

Arron says10

Back on the bench just weeks after surgery, how can that be anything but a perfect 10/10?

MOTM - Pedro 46%

Arron saysBusquets

Thanks to his decisive brace, Pedro scooped the MOTM award on Sunday, although I would have probably given it to Busquets.

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