El Clasico: FC Barcelona 2-1 Real Madrid: Player Ratings

Denis Doyle

A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona's superb 2-1 El Clasico win over Real Madrid at the Camp Nou

Victor Valdés 8.0
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 41
Passes: 22
Pass Accuracy: 50%
Shots Faced: 6
Saves Made: 5

Bostjan says: 8.5

After weeks of basically boredom in between the uprights, this time Valdes had plenty of work. Looking confident throughout the 94 minute long affair, he made 5 very good saves, including a beauty on Sami Khedira near halftime. Surprisingly, Victor wasn't forced by Real Madrid to make many plays on high crosses, an area he has notoriously struggled with throughout his career. For the second consecutive game Valdes wasn't able to hold on to the clean sheet, but unlike against AC Milan, where he couldn't do much to save the shot, that was not the case in this game. Jese did fire a powerful shot on goal, but it went just to the side of Valdes, and in the end squeaked under the Barcelona goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

Dani Alves 7.4
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 72
Passes: 47
Pass Accuracy: 83%
Key Passes: 0
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/1
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 3
Turnovers: 0
Fouls Won: 0

Bostjan says: 7.5

Dani Alves delivered one of his most complete games of the season. He combined excellently with Messi in attack and he was very solid in defense. He frustrated Ronaldo throughout the match, however, the Portuguese forward managed to get the best of him near halftime when Khedira could've converted Ronaldo's cross and tied the game at one. But the highlight of the match for Alves was without a shadow of a doubt the nutmeg on Ronaldo, however, the icing on the cake was missing as Lopez was able to save Alves' shot.

Gerard Pique 7.3
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 60
Passes: 41
Pass Accuracy: 83%
Tackles: 1
Interceptions: 2
Clearances: 13
Aerial Duels Won: 6

Bostjan says: 7.5

Many, for some unknown reason, doubted Pique would have a positive effect on Barcelona if he recovered in time to start the El Clasico. But not only did he start, he played one of his best games of the season. Pique was a beast in the air game, winning six of seven duels he was involved in. He recovered more balls than any Barcelona player, twelve, and also made the most clearances, thirteen. This time playing as the left center-back, Pique offered a lot of assistance to Adriano, who allowed plenty of traffic get past him, only to see it stopped at the hands of Pique.

Javier Mascherano 6.6
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 37
Passes: 31
Pass Accuracy: 74%
Tackles: 1
Interceptions: 1
Clearances: 4
Aerial Duels Won: 0

Bostjan says: 7.0

Although, in what is a rare occurrence, Mascherano was outplayed by Pique, that does not mean the Argentine had a poor game. He made a couple excellent defensive plays, especially in the first half. His performance dropped a bit in the second part as he was a few times found out of position, but despite all that Mascherano still finished the game with the second most ball recoveries by a Barcelona player, eight. His shoulder-to-shoulder hit on Ronaldo in the second half, that could've resulted in a penalty kick, remained a talking point well after the final whistle by the referee.

Adriano Correia 6.5
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 63
Passes: 42
Pass Accuracy: 86%
Tackles: 1
Interceptions: 1
Fouls Won: 3
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0

Bostjan says: 6.5

Adriano struggled the most of any Barcelona defender with Real Madrid's speed of attack. All of Di Maria, Ronaldo and Bale found it relatively easy to get past the Brazilian, but he was able to block a handful of would-be crosses. Even Jese outran the Barcelona full-back in added time to score the consolidation goal for Real Madrid. Adriano also earned a yellow card for a bad tackle on Ronaldo. The Brazilian did help out in attack a lot as he was often available for a pass from Neymar and Iniesta, and his passes in the final third were also very accurate. 

Sergio Busquets 7.4
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 63
Passes: 52
Pass Accuracy: 96%
Tackles: 1
Interceptions: 3
Fouls Won: 2
Aerial Duels Won: 1
Turnovers: 0

Sam says: 6.5

Busquets performed well in his role as Barcelona’s interceptor, breaking up Madrid attacks three times and always looking to start attacks. His passing as usual was near perfection, a 96% success rate helped Barcelona to the win. But Busquets was guilty of having the ball played over him too often, especially when Ronaldo or Bale were attacking the defence which left Mascherano and Piqué vulnerable. Which can be seen for Madrid’s goal.

Xavi 7.8
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 97
Passes: 89
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Turnovers:0
Key Passes: 1
Fouls Won: 0

Sam says: 7.0

Another good game for Xavi tonight. With both Iniesta and Fàbregas on the pitch, Xavi needed to take a more conservative approach to the game so that Barcelona were not overrun in midfield. He did this well whist also offering an attacking option when Fàbregas and Iniesta left the pitch. Like Busquets, his passing was excellent but that’s hardly surprising for Xavi. Not one of the stars of the game but Xavi can feel satisfied with his contribution.

Andrés Iniesta 8.3
Minutes played: 77
Touches: 65
Passes: 51
Pass Accuracy: 86%
Shots/Shots on Target: 3/0
Fouls Won: 2
Turnovers: 2
Key Passes: 3
Successful Dribbles: 0
Tackles: 5

Sam says: 8.5

Iniesta was superb tonight. Assisting for the first time in the league this season, Iniesta found Neymar before the Brazilian finished for Barcelona’s opener. Iniesta pushed forward much more in the game then he has done this season and always seemed to be an option to pass to. This wasn’t just in the opposition’s half though, when Barcelona needed a way out in defines Iniesta was there. Tackling five times and tricking his way past the opposition before starting the counterattack. A great game for the Spaniard before being substituted for Alex Song in the 77th minute.

Cesc Fabregas 6.8
Minutes played: 70
Touches: 47
Passes: 38
Pass Accuracy: 87%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Fouls Won: 0
Successful Dribbles: 0
Key Passes: 0
Turnovers: 4

Arron says: 7.5

The statistics appear to suggest that Cesc Fabregas played a poor game yesterday -- and in some respects, it's easy to agree with that assessment. He didn't make any direct impact on the game throughout his 70 minutes on the pitch, but his mere presence disrupted the Madrid gameplan and created acres of space for Neymar and Andres Iniesta to thrive.

Lionel Messi 7.2
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 78
Passes: 58
Pass Accuracy: 78%
Shots/Shots on Target: 3/0
Fouls Won: 3
Successful Dribbles: 2
Key Passes: 1
Turnovers: 0
Tackles: 5

Arron says: 7.5

Somehow, Lionel Messi's performance last night attracted criticism from some Cules, who were disappointed with his offensive contributions -- or lack thereof. On another night however, Messi would have grabbed his usual goal, firing just wide against the onrushing Diego Lopez (question: would Messi have attempted to chip Iker Casillas if he was between the sticks?) and he more than made up for his "lack of production" with a insatiable defensive workrate. With five tackles, Messi won more challenges than the whole of the Barca defense combined and took me back to what I thought was a bygone era, in which the world's best player worked harder than any other player on the field.

Neymar 8.7
Minutes played: 84
Touches: 46
Passes: 33
Pass Accuracy: 79%
Shots/Shots on Target: 3/3
Fouls Won: 0
Key Passes: 2
Successful Dribbles: 2
Turnovers: 2

Arron says: 8.5

In his post-match editorial, our very own Xoel Cardenas penned this match "El Clasico de Neymar" such was the Brazilian's influence on proceedings. Up against Real Madrid's marquee signing, Gareth Bale, Neymar demonstrated exactly why Sandro Rosell was so keen to sign him this summer, opening the scoring with a well-taken effort in the 19th minute, before setting up Alexis Sanchez' memorable winner.

Alexis Sanchez 8.3
Minutes played: 20
Touches: 15
Passes: 12
Pass Accuracy: 50%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/1

Arron says: 7.5

¡Que Golazo!

10496578165_44b224e404_o_medium

via @corkgaines

That is all.

Alex Song 6.6
Minutes played: 13
Touches: 10
Passes: 6
Pass Accuracy: 83%

Arron says: N/A

A surprise substitute, Alex Song performed his duties to perfection on Saturday, but didn't see enough gametime to get a rating from me.

Pedro 6.0
Minutes played: 6
Touches: 5
Passes: 1
Pass Accuracy: 0%

Arron says: N/A

Pedro barely saw a touch of the ball and doesn't receive a full rating.

The Team 7.9
Passes: 544
Pass Accuracy: 83%
Shots/Shots on Target: 12/5
Tackles: 23
Aerial Battles Won: 35%
Fouls Won/Committed: 16/19

Arron says: 8.5

This wasn't the best performance we will see from Martino's team, but it sure was effective. Real Madrid created far fewer chances than recent Clasicos -- and for the most part, the chances they were creating were falling to the likes of Sami Khedira, rather than Cristiano Ronaldo. A memorable victory.

Gerardo Martino 7.9

Arron says: 10

The tactics were spot on. The team selection was spot on. The substitutions were perfect. As far as Clasico debuts go, this was a blinder from Martino.

MOTM - Neymar 52%

Arron says: Neymar

With just over 50% of the vote, Neymar clinched yet another Man of the Match award ahead of Victor Valdes (17%) and Andres Iniesta (13%).

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