La Liga: FC Barcelona 3-0 Celta Vigo: Player Ratings

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona's 3-0 La Liga win over Celta Vigo on Tuesday night

Victor Valdés 8.5
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 42
Passes: 24
Pass Accuracy: 63%
Shots Faced: 4
Saves Made: 4

Arron says: 7.5

Celta Vigo may have mustered sustained spells of pressure on the Barcelona goal, but Victor Valdés was somewhat underworked, only stopping four goalbound shots. That’s not to say that there wasn’t any scary moments: Rafinha’s long-range effort not to mention Charles’ foul, which led to a disallowed Celta goal. However, when push came to shove, Valdés was equal to Celta’s best efforts, securing his ninth clean sheet in sixteen appearances.

Dani Alves 7.2
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 99
Passes: 66
Pass Accuracy: 88%
Key Passes: 2
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Tackles: 6
Interceptions: 3
Turnovers: 1
Fouls Won: 2

Arron says: 7.5

I’m a huge fan of Dani Alves and all that he brings to FC Barcelona; from his personality to his skills on the pitch, he offers a valuable extra dimension to the club – and it’s because of his importance to the system that I understand why Martin Montoya often has to wait for his chance to shine. Once again, Alves was in imperious form on Tuesday – perhaps not at his spectacular best, but incredibly effective nonetheless: Dani led the team in successful tackles and contributed at the offensive end as well.

Marc Bartra 7.5
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 88
Passes: 66
Pass Accuracy: 97%
Tackles: 5
Interceptions: 4
Clearances: 5
Aerial Duels Won: 1

Arron says: 7.5

Marc Bartra has wasted little time this season, establishing himself as one of the world’s brightest young centre-back talents under the guidance of Gerardo Martino. Once again, Bartra put in an assured performance at the back, contributing with five tackles and a team-high four interceptions, although my favourite statistic from last night’s display is his pass percentage: 97% was a better mark than even Sergio Busquets could achieve.

Carles Puyol 7.0
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 75
Passes: 55
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Tackles: 1
Interceptions: 3
Clearances: 10
Aerial Duels Won: 3

Arron says: 8.0

However, I was actually a little more impressed by our veteran captain, Carles Puyol. Starting and completing the full 90 minutes for his second successive outing since returning from injury, Puyol didn’t look a step off the pace in a match that was played at a much higher tempo than the Osasuna draw he made his comeback in. In that sense, maybe this was proof that Puyol does indeed still have what it takes to contribute at the very highest level? His no-nonsense style made Puyi the team leader in both aerial duels won (3) and clearances (10).

Adriano Correia 6.2
Minutes played: 31
Touches: 28
Passes: 18
Pass Accuracy: 89%
Tackles: 1
Interceptions: 1
Fouls Won: 1

Arron says: 6.5

Well, it was a good run. Adriano's streak of injury-free matches came grinding to a halt last night, as everyone's favourite injury-prone Brazilian was forced off the field after a little over half-an-hour with a muscle injury. Tests revealed that there was no damage to the muscle itself, but Adriano remains a doubt for Friday's Catalan derby with RCD Espanyol.

Sergio Busquets 7.1
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 80
Passes: 65
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Tackles: 3
Interceptions: 2
Key Passes: 1
Fouls Won: 2
Aerial Duels Won: 0
Turnovers: 2

Sam says: 7.0

A fairly average game for Busquets. With Celta attempting to push high it was important that Busquets remained Barcelona’s way out of defence and delivered for the majority of the game. Although he sometimes struggled to hold down midfield dominance, most likely because neither Xavi nor Iniesta, two natural ball holders, weren’t playing. But he produced his fair share of defensive work and helped Barça keep a clean sheet.

Alex Song 6.7
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 78
Passes: 61
Pass Accuracy: 87%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Turnovers:5
Key Passes: 2
Fouls Won: 2

Sam says: 6.5

Song look a bit lost tonight and sometimes seemed confused on what his role was. Usually played instead of Sergio Busquets, Song was tonight part of the two attacking midfielders alongside his ex-Arsenal teammate Cesc Fàbregas. This allowed him to push higher up the field but Song doesn’t possess the technical quality to really flourish in this position. He was also slow to close down opponents on the edge of the area, something that Victor Valdés spotted and reminded the midfielder of what he should be doing. To his credit, Song did put the effort in and was always trying to be in the right position if not always succeeding.

Cesc Fàbregas 8.3
Minutes played: 70
Touches: 68
Passes: 54
Pass Accuracy: 81%
Shots/Shots on Target: 4/2
Fouls Won: 0
Turnovers: 1
Key Passes: 1
Successful Dribbles: 0

Sam says: 8.5

Cesc had a great game tonight and got better as the match progressed. Directly involved in all three Barça goals, scorer of one (or two depending on the way you see it) and producing the shot that led to Alexis Sánchez’s opening goal. Defensively, Fàbregas had a good game too. Tracking back when needed to and performing a great tackle before starting a quick counter attacks. This more direct approach of Tata’s Barça really seems to suit the number four. One negative of his game was a needless yellow card for arguing with the referee.

Alexis Sánchez 8.1
Minutes played: 83
Touches: 50
Passes: 35
Pass Accuracy: 80%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/1
Fouls Won: 3
Successful Dribbles: 0
Key Passes: 2
Turnovers: 3

Jordan says: 8.5

Alexis capped his 100th appearance for the club with a neat goal -- extending his tally to 6th in the league -- as well as a strong and energetic performance. In typical Alexis fashion, the Chilean buzzed around the pitch, interchanging neatly with Lionel Messi and routinely showing up in the ‘9’ position. One of the biggest positives of the season under Tata Martino so far is Sanchez’s excellent displays. Tonight, "Electric Alexis" gave a neat display of his fantastic movement and work rate, sprinting into central channels and driving the ball forward, with Messi drifting to the right to give him space. His goal, while less spectacular than Saturday’s brilliant chip over Diego Lopez, was a classic poacher’s finish: pouncing "like a werewolf jumping out of a closet," to quote Ray Hudson, on Cesc’s half cleared shot. It reflected the newfound hunger of the Chilean, where a year ago one might have expected him to defer to Messi in that situation. Subbed out with seven minutes to play, Alexis did his job, injected his usual energy, scored a goal, and played defense as well, putting in two tackles; a great performance from the young forward.

Lionel Messi 8.3
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 86
Passes: 56
Pass Accuracy: 80%
Shots/Shots on Target: 10/5
Fouls Won: 2
Successful Dribbles: 7
Key Passes: 4
Turnovers: 3

Arron says: 9.0

Had Celta keeper Yoel not been in such inspired form, Lionel Messi might have scored five. The little Argentine was in inspired form, winning seven dribbles and consistently creating chances around the opposition’s penalty area. His dribbling was tight and controlled, and while I believe he isn’t quite 100%, Barca’s number 10 seems poised for a goal streak. He set up Cesc twice on the evening, although only one will count as an assist as Cesc’s dipping shot went off the post and off of Yoel. Both sequences, however, were vintage Messi: the first a dynamic and incisive passing move, and the second a classic Messi dribble left to right before laying the ball off for a Cesc strike. Towards the end of the match it was obvious Messi really wanted to score, and passed up a few passes to others to take on the shot. Unfortunately, Yoel found an answer each time. An encouraging performance from Leo who’s just about back to his best.

Pedro 6.8
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 56
Passes: 47
Pass Accuracy: 85%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Fouls Won: 2
Key Passes: 2
Successful Dribbles: 0
Turnovers: 1

Jordan says: 7.0

Honestly, I was a little upset to not see Pedro put in a few goals, but had Messi not taken the ball himself on a few occasions, who knows? No one can ever fault Pedro’s work rate or knowledge of the system. His work rate was second to none versus Celta, but it was clear he’s not as dangerous playing down the left. Over the course of the match he took only one shot, and did not pose a strong threat to goal. That said, he provided balance to Sanchez and Messi, and admirably helped the out-of-position Martin Montoya with defending the left flank. Unfortunately, Pedro didn’t complete a take on according to WhoScored.com, but watching his arms windmill around as he tore around the field reminded this Cule of just how good a player Pedro can be. While he wasn’t necessarily at his best, it was encouraging given his hustle, and as mentioned earlier, he might have scored a goal had Messi been more willing to pass the ball.

Martin Montoya 7.0
Minutes played: 59
Touches: 51
Passes: 31
Pass Accuracy: 77%
Key Passes: 1
Tackles: 3
Fouls Won: 1
Turnovers: 0

Arron says: 7.0

Martin Montoya played a little under an hour of regulation time last night, replacing the injured Adriano at left-back and putting in a good shift in what's still an unfamiliar position. With Adriano likely to be sidelined, the Catalan should get his chance in Friday's Catalan derby.

Andrés Iniesta 6.9
Minutes played: 20
Touches: 26
Passes: 25
Pass Accuracy: 100%

Arron says: 7.0

Andres Iniesta came off the bench after 70 minutes and quite literally didn't put a foot wrong to give an incredibly solid cameo performance.

Cristian Tello 5.8
Minutes played: 7
Touches: 8
Passes: 5
Pass Accuracy: 100%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0

Arron says: N/A

Cristian Tello hit the side-netting in his short time on the field, but didn't see enough game-time to warrant a full rating.

The Team 7.7
Passes: 633
Pass Accuracy: 87%
Shots/Shots on Target: 20/8
Tackles: 26
Aerial Battles Won: 45%
Fouls Won/Committed: 17/12

Arron says: 8.5

A three goal away win, coupled with a clean sheet; that's the recipe for a perfect away performance in my book, especially when you factor in Martino's rotations. No Neymar, no Xavi, very little Iniesta, while Gerard Pique didn't even travel -- hell, we played Alex Song in advanced central midfield even though he didn't know what was going on and we still won by three goals. What more could you want?

Gerardo Martino 7.8

Arron says: 8.0

I didn't like the Song experiment (*gasp*), but I did like the final result.

MOTM - Messi 42%

Arron says: Messi

With a little over two-fifths of the vote, Lionel Messi claimed the Man of the Match award ahead of Cesc Fàbregas (32%) and Alexis Sánchez (14%).

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