La Liga: FC Barcelona 4-1 Real Valladolid: Player Ratings

David Ramos

A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona's comfortable 4-1 home win over Real Valladolid on Saturday evening at the Camp Nou

Victor Valdés 6.8
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 31
Passes: 20
Pass Accuracy: 85%
Shots Faced: 1
Saves Made: 0

Arron says: 6.0

It was a quiet night for Victor Valdés in the Barcelona goa, as Real Valladolid barely ventured into the Blaugrana half, let alone mustered a sustained spell of pressure on the Barça goal. As a result, Valdés was left with very little to do – and even then, he could do nothing about Javi Guerra’s excellent headed goal. Not his most memorable performance of the season that’s for sure...

Dani Alves 7.1
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 101
Passes: 79
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Key Passes: 2
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 1
Turnovers: 1
Fouls Won: 1

Arron says: 7.0

Similarly, I was a little underwhelmed with Dani Alves’ performance on the right-hand side of the Barcelona defense; defensively he was relatively sound, but offensively, he was uncharacteristically quiet. With Alexis Sánchez drifting inside, Alves rarely saw the ball on the wing, but he did provide one good cross last night in the closing moments, when Alexis had a great chance to complete his hat-trick.

Gerard Pique 6.8
Minutes played: 79
Touches: 63
Passes: 56
Pass Accuracy: 93%
Tackles: 3
Interceptions: 3
Clearances: 0
Aerial Duels Won: 1

Arron says: 7.0

I’m probably in the minority, but I’m actually reasonably pleased with Gerard Piqué’s recent performances. They might not be outstanding, but has he cost us any points? Has he really cost us that many goals? It’s clear that Piqué is still adjusting to Martino’s zonal/man-marking hybrid system on corners – but it’s also tough to watch Piqué get criticised for the opening goal when his role no longer involves marking an opposing player.

Marc Bartra 7.9
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 79
Passes: 61
Pass Accuracy: 93%
Tackles: 5
Interceptions: 4
Clearances: 2
Aerial Duels Won: 2

Arron says: 8.0

Excellent, as per usual. Marc Bartra was in inspired form last night, leading the team in tackles and interceptions. His long-range effort after Valladolid’s opener was surprisingly brilliant – at the moment, he really can do no wrong. Still, it was only Real Valladolid and it’ll be interesting to see whether Martino gives him some game-time against either AC Milan or Real Madrid after the international break, especially once Javier Mascherano and Carles Puyol are fully fit.

Adriano Correia 6.8
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 104
Passes: 79
Pass Accuracy: 94%
Tackles: 1
Interceptions: 3
Fouls Won: 1
Key Passes: 2

Arron says: 7.0

Much like Alves, Adriano had a quiet game on the left-hand side of defense, lacking that incisiveness that he usually brings to the team. On the other hand, he was solid at the back – and isn’t that what matters? While Adriano was beaten by Javi Guerra for the game’s first goal, there are question marks as to whether he should have been marking the Spaniard – why not Alex Song for instance?

Alex Song 6.9
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 110
Passes: 102
Pass Accuracy: 100%
Tackles: 3
Interceptions: 4
Fouls Won: 1
Aerial Duels Won: 0
Turnovers: 1

Jordan says: 7.5

In for the rested Sergio Busquets, Song put in what was, overall, a good shift, but was marred by a few errors in positioning. From the first whistle, Song started strongly. He made a great early interception on a cross, and generally caused problems with his physical strength. But after this strong start Song seemed to lose himself positionally, and in dropping into the back line superfluously left the midfield bare to a Valladolid counter. Hesitating to step forward and slow down the ball, Bartra was forced into conceding a corner, which Valladolid’s Guerra capitalized on. For the rest of the half, Song was largely shaky in a positional sense, and was dribbled past far too easily. While many Cules expected to see Busquets starting the second half, Tata Martino had other ideas and gave Song the full match. This proved a smart decision, as Alex grew into the game. His passing never in doubt, Song continually provided a smart outlet and distributed well. He put in a few well-timed tackles and shepherded play into non-dangerous areas. Amazingly, Song finished with 100% pass completion, and saw out a match which could’ve easily gotten away from him.

Cesc Fàbregas 7.2
Minutes played: 65
Touches: 77
Passes: 70
Pass Accuracy: 90%
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/1
Turnovers:0
Key Passes: 2
Fouls Won: 1

Jordan says: 7.0

In a somewhat restrained performance from Cesc which saw him subbed off in the 65th minute, Barca’s number 4 provided reliability and good defensive play. He also should’ve picked up an assist and perhaps even a goal or two, but the former saw Neymar bundled over in the box while the latter saw him launch a cutback pass into the cheap seats and tamely shoot at the keeper a few minutes later. While not his worst performance, it was decidedly average from Cesc given his recent form.

Xavi 7.8
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 163
Passes: 150
Pass Accuracy: 95%
Shots/Shots on Target: 3/1
Fouls Won: 0
Turnovers: 0
Key Passes: 4
Successful Dribbles: 0

Jordan says: 8.5

What seemed a rare lackadaisical Xavi performance in the beginning turned into a near masterclass from the Barca maestro. After giving away a few early balls and skying a free kick, Xavi got back to doing Xavi things. Brilliant in possession with neat “la pelopina” turns, Xavi racked up over 160 touches on the ball in 90 minutes. He also aggressively sprayed forward passes into Neymar, initiating a neat counter attack which ended in a Tello chance in the 16th minute. Xavi failed to take another chance in the first half, but there was no hesitation when soon after the second began a weaving Neymar run found Tello on the left, whose cross was deftly tucked away first time by an unmarked Xavi. Now in full maestro mode, Xavi again initiated a counter -- a quick ball through to Neymar allowed the Brazilian to turn and play a ball in-stride to Alexis who blasted far corner. These three were involved again a little over five minutes later, when Xavi produced a brilliant piece of skill with the outside of his boot, meeting a clipped pass in the air and guiding it into the path of Alexis, who passed up the hat trick opportunity for an assist to Neymar. A brilliant game from Xavi overall.

Alexis Sánchez 9.0
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 65
Passes: 48
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Shots/Shots on Target: 4/3
Fouls Won: 4
Successful Dribbles: 1
Key Passes: 3
Turnovers: 2

Arron says: 9.0

Two goals and an assist – Alexis Sánchez returned to form last night with a sensational performance that inspired the Blaugrana to their eighth successive La Liga victory. I’m still in shock over his first goal – just who in the world would have anticipated a thunderbolt from Alexis? The Chilean’s second of the evening was similarly well-taken as he calmly slotted the ball past Diego Marino to secure the three points. More of the same please Alexis!

Neymar 9.0
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 96
Passes: 67
Pass Accuracy: 78%
Shots/Shots on Target: 6/2
Fouls Won: 5
Successful Dribbles: 9
Key Passes: 2
Turnovers: 8

Arron says: 9.0

My admiration for Neymar was well-known prior to his move to FC Barcelona – but my admiration has almost turned into an obsession since that summer switch: this kid is something else. Replacing Lionel Messi is an impossible task, but Neymar managed to pull it off. Sure, he wasn’t as clinical as Leo probably would have been, and perhaps a little more wasteful, but it was a passable impression. A constant threat to the Real Valladolid defense with his trickery, close control and vision, Neymar helped himself to his fifth assist of this young La Liga campaign, also grabbing a well-deserved second goal. Easily my MoTM.

Cristian Tello 7.0
Minutes played: 73
Touches: 43
Passes: 37
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Shots/Shots on Target: 3/0
Fouls Won: 0
Key Passes: 2
Successful Dribbles: 1
Turnovers: 0

Arron says: 7.5

Unfortunately, Cristian Tello was by far the “weak-link” in the Barcelona attack, yet he finished the match with two assists and a shot that rattled off the woodwork. Perhaps that’s testament then to the sublime performances of both Neymar and Alexis, as Tello actually played quite well. His hesitance in the final third arguably cost him a goal, but overall, Tello will be pleased with his performance.

Andres Iniesta 7.1
Minutes played: 25
Touches: 48
Passes: 46
Pass Accuracy: 93%

Arron says: 7.0

Andrés Iniesta replaced Cesc Fàbregas on the 65 minute mark and produced an assured performance in the middle of the park. Nothing fancy, just efficient football from one of the world’s best.

Pedro 6.3
Minutes played: 17
Touches: 15
Passes: 14
Pass Accuracy: 86%

Arron says: N/A

Pedro replaced Cristian Tello with 17 minutes left on the clock, but failed to see enough of the ball to warrant a full rating from me.

Sergio Busquets 6.7
Minutes played: 11
Touches: 16
Passes: 13
Pass Accuracy: 100%

Arron says: 7.5

In a switch that very much came out of left-field, Sergio Busquets replaced Gerard Piqué in the heart of defense and looked his usual composed self in a 13 minute cameo appearance. Be that as it may, I don’t really want to see Busi pushed back there again...

The Team 8.5
Passes: 868
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Shots/Shots on Target: 21/8
Tackles: 22
Aerial Battles Won: 37%
Fouls Won/Committed: 15/7

Arron says: 8.5

The opening ten minutes were largely forgettable, the remaining 80 were business as usual, as Barcelona overturned a one-goal deficit at the Camp Nou to win by three clear goals against Real Valladolid. At times, Barcelona may have struggled, but they pulled it all together in an impressive second-half display and were thoroughly deserving of the three points.

Gerardo Martino 8.4

Arron says: 8.5

Martino kept the faith in his own personal rotation system and it paid off big time with an eighth successive Liga win.

MOTM - Neymar 51%

Arron says: Neymar

With a little over 50% of the vote, Neymar walked away with the Man of the Match award ahead of Alexis Sanchez (47%).

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