UEFA Champions League: FC Barcelona 3-1 AC Milan: Player Ratings

David Ramos

A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona's 3-1 win over AC Milan at the Camp Nou

Victor Valdés 7.6
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 23
Passes: 9
Pass Accuracy: 78%
Shots Faced: 1
Saves Made: 1

Bostjan says: 7.0

Valdes had a strong game, playing with confidence throughout the affair. He could've easily been rattled by the own goal scored by Pique, a goal that Valdes was really unlucky to concede because he correctly anticipated Kaka's pass, but he maintained concentration. He only had to make one save the entire match, early in the second half, which points to a calm game for Valdes, but he had plenty of traffic in and around his penalty area. He was excellently positioned on all Milan attacks which forced the opposing players to make an extra move or two, which in turn allowed Barcelona's defenders to clear most of the danger.

Dani Alves 7.2
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 98
Passes: 68
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Key Passes: 1
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 3
Turnovers: 2
Fouls Won: 1

Bostjan says: 7.0

A relatively quiet game for Alves both on offense and defense. He was partially at fault for the only goal allowed as he wasn't able to remove Kaka from the ball despite running alongside him for several yards. But apart from that he handled his compatriot much better than he did when the two went head-to-head two weeks ago. In attack Alves was always available for a pass from Alexis and Messi, but he had little impact on the scoreboard. Dani did create one good scoring chance, that was cleared by a Milan defender, and he also registered a (poor) shot.

Gerard Pique 6.6
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 46
Passes: 34
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Tackles: 5
Interceptions: 0
Clearances: 5
Aerial Duels Won: 0

Bostjan says: 7.0

Pique's performance will be largely remembered for the own goal he scored after Kaka's low centering pass, but take that play out of the equation and the center-back had an very good showing.  Sure, he should've played that pass better, but other than that he hardly put a foot wrong. He led the team in tackles, including a beautiful "two for one" sliding tackle in the 56th minute in which he first dispossessed the onrushing Kaka, and then, I think, prevented Montolivo from advancing alone on goal. Couple that with excellent passing, including a few in Milan's third, and a handful of strong clearances and you have a shutdown performance by Pique.

Javier Mascherano 7.3
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 43
Passes: 32
Pass Accuracy: 94%
Tackles: 1
Interceptions: 4
Clearances: 4
Aerial Duels Won: 1

Bostjan says: 7.5

After a couple games in which Mascherano didn't quite look his confident self, he was poised and offered a commanding presence in this one. Like most of his defensive partners he didn't need to do much in the first half, but he stepped up his game in the second half, making a couple chance-preventing plays on the counter attack. Mascherano was given some problems by Balotelli in the opening part of the second half as he had to stop the Italian by fouling him, but he adjusted well toward the end of the game.

Adriano Correia 6.9
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 83
Passes: 57
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Tackles: 1
Interceptions: 1
Fouls Won: 2
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/1

Bostjan says: 6.5

Returning to the lineup after being left out of the squad on Friday due to injury, Adriano had an up and down game. He was very good in attack, combining excellently with Neymar, and firing two shots, one of which needed a save. Probably his best was the one that isn't even in the stats, because it was blocked by an offside Messi. But on defense it was a different story. He might have gotten away with a lot in the first half with Robinho and Poli rarely attacking down his side, but when Balotelli entered the pitch in the second half Adriano was very exposed. Speed wise he was able to keep up with Balotelli, but he struggled to dispossess the Italian because Balotelli easily overpowered him.

Sergio Busquets 7.9
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 104
Passes: 88
Pass Accuracy: 97%
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 2
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/1
Fouls Won: 2
Aerial Duels Won: 2
Turnovers: 2

Arron says: 8.0

Midfield general and...goalscorer? Sergio Busquets ghosted clear of the Milan defense to head home Barcelona's second goal of the evening in the 40th minute and provided general stability to the midfield, as per usual. All throughout the evening, Busquets' passing was excellent and on the few occasions that he was called into defensive action by the visitors, Busi looked reassured. An all-round performance from our unsung hero.

Xavi 7.7
Minutes played: 88
Touches: 153
Passes: 141
Pass Accuracy: 96%
Shots/Shots on Target: 4/0
Turnovers:1
Key Passes: 1
Fouls Won: 0

Arron says: 8.0

Excuse the pun, but this was a complete "pass-terclass" from Xavi; who kept the Barcelona machine ticking over with a typically composed midfield display. Admittedly, Xavi couldn't translate his passing accuracy into his shots, but he more than made up for that shortcoming with a tremendously weighted cross for Busquets' header.

Andrés Iniesta 7.7
Minutes played: 78
Touches: 88
Passes: 75
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/1
Fouls Won: 0
Turnovers: 0
Key Passes: 2
Successful Dribbles: 3

Arron says: 7.5

Another good performance from Iniesta who has finally found his feet after a relatively "slow" start to the campaign. However, even after a good display, Iniesta was still arguably out-shined by the man who replaced him -- Cesc Fabregas, who provided a superb assist in his cameo appearance.

Alexis Sánchez 6.9
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 50
Passes: 28
Pass Accuracy: 75%
Shots/Shots on Target: 3/1
Fouls Won: 2
Successful Dribbles: 0
Key Passes: 1
Turnovers: 1

Arron says: 6.5

Expectations were high headed into this match, and unfortunately Alexis Sanchez did not deliver, but fear not, because Lionel Messi and the rest of the team stepped up to the plate. And that's what being part of a team is all about; Alexis isn't always going to decide the match, nor is he always going to be as quiet as he was on Wednesday -- just so long as someone steps up, it doesn't matter.

Lionel Messi 8.7
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 92
Passes: 68
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Shots/Shots on Target: 3/2
Fouls Won: 0
Successful Dribbles: 5
Key Passes: 3
Turnovers: 4

Arron says: 9.0

Three matches without a goal and the sky was supposedly falling for Lionel Messi. Then along came the fourth match; Messi scores a brace and normality is resumed. To those who say that Messi wasn't concerned about his lack of goals, I'd advise watching a replay of that penalty -- Messi didn't commit to a particular corner, he just hit the ball as hard as he could, straight down the middle. And you know what? That's fine by me. Back on the scoresheet, and back to his best -- that second goal was just glorious.

Neymar 8.4
Minutes played: 85
Touches: 72
Passes: 44
Pass Accuracy: 82%
Shots/Shots on Target: 3/0
Fouls Won: 5
Key Passes: 1
Successful Dribbles: 5
Turnovers: 4

Arron says: 7.5

Fouled by Abate for the penalty, Neymar was the victim of some "heavy-handed" defensive tactics, earning five of Barcelona's 12 fouls in another livewire performance on the left-flank. Undoubtedly he could and should have done better with at least one of his chances, particularly that individual effort which he ballooned high and wide of Abbiati's goal.

Cesc Fabregas 7.9
Minutes played: 12
Touches: 25
Passes: 22
Pass Accuracy: 95%
Key Passes: 2

Arron says: 8.5

I've re-watched the third goal what feels like a hundred times, and on each viewing, Fabregas' assist gets better and better. Literally, it was perfect.

Pedro 6.8
Minutes played: 5
Touches: 4
Passes: 3
Pass Accuracy: 67%
Key Passes: 1

Arron says: N/A

Five minutes of action isn't enough to warrant a full rating from me.

Alex Song 7.0
Minutes played: 2
Touches: 4
Passes: 4
Pass Accuracy: 100%

Arron says: N/A

Similarly, Song didn't play enough to get a full rating.

The Team 8.0
Passes: 713
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Shots/Shots on Target: 19/6
Tackles: 17
Aerial Battles Won: 57%
Fouls Won/Committed: 12/13

Arron says: 8.0

An excellent result, not only because it secured Barcelona's passage into the knockout stages, but also because it was just a comfortable win over a potentially tricky opponent. Just a fortnight ago, we rode our luck (at times) to escape the San Siro with a point -- by default, this 3-1 win signals improvement. Given the lofty heights we have already attained in Martino's short reign, that's a feat to be proud of.

Gerardo Martino 7.7

Arron says: 8.0

A strong line-up secured Barca's place in the Round of 16; now Martino can experiment in the remainder of the group. That's a good call in my book.

MOTM - Messi 64%

Arron says: Messi

With nearly two-thirds of the vote, Lionel Messi secured the Man of the Match Award ahead of nearest rival Neymar (24%).

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