UEFA Champions League: FC Barcelona 1-1 PSG: Player Ratings

Shaun Botterill

A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona 1-1 UEFA Champions League quarter-final second-leg draw with Paris Saint-Germain

Victor Valdés 8.2
Minutes played90
Touches48
Passes22
Pass Accuracy59%
Shots Faced8
Saves Made7

Arron says8.5

Valdés came to Barcelona’s rescue on more than one occasion last night; if it wasn’t for his crucial interventions then Lionel Messi would have never had the opportunity to even salvage a draw for his team. That’s how important Valdés was last night. Whether he was denying Ezequiel Lavezzi at point-blank range, stopping Lucas Moura from heading PSG into the lead or keeping his former colleague Zlatan Ibrahimovic at bay in injury-time, Valdés was virtually unbeatable.

Dani Alves 6.7
Minutes played90
Touches96
Passes64
Pass Accuracy89%
Key Passes1
Tackles1
Interceptions1
Turnovers6
Fouls Won0

Arron says7.0

This wasn’t Dani Alves’ best performance in a Barcelona shirt – far from it in fact – but it wasn’t his worst either. While the goal was scored from the side of the field that Alves was supposed to be defending, the Brazilian wasn’t really liable; instead one could put the blame at the feet of the Blaugrana attack for losing possession so cheaply in the first place. Could have been better, could have been worse; pretty much sums up Alves’ season...

Gerard Pique 6.2
Minutes played90
Touches49
Passes39
Pass Accuracy85%
Tackles1
Interceptions0
Clearances3

Arron says7.0

After the 2-2 draw in the first-leg at Parc des Princes, we pondered whether or not Gerard Piqué should still be considered as one of the best defenders in the world. Unfortunately, we weren’t treated to a master-class from the Catalan last night; but, Piqué did his job. Alongside an unfamiliar partner, Piqué made one particularly vital intervention, stepping in to deny Lavezzi a one-on-one with Valdés. Whether you think he could or should have done better is irrelevant – Barça only conceded one goal after all – I’m simply glad that we have Piqué available for the semi-finals this season.

Adriano Correia 5.8
Minutes played62
Touches40
Passes36
Pass Accuracy92%
Tackles0
Interceptions0
Clearances3

Arron says7.0

And speaking of that unfamiliar partner, just how well did Adriano perform last night? Certainly I’m not able to point out a moment where Adriano came to the rescue, but I’m equally unable to point out a moment where Adriano could have cost us the tie. In fact, I would argue that he performed in exactly the same way that we are used to seeing from Carles Puyol, or Javier Mascherano, rather than sit back and wait for the ball, Adriano pressed forward in search of possession. The only problem was that PSG were ready for it, and proceeded to pick the Barça defense apart.

Jordi Alba 7.0
Minutes played90
Touches116
Passes85
Pass Accuracy86%
Key Passes2
Tackles1
Interceptions6
Turnovers2
Clearances2

Arron says7.0

There were worries at the start of the season when Barcelona parted with €14 million to re-sign Jordi Alba: would he and Dani Alves be able to start on either side of defense? We’re roughly nine months into Jordi Alba’s time at the club, and I think it’s safe to say that it was all much ado about nothing. There are moments when Barcelona get caught out at the back – but that’s always been the case and with Alba marauding up and down the left-flank, the Blaugrana are that little bit tougher to defend. Take yesterday’s match for example, Alba was actually one of our best defenders and thanks to his tremendous athleticism; he was also one of our more creative players too.

Sergio Busquets 6.1
Minutes played90
Touches79
Passes69
Pass Accuracy87%
Tackles0
Interceptions3
Fouls Won3

Arron says6.5

Sergio Busquets was relatively anonymous last night, and it’s no coincidence that Barcelona struggled to impose themselves on the game as a result. Credit to PSG and to Carlo Ancelotti, as the visitors pressed Busquets at every opportunity, resorting to fouling the lanky midfielder at times; anything they could do to stop Busi from settling into his usual rhythm.

Xavi Hernández 7.3
Minutes played90
Touches108
Passes96
Pass Accuracy100%
Shots/Shots on Target2/0
Turnovers1
Key Passes0

Arron says7.0

100%. 96 out of 96. No matter how you look at it, there can be no denying that Xavi was impressive from a statistical standpoint last night. Recycling possession in midfield is just as important as supplying assists; and given PSG’s strength on the counter, maybe one misplaced pass from Xavi could have been our downfall? Of course we can’t forget about his free-kick either, Xavi was mere inches away from breaking the deadlock less than a minute into the game. I suppose it’s safe to say he’s back to 100% fitness.

Andrés Iniesta 8.1
Minutes played90
Touches96
Passes75
Pass Accuracy93%
Shots/Shots on Target7/1
Fouls Won0
Turnovers4
Key Passes3

Arron says8.0

The perfect complement to Xavi’s measured performance in midfield, Iniesta went for the kill with each and every touch, dazzling the crowd with his close control and audacity. It didn’t matter whether he was 40 yards away from goal or less than 18, Iniesta was ready to try his luck from virtually any angle; not to mention humiliate any defender that came between him and the goal...

Iniesta-skill-psg_medium

Pedro Rodriguez 7.9
Minutes played90
Touches64
Passes50
Pass Accuracy86%
Shots/Shots on Target3/1
Fouls Won3
Successful Dribbles1
Key Passes1
Turnovers3

Arron says7.5

With all the post-match attention directed towards Lionel Messi, it was easy to forget that Pedro was the man who got the all-important equaliser – his first goal for the club in over two months. Time and time again, Pedro has scored important goals in high-pressure situations; and yes, this wasn’t his best, nor was it the most important. In fact, given his recent goal-scoring record, it might even be his last goal of the season – certainly, Pedro barely threatened in the 70 minutes leading up to his goal – but he didn’t let that deter him, burying the chance to send Barça into the semi-finals.

Cesc Fàbregas 5.4
Minutes played62
Touches41
Passes34
Pass Accuracy91%
Shots/Shots on Target4/0
Fouls Won2
Successful Dribbles0
Key Passes3
Turnovers1

Arron says6.5

Fàbregas isn’t Messi, but even so, what was he thinking when he decided to shoot from the best part of 25 yards not just once, or twice, but virtually whenever he got the opportunity? It was wasteful, and to be frank, pretty stupid for a player of his calibre to consistently try his luck from absurd distances. Especially when he missed every single attempt. Moving away from his horrendous shooting, Fàbregas actually created a few chances in his hour on the field, which only served to accentuate his terrible shooting – just imagine what he could have created if his decision-making was a little better.

David Villa 6.7
Minutes played84
Touches37
Passes23
Pass Accuracy91%
Shots/Shots on Target4/0
Fouls Won1
Key Passes4
Successful Dribbles0
Turnovers3

Arron says7.0

David Villa may have made his name as a goal-scorer, but it’s moments like the one he had yesterday that made him a star. Many players would have attempted a shot themselves when presented with a sight of goal as Villa was in the 71st minute – and chances are that those players would have missed. However, Villa was smart, he knew that he could create a better chance for one of his teammates, and that’s exactly what he did. Teeing up Pedro with a superb back-heel, Villa set up the equalising goal, helping Barça progress to their sixth successive UEFA Champions League semi-final.

Lionel Messi 8.2
Minutes played28
Touches20
Passes13
Pass Accuracy92%
Key Passes0
Successful Dribbles2
Fouls Won2
Turnovers4

Arron says7.5

The reaction to Messi’s performance last night has been mixed. Of course, without the Argentine Barça would have probably been eliminated, so, some are thankful, and others are worried. Worried that Barcelona are "nothing" without Messi. Conveniently, Saturday’s 5-0 win over Mallorca has been forgotten – after all, Barcelona face teams like PSG every week don’t they? Sarcasm aside, Barcelona would be moderately successful without Messi – the Manita against Mallorca proved as much – and yes, Barcelona would probably fail to win the UEFA Champions League without their star striker – as yesterday’s match proved – but, thankfully, Barcelona almost always have Messi in their starting line-up. And with Messi, they are close to unbeatable.

Marc Bartra 7.1
Minutes played28
Touches15
Passes7
Pass Accuracy71%
Clearances7

Arron says7.0

Bartra entered the field at the same time as Lionel Messi, and appeared to have a similar effect on proceedings. Barcelona barely conceded a chance in his time on the field as Bartra took a no-nonsense approach to defending the "lead".

Alex Song 6.4
Minutes played6
Touches5
Passes4
Pass Accuracy100%

Arron saysN/A

Song played less than 10 minutes, and barely saw a touch of the ball. While his presence in midfield helped the Blaugrana keep PSG at bay, Song didn't do enough to warrant a full rating.

The Team 6.8
Passes651
Pass Accuracy89%
Shots/Shots on Target23/2
Tackles4
Aerial Battles Won23%
Fouls Won/Committed16/11

Arron says7.0

Despite securing their progression to the semi-finals, Barcelona were far from their best last night and on another night, may have been eliminated by their free-spending visitors. However, perhaps that’s something we should be focusing on; Barcelona were not very good, but still progressed to take their place amongst the four best sides in Europe. Who knows what the future holds – provided Barça can return to their best.

Tito Vilanova 7.1

Arron says8.5

Tito managed the match well; starting Adriano worked out OK, and bringing Messi off the bench was the perfect decision as well - the Argentine couldn't have started the match judging by his brief cameo. Even down to the last substitution, Tito did an excellent job.

MOTM - Messi 40%

Arron saysMessi

With 40% of the vote, Messi saw off competition from Victor Valdes to scoop the MoTM award.

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