La Liga: FC Barcelona 3-2 Sevilla FC: Player Ratings

A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona's 3-2 win over Sevilla on Saturday evening, as the Blaugrana maintained their 100% start to this new La Liga season

Victor Valdés 5.9
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 21
Passes: 8
Pass Accuracy: 38%
Shots Faced: 2
Saves Made: 0

Bostjan says: 6.0

During the few games Barcelona have played this season Valdes was constantly one of the team's best performers. That was not the case against Sevilla, a game he finished without making a single save and conceding two goals. He might not have had any business saving either of those shots, maybe the first, but throughout the game he exhibited very little confidence. And without his commanding presence Barcelona's defensive line looked even shakier than usual. Also, the fact that a Barcelona goalkeeper completed only 38% of his passing attempts is just embarrassing.

Dani Alves 6.7
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 109
Passes: 80
Pass Accuracy: 88%
Key Passes: 1
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/1
Tackles: 4
Interceptions: 4
Turnovers: 1
Fouls Won: 3

Bostjan says: 6.5

Another game, another mixed showing by Alves. Although his opening goal, which came courtesy of a well placed header, makes Alves a valuable component in Barcelona's victory his defense left much to be desired. He did end the game with a fair amount of tackles and clearances, but he didn't pass the "eye-test". On Rakitic's goal Dani was lazily jogging back even though the counter came down his side, and was lucky Cala's headed goal was ruled out for a foul after the defender easily out-jumped Alves for the ball.

Gerard Pique 5.7
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 68
Passes: 59
Pass Accuracy: 90%
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 2
Clearances: 3
Aerial Duels Won: 2

Bostjan says: 6.5

Pique started the game strong, making several good plays to stop the visitors' attacks and was constantly very involved in the attacking game. But his performance dropped in the second half as he was often badly positioned, very noticeable when he reacted poorly on Vitolo's cutback on Sevilla's first goal. Had no impact on the game on defensive set-pieces because Sevilla actively avoided that tall defender. It might be time to change Pique's responsibilities on dead-ball situations because he's become a non-factor in them – he even failed to clear the loose ball in his "zone" after a poor Valdes punch out in the first half.

Javier Mascherano 7.2
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 72
Passes: 52
Pass Accuracy: 90%
Tackles: 8
Interceptions: 5
Clearances: 6
Aerial Duels Won: 1

Bostjan says: 8.5

Mascherano was given a difficult task this game, to cover the always dangerous Kevin Gameiro, but he pretty much shut the Frenchman down completely. El Jefecito's sliding tackles were textbook all game long, and with a little luckier bounce he would've even prevented Vitolo from setting up Rakitic for Sevilla's opener. Calm throughout the game Mascherano was all over Barcelona's defensive third, covering for all three of his defensive partners. Really hard to find any mistakes in Mascherano's game even though Valdes twice had to pick up the ball in his net.

Jordi Alba 5.0
Minutes played: 15
Touches: 21
Passes: 19
Pass Accuracy: 89%

Bostjan says: N/A

In 15 minutes Jordi really didn't have enough time to do anything to help the team. He did, however, have just enough time to get injured, and will now face some time on the sidelines recovering from a thigh muscle tear.

Sergio Busquets 6.8
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 77
Passes: 66
Pass Accuracy: 97%
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 4
Fouls Won: 1
Turnovers: 0

Jordan says: 8.0

Of the starters, Busquets was easily the best. His trademark drag-back v-cut was in full force, and he even managed to complete twice the number of successful dribbles Iniesta managed. Boasting a passing percentage of 97%, Busquets did all the Busquets things we know Busquets does: calm, cool passing under pressure; extraordinary positional play; strong, confident tackles; and brilliant reading of the game. While I think he should’ve done better defending Sevilla’s first, Busquets’ place in the team is under absolutely no threat.

Xavi 6.2
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 103
Passes: 92
Pass Accuracy: 88%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Turnovers:1
Key Passes: 0
Fouls Won: 0

Jordan says: 6.5

No doubt a bit fatigued from the International Break, Xavi lacked a bit of his usual verve on the night, and put in an average shift over the course of 90 minutes. When sharp, which, let’s face it, is 99% of the time, Xavi would dominate a game like this, utterly controlling the midfield and crafting chances from thin air. However, he was largely slack, recording a WhoScored pass percentage of 88%, somewhat less than the usual mid-90s. He put in two good tackles, but lacked the energy he usually puts into the press, leading to Sevilla mostly bypassing the midfield zone with ease. Note, Mascherano and Pique were incredibly visible tonight, the former making eight tackles. The primary factor contributing to this was the midfield’s disconnect.

Andrés Iniesta 6.3
Minutes played: 74
Touches: 58
Passes: 54
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Fouls Won: 0
Turnovers: 0
Key Passes: 3
Successful Dribbles: 1

Jordan says: 6.5

Iniesta’s showing was, besides Tello’s, the most disappointing to me. In recent weeks Ini hasn’t quite looked the same attacking force he was last year, during his reign as European Player of the Year. What can aptly be described as Don Andres’s 100 mph fastball -- his mazy dribbling from the left -- has been conspicuously absent, and tonight was no exception. His play was slack, lackadaisical, and he pressing wasn’t up to par. As Cesc Fabregas continues to impress and prove his value in Tata Martino’s system, and as he goes through renewal talks, Iniesta must improve, find his concentration, and get back to the standard he played at for so much of last season. Besides one splitting pass to Neymar, Iniesta was far more anonymous than we know he should be, and was substituted a little over 15 minutes from full-time after sustaining a knock.

Cristian Tello 5.4
Minutes played: 63
Touches: 36
Passes: 24
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Shots/Shots on Target: 3/2
Fouls Won: 0
Successful Dribbles: 0
Key Passes: 1
Turnovers: 1

Arron says: 7.0

I might be in the minority, but I didn’t see an awful lot wrong with Cristian Tello’s performance on Saturday; he worked relatively hard in a somewhat unfamiliar position, and still managed to test the Sevilla goalkeeper, Beto. Unlike let’s say, Pedro, Tello took the initiative, and yes, he too was guilty of being "too selfless" on a couple of occasions with ill-judged passes to Lionel Messi – but he also nearly ended the match with a goal. Given how little he saw the ball in comparison to his offensive teammates, Tello was quietly effective on the right-hand side of attack.

Lionel Messi 7.6
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 84
Passes: 56
Pass Accuracy: 84%
Shots/Shots on Target: 6/2
Fouls Won: 1
Successful Dribbles: 6
Key Passes: 1
Turnovers: 5

Arron says: 8.0

Lionel Messi’s goal and "assist" paper over the cracks in what was a disappointing performance from the four-time Ballon d’Or winner; yet there are few players in the history of this game who can decide the destination of the three points in a "disappointing" performance. So, even if he was relatively anonymous in the first-half, Messi still came good when it mattered, delivering what should have been the coup de grâce in the 75th minute. It was a tough finish with his weaker right foot, but Messi made it look easy. While the Argentine forward rarely created a decent chance off the dribble, and often saw his attempted shots blocked by the Sevilla defense, Messi had the confidence to take matters into his own hands in the dying stages of the game, creating Sánchez’ winning goal with a sensational dribble.

Neymar 8.5
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 83
Passes: 61
Pass Accuracy: 87%
Shots/Shots on Target: 4/2
Fouls Won: 7
Key Passes: 3
Successful Dribbles: 6
Turnovers: 2

Arron says: 9.5

Culés across the globe will have been salivating at this superlative performance from Neymar, who almost certainly had the best 90 minutes of his young Barcelona career. Impossibly difficult to dispossess despite his slight frame, Neymar drew an incredible seven fouls from an aggressive Sevilla defense and looking back, it’s easy to see why. The Brazilian’s close control simply tortured the visitor’s right-back, Coke, and his incisive passing created a whole host of chances for his colleagues – including Barça’s second goal of the evening. There were moments when his decision-making left a little to be desired, but all in all, it was an impressive performance from our marquee signing – who surely out-performed Real Madrid debutant Gareth Bale...

Adriano Correia 6.8
Minutes played: 75
Touches: 84
Passes: 63
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/1
Key Passes: 1
Tackles: 1
Interceptions: 2
Clearances: 5

Arron says: 7.5

The tides have turned – at least momentarily. Rather than being forced off through injury, Adriano actually replaced early defensive casualty Jordi Alba and performed reasonably well on the left-hand side of defense. There were of course moments when Adriano could and should have performed better defensively – but there were also a few positives, like his cross for Dani Alves’ opening goal and his last-ditch clearance late on which temporarily kept Sevilla at bay. It’s a shame that they scored from the resulting corner – because it really was a decent piece of defending from the Brazilian full-back.

Alexis Sanchez 7.1
Minutes played: 27
Touches: 24
Passes: 16
Pass Accuracy: 88%
Successful Dribbles: 0
Fouls Won: 1
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/1
Turnovers: 1

Arron says: 7.5

Any time that you come off the bench to score a winner is special, but it must have been extra-satisfying for Alexis Sánchez, who has firmly established himself as a sure-fire starter after an impressive start to life under new coach Gerardo Martino. There wasn’t an awful lot to remember about the goal; in fact, it was probably quite an "ugly" goal – but who cares? All that matters is that Alexis Sánchez converted that chance to open up a two-point lead over Barça’s eternal rivals, Real Madrid.

Cesc Fabregas 7.5
Minutes played: 16
Touches: 16
Passes: 11
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Key Passes: 1
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/1

Arron says: 7.5

A late substitute, Cesc Fàbregas didn’t have an awful lot of time to influence the match – but still made a positive impact, playing his part in Barça’s second goal of the evening, instantly improving upon Andrés Iniesta’s contributions.

The Team 6.8
Passes: 684
Pass Accuracy: 89%
Shots/Shots on Target: 19/10
Tackles: 23
Aerial Battles Won: 33%
Fouls Won/Committed: 17/12

Arron says: 7.5

Yes, Barcelona let a two-goal lead slip at the Camp Nou, and yes, they conceded each of Sevilla’s two shots on target, but really, was this such a poor performance? And do they not deserve some credit for grabbing that late winner? Certainly if we compare this performance to that of Real Madrid’s last night at El Madrigal, the Blaugrana don’t look too bad at all – and even Atletico Madrid conceded twice this weekend against newly-promoted Almeria. That’s the same Almeria that boasts a one-man frontline featuring Barça B flop, Rodri. Every side has their weaknesses, Barça’s is their defense; but few teams can fall back on such an overwhelmingly talented attack.

Gerardo Martino 6.7

Arron says: 8.0

Gerardo Martino played it safe with his team selection – prompting some impatient Culés to lambast his rotation policy after just six games of a 60-game season – and in the end, we have to be glad that he did. Despite their inconspicuous start to the season, Sevilla put up a good fight in Catalunya and each one of Martino’s high-profile decisions paid off. Alves scored a goal, substitute Adriano provided an assist and Lionel Messi’s really was needed for the full 90 minutes.

MOTM - Neymar 64%

Arron says: Neymar

With nearly two-thirds of the vote, Neymar was the clear community choice for Man of the Match, and deservedly so -- the Brazilian was in scintillating form last night.

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