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

David Ramos

A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona's 4-1 La Liga win over Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou on Tuesday evening

Victor Valdés 7.2
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 30
Passes: 12
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Shots Faced: 5
Saves Made: 4

Bostjan says: 7.0

Compared to the previous game against Rayo Vallecano Valdes had a slow day. But after consecutive clean sheets Valdes wasn't able to keep his net untarnished against Real Sociedad. Quickly after kickoff he was lucky that Haris Seferović's shot hit the crossbar as he could do nothing to keep that one out had it been on goal. Also wasn't able to do anything on the Alberto De la Bella goal. But Valdes still finished the game with four saves, and with most his passes being of the short variety his pass success rate wasn't embarrassingly low as in the past few games.

Dani Alves 6.7
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 110
Passes: 89
Pass Accuracy: 90%
Key Passes: 4
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Tackles: 5
Interceptions: 2
Turnovers: 1
Fouls Won: 1

Bostjan says: 7.5

Alves had an impressive game both on offense and defense. He led the team with five tackles and overall looked in good position throughout the game. But his biggest contribution in the game came in attack where he was very involved. Very rarely dispossessed Alves connected well with Alexis and Messi, and always seemed to be open for a pass. He also managed to send two crosses (which is about two more than usual) into the danger area, one of them would've been classified as an assist if Alexis had a tiny bit of luck in the last minute of the game.

Gerard Pique 5.7
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 73
Passes: 53
Pass Accuracy: 98%
Tackles: 3
Interceptions: 1
Clearances: 11
Aerial Duels Won: 2

Bostjan says: 6.5

Pique put in another frustrating performance. Not tested much in the first half he was able to drift forward on a few occasions where his passing really shined, but in the second half, when Barça took their foot of the gas, he was quickly exposed. On La Real's goal he ran himself out of position which allowed Imanol Agirretxe to make a perfect cross to De La Balla. It might have been the only mistake he made all game, but it was a glaring one, and it's very worrying that he makes one of them in just about every game.

Javier Mascherano 6.0
Minutes played: 35
Touches: 34
Passes: 30
Pass Accuracy: 83%
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 1
Clearances: 1
Aerial Duels Won: 0

Bostjan says: 6.5

The game didn't go as planned for Mascherano. Only three minutes into the game he was hit studs-first just above the knee by his own teammate, Busquets. The Argentinian did return to the game, but it was noticeable that he wasn't his usual self. He wasn't necessarily tested much until the 35th minute when he was substituted because of a hamstring injury, but it was clear that Mascherano looked uncomfortable on the pitch.

Adriano Correia 6.3
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 89
Passes: 67
Pass Accuracy: 93%
Tackles: 0
Interceptions: 2
Fouls Won: 1

Bostjan says: 6.5

Unlike in previous games Adriano was this time very offensively oriented and he linked up very well with Neymar. His passing was crisp and on target, and because Real Sociedad has so little possession he didn't need to worry about the defense. In the second half he pulled back a little bit and similarly to Pique he too struggled when Sociedad come forward. Even though Pique will get the major share of blame on De La Bella's goal Adriano was also at fault there as he first mistimed his jump to clear the post and then failed to cover for Pique's mistake and block the shot.

Sergio Busquets 7.6
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 103
Passes: 92
Pass Accuracy: 93%
Tackles: 4
Interceptions: 0
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/1
Fouls Won: 1
Aerial Duels Won: 3
Turnovers: 1

Sam says: 8.0

Aside from his normal passing excellence, Busquets also showed he had an eye for goal tonight with a great strike on the edge of the area that curled into the right corner of the Sociedad goal. What is most impressive is that the Spaniard managed to keep the ball low and didn’t blast it over the bar. As usual, his passing statistics remained impeccably high reaching 92% pass success rate, although Busquets didn’t perform as well in some of his defensive duties and should’ve done more to prevent Sociedad’s goal.  Possibly the most disappointing part of his game tonight was his accidental collision with Javier Mascherano that forced the defender off the field.

Xavi 7.7
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 131
Passes: 118
Pass Accuracy: 96%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Turnovers:0
Key Passes: 3
Fouls Won: 0

Sam says: 7.0

Often see in the opposition box, Xavi may feel a little disappointed that he didn’t manage a shot on goal but nonetheless his passing helped Barça win the match. 96% passes success rate and three key passes with over 100 total passes, tiki-taka continues to have its star pupil in Xavi Hernández. What’s also impressive is any sign of serious fatigue, considering Xavi, who is now 33 years old, has played nearly every match this season.

Andres Iniesta 7.6
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 114
Passes: 99
Pass Accuracy: 93%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Fouls Won: 1
Turnovers: 0
Key Passes: 2
Successful Dribbles: 1

Sam says: 7.0

Yet to find his best this season, Iniesta can be pleased with another good performance this season that will keep the harsh critics off his back for a little while. Part of a breathtaking piece of skill that involved himself, Xavi and Messi on the edge of Sociedad’s, Iniesta continues to show his immense ball control while his passing accuracy remained well over the average of most European playmakers. But having contributed no assists or goals this season in La Liga, Iniesta will be looking to bounce back this weekend away at Almería.

Alexis Sánchez 7.1
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 53
Passes: 35
Pass Accuracy: 83%
Shots/Shots on Target: 5/0
Fouls Won: 1
Successful Dribbles: 3
Key Passes: 0
Turnovers: 1

Arron says: 7.0

Five shots, not a single one on target; did Pedro’s hat-trick affect Alexis’ confidence? Was he just unlucky? No matter which way you look at it, it’s difficult not to be disappointed with Sánchez’ goal output, especially when he’s presented with multiple scoring chances. Still, looking at the positives, Alexis complements Neymar and Messi brilliantly – just look at his low cross for Neymar’s goal and his "dummy run" for Messi’s. That’s exactly the kind of play that we don’t get from Pedro, cementing the Chilean’s place in the team.

Lionel Messi 8.1
Minutes played: 81
Touches: 92
Passes: 67
Pass Accuracy: 96%
Shots/Shots on Target: 8/4
Fouls Won: 1
Successful Dribbles: 6
Key Passes: 2
Turnovers: 6

Arron says: 8.0

On another night, Messi would have scored twice, three times or possibly even more; yesterday he ended up with one – and some people are disappointed. I guess that speaks volumes as to how high Messi has set the bar with his recent performances. Overall, that goal – a well-taken header, as the Argentine somehow ghosted into the area unmarked, even if he is the best player on the planet – was one better than he achieved against Rayo Vallecano, and as such, it was an improvement from Leo. Maybe he could have improved his ball retention, but really it was a great performance from our superstar.

Neymar 8.5
Minutes played: 74
Touches: 63
Passes: 45
Pass Accuracy: 93%
Shots/Shots on Target: 3/2
Fouls Won: 4
Key Passes: 2
Successful Dribbles: 4
Turnovers: 2

Arron says: 9.0

One goal, one assist; this was easily Neymar’s most productive La Liga appearance to date, against arguably one of his toughest opponents. All night long, Neymar toyed with Dani Estrada and displayed several sides to his game in his time on the field. He could score gritty goals, deliver superlative crosses, dribble past opponents, draw fouls; Neymar literally did it all. And he was remarkably efficient too; while Messi does and can lose the ball quite often in some matches (like last night), Neymar rarely turns the ball over and completes an incredible percentage of his passes given the complexity and difficulty of both his attempted passes and his role in the system.

Marc Bartra 7.2
Minutes played: 55
Touches: 44
Passes: 34
Pass Accuracy: 100%
Key Passes 1
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 3
Clearances: 4

Arron says: 8.0

Bartra replaced first-half injury casualty, Javier Mascherano, and looked right at home in the centre of the Barça defense. In fact, Bartra probably out-performed Gerard Piqué. He was solid at the back, impressively cool in possession and somehow, Bartra was also rather predatory in front of goal, popping up in the right place to grab himself a rare goal. More of the same please Marc!

Pedro 6.3
Minutes played: 16
Touches: 11
Passes: 9
Pass Accuracy: 100%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0

Arron says: N/A

After a hat-trick at the weekend, expectations were high for Pedro heading into this match, only for the Spaniard to start on the bench. He was just as quiet off it too, barely seeing enough action in his late cameo to warrant a full rating from me.

Sergi Roberto 6.5
Minutes played: 9
Touches: 18
Passes: 15
Pass Accuracy: 87%

Arron says: N/A

Sergi replaced Lionel Messi in the centre of the Barcelona attack, even if he had limited (no?) experience there before. I was impressed, but didn't see enough to warrant a full rating.

The Team 7.9
Passes: 799
Pass Accuracy: 93%
Shots/Shots on Target: 23/9
Tackles: 23
Aerial Battles Won: 55%
Fouls Won/Committed: 12/6

Arron says: 8.5

Real Sociedad were supposed to be tough, they were supposed to be a test; if they were, FC Barcelona passed with flying colours. Not quite an A+ performance, there were a few negatives (the goal) but it was almost all positive, particularly in the first-half. Neymar, Messi, Busquets; Sociedad couldn’t cope with Barcelona’s embarrassment of riches in attack; nor could they muster much of a response at the other end either. Eventually, a mistake helped them grab a consolation – leaving Barcelona with a little room for improvement against Almeria at the weekend.

Gerardo Martino 7.7

Arron says: 8.0

More rotation from Martino and another three points. It’s hard to argue with his methods at this point in time; Martino’s been pretty much perfect.

MOTM - Neymar 40%

Arron says: Neymar

With exactly two-fifths of the vote, Neymar claimed the Man of the Match award ahead of Lionel Messi (34%) and Sergio Busquets (12%).

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