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La Liga: Granada CF 0-1 FC Barcelona: Player Ratings

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Victor Valdes 6.0
He managed to claim yet another clean sheet; it was not to his credit though because the Granada CF's offence failed to give him much if anything to deal with. He did step up when required and made a couple of interventions way off his line. His record will be the headline, not his display in this game.

Daniel Alves 5.0 Yellow
Another poor display by the Brazilian fullback. Almost everything he attempted seemed to fail: poor passes to a long list of bad crosses. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he got himself booked on the 39th minute for a challenge on Dani Benitez, a foul he could have avoided.

Javier Mascherano 6.0
Not his best game either, but was much better than most of the people he shared the pitch with. He always managed to interrupt Granada’s counter s, which were mostly one-man attacks. A few clean tackles here and there and his build up play from the back could only add to his performance. Best Barca defender in this match.

Maxwell 5.5
It was not a game to remember for Brazilians and Maxwell was no different. He lost the ball a couple of times and some of his errors should have cost his team. His ball distribution was not impressive either and he didn’t seem to add anything to the game when going forward.

Eric Abidal 6.0
Good performance by the Frenchman relative to what was going on around him. The number of high balls he won and interceptions he made at full speed were critical to keeping a clean sheet. He also showed the offensive part of his game by registering a shot on goal on the 28th minute.

Cesc Fabregas 5.0 Out on 71st min
The Ex-Arsenal skipper was invisible in this game by his standards. It’s sad that most Cules thought he was what Barca was missing in the last couple of games. His passes were off and all his shots on target were as if he was playing catch with Roberto. He was replaced by Iniesta on the 71st minute and I don’t think he was missed for the remainder of the game.

Xavi Hernandez 7.0 Out_83rd min MOTM
He was easily the best man on the pitch and he probably didn’t need the goal to win that title. He had a thunderous strike on target saved by Roberto before his top corner free kick on the 33rd minute proved to be the match winner. Although his other shot on the 78th minute was off-target, he was at least doing what most of his attackers were failing to do. He gets all this praise before mentioning his incisive passing and superb ball conservation and distribution.

Sergio Busquets 6.5 Yellow
The Spanish defensive midfielder had a good game. His ball circulation was on par and his decision making was nothing short of brilliant. Instead of ending the game on a high, he did spoil it by earning a yellow card on the hour mark. Simply put, Sergio was better than most of his teammates who were mostly bellow par.

Pedro 6.0 Out_ 54th min
This winger has been playing badly in recent games and this one was no different. He welcomed himself into the game with a foul and passed the ball to nobody a couple of times. He either hasn’t re-discovered his shooting boots or he’s trying to shoot with his eyes closed because he never even came close to troubling Roberto with his efforts. While a thought was floating around that more minutes might help his game, he got injured on the 54th and was replaced by David Villa.

Isaac Cuenca 6.5 Yellow
The Barca B attacker is continuing to reward Pep’s confidence with his fantastic performance. He out-performed his mentors in attack and might see more game time in future with this kind of performance. He introduced himself into the game with a wonderful cross into the box just to be disappointed by the absence of a finisher. His passing was not overly ambitious; he kept the ball very well he was at the end of the team’s decent attacks. All his missed shots were very close and he managed to force a brilliant save from Roberto (70th min). He ended the game with a booking and I can’t help but feel the Ref was a little harsh.

Lionel Messi 5.5
A very poor game by the Argentine international. Nothing seemed to work on his part. His first attempt in an attack was offside and the balls that he lost were just too much for a 90 minute match. Once he made a superb long dribble just to pass the ball to nobody. His attempts on target were poor as well and his chip that was cleared off the line would have been a goal should he have tried shooting with more desire to score. He did win the free kick that won the match, that should be a plus right?

David Villa 5.0 On_54th min
He had a poor game and coming on as a substitute is no excuse. Top strikers of his caliber score hat tricks with the minutes he got and just to refresh his mind, Edin Dzeko recently got himself a brace in the Manchester derby after coming on on the 70th minute. It should be no surprise that he earned an offside but on top of that, Villa lost the ball and had shots off target countless times. He should improve if his team is to escape their current struggle of form.

Andres Iniesta 5.0 On_71st min
He came in late for Cesc Fabregas and was fairly invisible for the remainder of the game. He didn’t see too much of the ball and should probably have started the game to continue the mission he was on in the past two games.

Seydou Keita 4.5 On_83rd min
He didn’t really have much to offer to the game considering he had only 7 minutes to play.

Team Rating = 5.5

Well the team was very poor overall. It’s not fair at all to ask how the game could have ended if that free kick never went in but it sure could have been much worse. You just don’t have 72% ball position and not pose a threat to the opposition goal at all. If this current lack of form continues, the team we’ll be hurting its chances of a fourth consecutive league title. One can argue differently though and say that for them to struggle like this and still get a result won’t hurt them, but we all need to wait until the end of the season to see how it ends.

Granada CF’s Worthy mentions

Roberto 6.5
Good goal keeping from the Granada man even though he had to deal with a few shots on target. He couldn’t do anything about Xavi’s free kick though.

Allan Nyom 6.0 Yellow
Apart from earning himself a yellow card on the 86th; he was solid at the back and helped frustrate the Barcelona superstars.

Fran Rico 5.5 Yellow Out_79th min
Earned a yellow on the 35th min and was substituted on the 79th. His performance was fairy decent in midfield considering that his team saw less of the ball.

Dani Benitez 5.0 2x Yellow|Red
The midfielder received a caution on the 62nd minute but it was his 2nd booking for kicking the ball after play was stopped that would prove costly for his team.

Uche 5.5 Yellow Out_62nd min
The striker had little striking to do in the game. He was the first to be booked (2nd min) and was substituted on the 62 minute possibly to save him from a possible 2nd booking.

Jaime Romero 4.5 2x Yellow|Red
Romero received his first booking in the game on the 35th minute and would go on to collect his 2nd booking for kicking Maxwell in the face to be given his matching orders on the 54th minute.

The Rest = 5.5 (average)
The team did well defensively against a below par Barcelona and they could easily have emulated Sevilla if it weren’t for that free kick from Xavi.

Match = 6.0
Barcelona having 75% ball possession and not threatening the goal means we have the opponent having about two attacks per half and the result is… A BORING GAME.

Please post all your views and objections in the comments section. See you in the next fixture.

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