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UEFA Champions League: FC Barcelona 1-0 Celtic FC: Player Ratings

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A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona's narrow 1-0 win over Celtic FC at Celtic Park on Tuesday evening

Richard Heathcote

Victor Valdés 8.0
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 31
Passes: 21
Pass Accuracy: 76%
Shots Faced: 2
Saves Made: 2

Bostjan says: 7.5

Valdes was able to record yet another clean sheet thanks to a two save effort. The first one came early when he closed the space very well on Samaras who from a tight angle could do little but shoot straight at the keeper. The second one, however, was pure reflexes as Valdes somehow managed to tip Forrest's powerful drive over the crossbar. But it didn't all go well for Victor who looked far from confident on high crosses and was lucky Mulgrew didn't beat him on a corner kick that the Barcelona goalkeeper misjudged and left the line for.

Dani Alves 6.4
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 101
Passes: 73
Pass Accuracy: 85%
Key Passes: 2
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/1
Tackles: 7
Interceptions: 1
Turnovers: 3
Fouls Won: 3

Bostjan says: 7.5

Alves put in a very solid performance not only being very involved on offense, but he was also defensively responsible. He made several plays when he tracked the opposing player from behind and dispossessed him. Alves led the team with seven tackles, and with a little bit of help by Bartra the two allowed very little chances for Celtic down Barcelona's right side. Dani also created a couple scoring chance for the Blaugrana with good (!) crosses, but his only shot of the day doesn't deserve to be called a shot. In my opinion this was Alves' most complete performance of the season.

Gerard Pique 5.9
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 79
Passes: 69
Pass Accuracy: 90%
Tackles: 0
Interceptions: 3
Clearances: 6
Aerial Duels Won: 2

Bostjan says: 6.5

Oh, Geri... It's really getting difficult to defend some of Pique's plays lately. He started strong, organizing the defense very well in the first half, but in the second he had a lot, and I mean a lot, of trouble with Samaras, who had Pique beat in terms of speed and strength. Also, the communication between him and Valdes has to improve because there was a play in the second half that nearly led to a good chance, because the two were looking at each other, waiting for the other to run after the ball and clear it.

Marc Bartra 7.9
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 66
Passes: 54
Pass Accuracy: 93%
Tackles: 6
Interceptions: 1
Clearances: 2
Aerial Duels Won: 3

Bostjan says: 8.0

For the second consecutive game the young defender impressed. He was only beat once, early in the game, when Samaras eluded him, but after that he was the hockey equivalent of a shutdown defender. If he continues to play like he has so far I wouldn't bet against him displacing Pique at some point. But we also have to keep in mind that the sample size for Bartra's performances is very small and the opponents haven't been very strong. However, against those opponents he did outplay Pique in just about every facet of the game, so let's wait and see how this goes.

Adriano Correia 7.1
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 98
Passes: 79
Pass Accuracy: 90%
Tackles: 0
Interceptions: 2
Key Passes: 1

Bostjan says: 7.0

The "other" Brazilian full-back had much more offensive responsibilities in this game than one would've expected. Adriano was often found right alongside Neymar in attack, looking to create a mismatch and create a scoring opportunity. Adriano actually had a good chance to score the opener himself, but his shot didn't trouble the in-form Forster. Defensively Adriano didn't help out much, maybe by design, but he did receive quite a bit of help from Pique.

Sergio Busquets 7.4
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 116
Passes: 110
Pass Accuracy: 94%
Tackles: 1
Interceptions: 2
Fouls Won: 4
Key Passes: 0

Sam says: 7.5

Busquets was essential in stopping any Celtic counter attacks and performed well, intercepting the ball twice meant Barcelona were rarely troubled especially in the opening stages. Helped by the team’s constant pressure, Busquets proved to be the team’s main ball winner and looked to restart attacks as quickly as possible. One negative aspect was his tendency to overreact some challenges, something Busquets seemed to have cut out of his game.

Xavi 6.4
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 133
Passes: 125
Pass Accuracy: 90%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Turnovers:1
Key Passes: 1
Fouls Won: 0

Sam says: 7.5

Xavi was needed by his Barcelona teammates in attacking a strong, organised Celtic defence and the veteran duly delivered. Although he did show some carelessness in some of his passes, one which led to a Celtic attack which required a good save from Victor Valdes. Aside from that, Xavi’s passing reached the high levels we’ve come to expect from him and the Barcelona number six also moved forward well. Unleashing a shot that looked goal bound had it not been blocked. A good result for Barça and a good night for Xavi.

Andrés Iniesta 7.4
Minutes played: 89
Touches: 135
Passes: 121
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Fouls Won: 1
Turnovers: 2
Key Passes: 2
Successful Dribbles: 2

Sam says: 7.5

Iniesta showed more attacking threat then he has done in other games this season, something that will please Barça fans. His quick feet coupled with his great control allowed him to work the ball in and around the penalty area. His highlight run being a quick dart on the left of the area that was unfortunately ignored by Neymar. Similar to his midfield partner, Iniesta’s passing was well above the average player’s. Over 120 passes with 92% accuracy makes for very enjoyable reading for Martino.

Pedro 5.3
Minutes played: 74
Touches: 63
Passes: 53
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Fouls Won: 0
Successful Dribbles: 1
Key Passes: 0
Turnovers: 2

Arron says: 6.0

Virtually anonymous for large spells of the game, I struggled to remember a single moment in which Pedro made a positive impact on the game. Sure, his passing was accurate but that's probably the highlight of his performance. Barcelona improved exponentially once Pedro was taken off the field.

Cesc Fabregas 7.6
Minutes played: 78
Touches: 75
Passes: 61
Pass Accuracy: 85%
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/1
Fouls Won: 0
Successful Dribbles: 3
Key Passes: 0
Turnovers: 4

Arron says: 7.5

Starting in place of Lionel Messi, Cesc Fàbregas shouldered most of the offensive responsibilities and delivered with a late headed goal to secure the three points. Alexis’ cross was excellent, but Cesc still had a lot to do – guiding the ball into the far corner of the net with a composed header. Other than that, this isn’t likely to go down as one of Fàbregas’ better performances, but it was at least one where he made the difference.

Neymar 7.8
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 90
Passes: 62
Pass Accuracy: 87%
Shots/Shots on Target: 5/2
Fouls Won: 4
Key Passes: 1
Successful Dribbles: 8
Turnovers: 5

Arron says: 8.5

Desperately unlucky not to finish the night with a goal (or two), Neymar once again impressed as arguably Barcelona’s best offensive performer. Whether the Brazilian will be able to maintain this kind of form (and general decisiveness) once Lionel Messi returns is a question I cannot wait to find the answer to; just imagine both Messi and Neymar firing on all cylinders for the Blaugrana? Of course, we have to mention the whole red card incident, but how can anyone complain with the end result when Scott Brown – regardless of how much contact was made – intended to kick Neymar in the back?

Alexis Sánchez 7.4
Minutes played: 16
Touches: 12
Passes: 7
Pass Accuracy: 86%
Key Passes: 2
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/1

Arron says: 8.0

Sánchez replaced Pedro on the right-hand side of the Barça attack with a little over 15 minutes left to play at Celtic Park and immediately made his mark on the game, providing the cross for Fàbregas’ game-winning header. Given how few minutes he was on the field, Sánchez was my choice for MoTM.

Cristian Tello 6.5
Minutes played: 12
Touches: 14
Passes: 11
Pass Accuracy: 91%

Arron says: N/A

Tello made a late cameo and didn't see enough of the ball to warrant a full rating.

Alex Song 5.6
Minutes played: 1
Touches: 3
Passes: 3
Pass Accuracy: 100%

Arron says: N/A

The same applies to Alex Song -- he didn't see enough minutes to warrant a full rating.

The Team 7.5
Passes: 884
Pass Accuracy: 90%
Shots/Shots on Target: 13/5
Tackles: 19
Aerial Battles Won: 43%
Fouls Won/Committed: 18/10

Arron says: 7.0

Another tough 90 minutes against a disciplined Celtic defense, but this time Barcelona emerged victorious and escaped Celtic Park with a clean sheet as well. The team's defending of set pieces remains a concern and could have cost them this game, but thankfully Mulgrew couldn't capitalise on his chance.

Gerardo Martino 7.4

Arron says: 8.0

I'm giving Martino an 8/10 simply for that substitution -- without Alexis Sanchez, we wouldn't have won this match.

MOTM - Neymar 37%

Arron says: Sánchez

With just over a third of the vote, Neymar secured the Man of the Match award ahead of Marc Bartra (28%) and Cesc Fabregas (13%).