clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UEFA Champions League: FC Barcelona 4-0 AFC Ajax: Player Ratings

A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona's 4-0 UEFA Champions League win over AFC Ajax at the Camp Nou

David Ramos

Victor Valdés 9.0
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 37
Passes: 21
Pass Accuracy: 71%
Shots Faced: 7
Saves Made: 7

Bostjan says: 9.5

Valdes had an excellent game in net for FC Barcelona against Ajax. He didn't have to make his first save until after the half hour mark, but he didn't appear "rusty" at all because of the lack of involvement. If anything it was a sign that Valdes was going to have a good game – and he didn't disappoint. He ended the game with seven stops including an excellent save to stop Kolbeinn Sigthorsson's penalty late in the game to preserve the clean sheet. The only mark against Victor's game was his long passing which was off the mark.

Dani Alves 7.1
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 90
Passes: 66
Pass Accuracy: 83%
Key Passes: 1
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Tackles: 3
Interceptions: 2
Turnovers: 3
Fouls Won: 0

Bostjan says: 7.0

Dani had a quiet game both on offense and defense, and he didn't do much to impress. His passing was well below Barça's average for the day which was largely due to the fact that none of his crosses found a Barcelona player. Defensively he was often caught out of position because of his very attacking orders. His only two defensive plays in Barça's own third came just minutes before the final whistle when the Catalan's basically stopped going forward.

Gerard Pique 7.5
Minutes played: 80
Touches: 80
Passes: 74
Pass Accuracy: 96%
Tackles: 0
Interceptions: 1
Clearances: 2
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/1
Aerial Duels Won: 2

Bostjan says: 7.5

Pique had a solid game defensively which he capped off with his first goal of the season when he connected with Neymar's cross midway through the second half. His passing was excellent throughout with his only three incompletions coming deep in Ajax's territory. Defensively there is still room for improvement in Pique's game as he was again poorly position on a few occasions. A disturbing fact from this game is that Pique didn't make a single tackle before he was eventually substituted off in the 80th minute.

Javier Mascherano 6.8
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 91
Passes: 81
Pass Accuracy: 89%
Tackles: 6
Interceptions: 2
Clearances: 0
Aerial Duels Won: 1

Bostjan says: 7.0

As has been the norm in just about every game this season Mascherano once again led the team in tackles and accurate long passes. Because of Adriano's positioning in this game the Argentine didn't need to make a lot of plays on the left side, however, he made several plays covering for Alves on the right. But it wasn't all rosy for El Jefecito as he attempted a clumsy tackle that resulted in a penalty for the visitors.

Adriano 6.8
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 88
Passes: 68
Pass Accuracy: 93%
Tackles: 5
Interceptions: 1

Bostjan says: 7.0

Contrary to most games in which Adriano appeared he wasn't very involved in the attack. He was moved up just enough to provide a passing option for Neymar and Iniesta. Defensively he was good, but not without mistakes. One instance comes to mind when he completely lost his marker that would've resulted in a goal had Valdes not made the save. With Jordi Alba out for the next handful of games the best news for Adriano must be that he was able to finish another game without any discomfort.

Sergio Busquets 7.6
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 72
Passes: 66
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 4
Fouls Won: 2
Key Passes: 1

Sam says: 8.0

A good night for the defensive midfielder. A total of 66 passes with a 92% pass success rate including one key pass means Busquets’ passing stats look familiar to anyone who regularly observes the pivote of Barça. Busquets performed well transferring the ball quickly from defence to attack and this can be highlighted by his role in Messi’s second goal. A quick counterattack that lead to the Argentine’s second goal. Overall a night Busquets can be happy with.

Cesc Fàbregas 7.0
Minutes played: 71
Touches: 60
Passes: 58
Pass Accuracy: 86%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Key Passes: 0
Fouls Won: 1

Sam says: 7.5

If you compare this game to his others during this season, Fàbregas had a relatively quiet night. Sitting deeper then Iniesta meant he played a move conservative, Xavi like role and was therefore not directly involved in many chances. Producing no key passes and having only one shot which went wide. This would be a solid performance for any player but considering Fàbregas’ other matches, the ex-Arsenal man may feel a little disappointed he couldn’t have been more of an attacking threat.

Andrés Iniesta 7.4
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 70
Passes: 59
Pass Accuracy: 86%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Fouls Won: 2
Turnovers: 0
Key Passes: 4
Successful Dribbles: 3

Sam says: 8.5

Iniesta looked lively in the opening stage of the game, linking well with Neymar on the left side of the field. Iniesta’s highlight of the game came during these stages when his clever movement in the box dragged a defender away to give Neymar room to get his shot away. The Barcelona number eight has come under fire recently for his performances but Iniesta showed examples of his brilliance and went a long way in silencing some of those critics.

Alexis Sánchez 6.9
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 33
Passes: 24
Pass Accuracy: 79%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Fouls Won: 2
Successful Dribbles: 0
Key Passes: 1
Turnovers: 3

Inder says: 7.0

Well, although it seems like it'll always be either Messi OR Alexis who scores and not both of them (like large parts of last season), that would be an overreaction on the Chilean's game. There are some aspects of his game we just have to accept, Alexis is not the greatest finisher in the game. He can and has improved this season, but he will, unfortunately, always be compared to Messi.

That said, he cut a frustrated figure against Ajax and missed a clear cut chance that was laid on a plate for him by Iniesta. Considering, his form has been great so far, I would be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and let's hope he doesn't go back to old ways. He remains a hard working player with pace and intelligent movement, which also helps us switch things up a bit tactically by playing him centrally (to pull defenders) while having two world class dribblers like Neymar and Messi as inverted wingers.

Lionel Messi 9.3
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 64
Passes: 46
Pass Accuracy: 83%
Shots/Shots on Target: 6/4
Fouls Won: 2
Successful Dribbles: 2
Key Passes: 0
Turnovers: 2

Inder says: 9.0

People were looking for an adjective to really explain the Greatest player of all time? How about "Inmessionante"?

It is an adjective which is explained in the Spanish dictionary with two points:

1. Perfect way to play football, an unlimited capacity for self improvement.
2. Describes the best player of all time.

Leo Messi can't stop breaking records. First he gets an adjective named after him. Then he scores his 4th hat-trick in the CL (First person ever btw). Finally, a reminder to all Ronaldo fanboys: "Don't teach Papa how to....."

The freekick, I honestly did not see it coming. It was sheer genius, a little curl and a whole lot of power. Just perfect. And as usual, Messi went on to dominate the match while not being at his most dangerous. In fact, it seemed rather, effortless. One would have to look closer into his game to see the genius behind it, the intelligent switching of position from centre to wing to test different defenders. The stepping deep into midfield to create space even if he didn’t receive the ball. The man never ceases to amaze me.

Neymar 8.5
Minutes played: 72
Touches: 57
Passes: 34
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Shots/Shots on Target: 5/2
Fouls Won: 1
Key Passes: 4
Successful Dribbles: 2
Turnovers: 4

Inder says: 8.0

The Brazilian was once again a threat down the left flank. He kept Ajax' backline guessing for the entire time he was on the pitch which is wonderful to watch. Another game, another assist and it's almost like Neymar has been instructed to show us one of his tricks in each game. This time, it was his ability to cross. I remember thinking about the perks of having a player who can really cross, and Neymar has given Cules another reason to be happy about the 50 million spent on the 21 yr old. The ball landed perfectly on Gerard Pique's head, who made no mistake and scored Barca's 3rd.

His decision making has to be the next on his checklist in my opinion. It's imperative that Neymar scores goals a little more freely, so as to reduce pressure on the lad. Most fans wouldn't care if it was a tap in or not. The reason being: 1) It would be great if our opponents realise the 2nd goal scoring threat besides Messi (we see it, but we need to make sure our rivals see it as well). 2) To make sure Neymar realises that although he should NOT be under pressure, he still does have the responsibility of reducing Messi's (and the team's) burden.

That said, he has been brilliant so far and an interesting chemistry is building up with Messi. The Argentine is a player who switches ON and OFF during matches. It isn't that Leo doesn't pay attention but rather he has his rest periods. Messi is all about timing and bursts of acceleration while Neymar has, over the last 2 or 3 games, been a constant threat on the ball, sort of ensuring that Barca don't go into a trance like state of passing (like we did last year). Let's hope the kid can keep it up.

Xavi 7.5
Minutes played: 19
Touches: 34
Passes: 31
Pass Accuracy: 94%
Key Passes: 2

Arron says: 8.0

Xavi didn't see a lot of game-time (which is a plus in itself), but still performed exceptionally well with the few minutes he did get, laying on Messi's third goal of the evening.

Pedro 6.8
Minutes played: 18
Touches: 12
Passes: 7
Pass Accuracy: 57%

Arron says: 6.0

Pedro came on relatively late and saw very little of the ball -- hardly enough to warrant a decent rating.

Marc Bartra 6.4
Minutes played: 10
Touches: 15
Passes: 12
Pass Accuracy: 92%

Arron says: N/A

Wait, what? Marc...Bartra? Who's this guy? We have other defenders? All joking aside, it was great to see Bartra back on the field, even if it was only for a late cameo.

The Team 7.9
Passes: 664
Pass Accuracy: 88%
Shots/Shots on Target: 16/7
Tackles: 23
Aerial Battles Won: 41%
Fouls Won/Committed: 11/14

Arron says: 8.0

After starting their La Liga campaign with a heavy 7-0 win over Levante, Barcelona felt the need to kick their UEFA Champions League season in style as well, smashing four goals past Eredivisie three-peaters AFC Ajax -- without a reply. The defense wasn't great, but held reasonably firm and the attack wasn't great either -- Messi aside, it was wasteful. However, who can argue with the final result? A comfortable win and an encouraging performance

Gerardo Martino 7.8

Arron says: 8.0

Resting Xavi? Perfect. Starting "Nemesis"? Beautiful. Giving Bartra some game-time? Oh boy, Martino really thought of it all yesterday. A thoroughly "crowd-pleasing" night for the Argentine -- more of the same please.

MOTM - Messi 72%

Arron says: Valdes

With yet another hat-trick, Messi cruised to another Man of the Match award, easily beating off competition from my personal choice, Victor Valdes.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Barca Blaugranes Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Barca news from Barca Blaugranes