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La Liga: FC Barcelona 5-1 RCD Espanyol: Player Ratings

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A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona's high-scoring La Liga victory over city rivals, Espanyol.

Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Claudio Bravo
7.5
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 28
Passes: 17
Pass Accuracy: 94%
Shots Faced: 2
Saves Made: 1
Tackles: 1

Bostjan says: 7.5

After an excellent game against Valencia, Bravo was again unable to keep a clean sheet. However, the goal he allowed was hardly his fault, as he could do little on the shot that beat him after the defense in front of him hung him out to dry. Otherwise he had a very strong game, making a couple good plays, including an important sliding clearance in the first half to prevent Espanyol from going up 2-0.

Dani Alves
6.4
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 67
Passes: 56
Pass Accuracy: 88%
Key Passes: 0
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Tackles: 3
Turnovers: 0
Clearances: 1
Fouls: 1
Interceptions: 0

Bostjan says: 6.0

Another below-par performance in a string of below-par performances for the Brazilian. His offensive movement lacked purpose, as he often seemed content to pass the ball back instead of trying to win some space. Also, he lost possession too many times in the attacking third, stopping a couple of Barcelona’s promising attacks. Defensively he made a couple of good plays, but his play left plenty to be desired, but it was an improvement over his last game.

Gerard Pique
7.3
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 88
Passes: 77
Pass Accuracy: 95%
Tackles: 3
Interceptions: 3
Clearances: 2
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/2

Bostjan says: 6.5

I know he scored a goal, a beautiful header off a Rakitić corner kick, but I’m really disappointed in Pique as he made two terrible defensive plays that nearly cost Barcelona the game. Sure, Busquets will get most of the blame for Espanyol’s only goal, but players playing at the Infantil level would’ve done a better job at defending than Pique did. You simply cannot give a striker of Sergio Garcia’s level ten feet of space when he’s cutting to the middle. Pique made another nearly catastrophic positional play later in the half, but the visitors were unable to double their lead. He might scored a goal, but that doesn't wipe out his mistakes.

Javier Mascherano
7.1
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 95
Passes: 79
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Tackles: 5
Interceptions: 5
Clearances: 1
Aerial Duels Won: 0
Fouls: 1

Bostjan says: 7.5

It’s hard to imagine a competent Barcelona center-back duo these days without Mascherano because El Jefecito is playing like El Jefe right now. He was positionally excellent and barely put a foot wrong throughout the game. And the calmness he continually showed on the ball can probably only be rivaled by Xavi. At this point Barcelona is a not even remotely as good a team when Mascherano is not on the pitch compared to when he’s on, regardless of which position he plays.

Jordi Alba
7.5
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 116
Passes: 99
Pass Accuracy: 94%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/1
Tackles: 1
Interceptions: 1
Clearances: 5
Fouls: 1
Key passes: 1

Bostjan says: 7.5

As has been the norm this season Alba was again the better of the two full-backs on the pitch, and it wasn’t even close. Constantly he was trying to provide width in attack, often making darting runs down the left wing, but his final pass was lacking. Though he made up for that in the 77th minute when his utterly brilliant diagonal pass from the back-line perfectly found a wide open Pedro who went on to score the fourth of the game. He wasn’t very involved on the defensive side of the game, but because Espanyol rarely attacked down his side he didn’t really need to be.

Sergio Busquets
6.1
Minutes played: 82
Touches: 105
Passes: 92
Pass Accuracy: 88%
Tackles: 7
Interceptions: 1
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Clearances: 1
Aerial Duels Won: 1
Turnovers: 2
Key passes: 1

Sam says: 6.5

Not an overly impressive game from Sergio, with it being his error that led to Espanyol’s goal. Faced with a simple pass, Busquets hesitated and Espanyol pounced before Garcia finished past Bravo. He slowly regained his composure in the game, making seven tackles and one interception but it wasn’t one of Busquets’ finer games in the Barça shirt.

Ivan Rakitić
7.3
Minutes played: 64
Touches: 93
Passes: 82
Pass Accuracy: 96%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Turnovers: 1
Key Passes: 2
Interceptions: 3
Tackles: 1

Sam says: 7.5

A sold hour long performance from Rakitić in the centre of midfield. He even managed to grab himself an assist with an out-swinging corner that met the head of Gerard Piqué. His passing was also top notch, making 82 passes with a success rate of 96%. He was then substituted on the 64th minute, suggesting a starting spot against PSG is likely.

Xavi
7.3
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 139
Passes: 131
Pass Accuracy: 95%
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/0
Fouls Won: 0
Tackles: 0
Turnovers: 3
Key Passes: 3
Successful Dribbles: 0

Sam says: 7.0

Like the team itself, Xavi grew into the game and got better as time went on. His passes helped to maintain control in midfield and it was his pass that set-up Messi for Barcelona’s equaliser. He often made a burst into the box but he didn’t have his shooting boots on as all three of his shots went wide but overall it was a good performance that proves why he deserves a place in the first team.

Luis Suarez
6.9
Minutes played: 69
Touches: 33
Passes: 25
Pass Accuracy: 72%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Turnovers: 5
Successful Dribbles: 1
Key Passes: 1
Fouls Won: 1
Fouls: 1

Ahmed says: 7.0

Started poorly with too many poor touches or wrong decisions made. Suarez hit a shot narrowly wide late in the first-half. He was pretty anonymous for most of the first-half.  A brilliant assist for the all-important second goal with a pass to Messi. He was wrongly ruled to have been offside when through on goal. Suarez was replaced by Pedro on the 70th minute

Lionel Messi
9.7
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 109
Passes: 86
Pass Accuracy: 88%
Shots/Shots on Target: 6/3
Fouls Won: 4
Successful Dribbles: 4
Key Passes: 1
Turnovers: 3
Tackles: 2

Ahmed says: 10.0

Yet another outstanding performance from the extraterrestrial. Messi was a constant danger with his pin-point passes and otherworldly dribbles. He hit the bar with a free-kick (that he won) which really deserved a goal. It was his lovely cross from which Alba really should have done better. He completely changed the game with his superb goal (legend says the ball is still spinning) just when a rigid Espanyol side thought they would get to half-time with a lead. The second goal was something else. A nutmeg on a defender and a quick-fire shot before Kiko Casilla could even begin to dive. It was then a one-two with Pedro to complete his hat-trick. Phenomenal.

Neymar
8.0
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 86
Passes: 68
Pass Accuracy: 81%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Tackles: 1
Key Passes: 0
Successful Dribbles: 6
Turnovers: 3

Ahmed says: 7.50

Some lovely driving runs throughout and one of Barcelona’s best performers in the first-half. He is an incredible talent and always wants the ball. Neymar was only sporadically involved in the second-half. Even then, he should have had a penalty or a free-kick when tripped over while in full flight in the second half. He also started the move on the left-flank for the all-important second goal with a quick pass to Suarez. So no goals nor assists, but some great build-up play and passes which others failed to take full advantage of.

Andres Iniesta
7.4
Minutes played: 26
Touches: 52
Passes: 45
Pass Accuracy: 93%
Tackles: 1
Key Passes: 1

Arron says: 7.5

Probably giving away his plan for midweek, Luis Enrique left Andrés Iniesta on the bench against Espanyol, opting to bring the Spaniard on with roughly half-an-hour left to play at the Camp Nou. In his time on the field, Barça extended their lead from two to four goals, all without Iniesta ever really breaking a sweat. Still, any game-time is better than none as Iniesta works his way back to full match sharpness.

Pedro
8.1
Minutes played: 21
Touches: 18
Passes: 17
Pass Accuracy: 94%
Key Passes: 1

Arron says: 8.5

Very impressive, and exactly what we have been waiting for from the Spanish international. Buoyed by his goal in midweek against SD Huesca, Pedro looked sharp from his introduction on Sunday ,wasting little time before he got himself on the scoresheet with a composed finish before he added a superb assist for Messi’s hat-trick. Perhaps a little premature, but watch out Luis Suarez?

Jeremy Mathieu
6.7
Minutes played: 8
Touches: 8
Passes: 7
Pass Accuracy: 86%
Aerial Duels Won: 1

Arron says: N/A

The Frenchman replaced Sergio Busquets without an awful lot of time left on the clock, and as suchit’d be unfair to subject him to a full rating.

The Team 8.0
Passes: 908
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Shots/Shots on Target: 15/7
Tackles: 25
Aerial Battles Won: 50%
Fouls Won/Committed: 11/6

Arron says: 7.5

Let’s clarify something here – the first-half was a disappointing 5/10, while the second was a bonafide 10/10, hence the final mark of 7.5. Let’s leave the negatives at the door and focus on the positives though; the second-half performance was irresistible and saw the Blaugrana firing on all cylinders against a difficult opponent. If we could see that with a little more regularity, then maybe we have a shot at success this season after all.

Luis Enrique
7.2

Arron says: 7.5

Similar to the team, I’m not sure how heavily I should let the first-half, or indeed the second influence my ratings. In the first, the players looked like they were out of ideas and I could pinpoint some of those issues to Lucho’s tactics and Lucho’s selection. However, to give him his dues, it was also clear that Enrique’s team-talk and/or subsequent adjustments made a massive difference.

MOTM - Lionel Messi
92%

Bostjan says: Messi

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