clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UEFA Champions League: FC Barcelona 2-1 Manchester City: Player Rating

New, comments

A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona's UEFA Champions League win over Manchester City

Alex Livesey

Victor Valdes
8.4
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 35
Passes: 18
Pass Accuracy: 78%
Shots Faced: 4
Saves Made: 3

Bostjan says: 8.0

Victor had a good, solid game in goal for Barcelona. Going into the game I expected that Valdes will be one of the busiest players on the pitch, but that was not really the case. He made one good save in each half and finished with three saves over the 90 minute affair. Valdes' save on Edin Džeko's header in the 52nd minute was a thing of beauty and it prevented a nervous second half for Barcelona. Valdes was beaten once, by a Vincent Kompany tap-in, but he really had no chance of saving that goal.

Dani Alves
7.9
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 77
Passes: 55
Pass Accuracy: 85%
Key Passes: 1
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/1
Tackles: 1
Aerial Duels Won: 1
Clearances: 3
Fouls: 1
Fouls Won: 2

Bostjan says: 7.5

Like in Manchester, at the Etihad Stadium, Alves once again got on the scoreboard with a late goal, a powerful drive from the middle of the penalty area. Throughout the game Dani was a threat in attack as every change he got he went forward. That, however, had its drawbacks as on several occasions Alves struggled on defense, often drifting out of position. In the first half those situations weren't as noticeable as City played the struggling Sergio Aguero, but in the second, when City brought on Džeko, Alves' mistakes became clearer. It's great to see Dani chip in offensively, but it would be even better if he would find a way to contribute in both areas of the game.

Gerard Pique 7.4
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 63
Passes: 46
Pass Accuracy: 93%
Tackles: 4
Interceptions: 0
Clearances: 12
Aerial Duels Won: 2

Bostjan says: 8.0

Pique once again showed that against big teams, in big matches, he should be the go-to defender for Tata Martino. He led the team in both tackles (4) and clearances (12) and put in one of his best performances in recent weeks. Games like these really make me think that Pique struggles mightily with complacency against "smaller" teams and that could be the main reason for his problems on the pitch.

Javier Mascherano
7.5
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 50
Passes: 38
Pass Accuracy: 95%
Tackles: 3
Interceptions: 5
Clearances: 3
Aerial Duels Won: 1
Fouls: 1

Bostjan says: 8.0

In all honesty I barely noticed Javier on the pitch and in my opinion that was a good thing. He made the easy plays look easy and always seemed to be in the perfect position to make the necessary play. El Jefecito completely shut down Aguero in the first half, though it has to be said that Aguero was not fully fit. Mascherano also fared well against Džeko, despite the enormous height advantage the Bosnian holds over the Argentine.

Jordi Alba
8.3
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 81
Passes: 56
Pass Accuracy: 89%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 5
Clearances: 3
Aerial Duels Won: 1
Key passes: 0

Bostjan says: 8.5

Alba has been absent from Barcelona's starting line-up a lot lately, but boy did he make up for lost time. Jordi was a beast offensively and defensively, making plays all over the left side of the pitch. In attack he combined very well with Iniesta and he would've even picked up an assist on a Neymar goal, but the goal was incorrectly ruled out for offside. We've come to expect Alba to make impact in attack, but in this game he was also brilliant on defense, making numerous important plays that stopped opposing attacks.

Sergio Busquets
7.5
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 85
Passes: 71
Pass Accuracy: 94%
Tackles: 2
Clearances: 3
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Fouls Won: 2
Aerial Duels Won: 2
Turnovers: 0
Fouls: 0

Sam says: 7.5

With the physicality of Yaya Touré and Fernandinho, Busquets was going to have his work cut out. This is reflected in his stats as he made two tackles and two interceptions, helping to keep City’s midfield relatively quiet. Busi was also good at dropping back when needed to make sure the likes of Dzeko didn’t start bossing the Barça defence. Nothing too challenging for the pivote.

Xavi 7.6
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 106
Passes: 92
Pass Accuracy: 96%
Shots/Shots on Target: 5/2
Turnovers: 0
Key Passes: 2
Fouls Won: 1
Interceptions: 4

Sam says: 7.5

Xavi seemed to be all over the pitch during the game. Knocking the ball about in the centre of the field and popping up in front of Joe Hart’s goal. Surprisingly Xavi had the most shots of any player on the pitch, two more than Leo Messi, and it was his shot that was Barça’s first clear chance of the game. Xavi made a smart run which was found by Messi but his sliding shot was grasped by Hart. His passing as usual was top notch, just under 100 passes made with a 96% success rate.

Cesc Fabregas
7.4
Minutes played: 86
Touches: 85
Passes: 64
Pass Accuracy: 83%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/1
Fouls Won: 1
Tackles: 2
Turnovers: 0
Key Passes: 1
Successful Dribbles: 3

Sam says: 7.0

Cesc was quiet throughout the game but popped up when his team needed him. At 0-0, fans were beginning to become slightly anxious but when Fàbregas picked up the ball on the edge of the area, those fears were soon squashed. The Barça number four saw the run of of Messi and with a help of a deflection, picked him out for Barcelona’s first goal. Not one of Fàbregas’ best games but he performed his role well.

Neymar 6.9
Minutes played: 80
Touches: 62
Passes: 40
Pass Accuracy: 83%
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/2
Fouls Won: 5
Successful Dribbles: 2
Key Passes: 2
Turnovers: 4
Tackles: 1

Inder says: 7.0

Had a couple of chances on goal and did well to hit the target on both, which is an improvement from the last game. Was wrongly called offside on a move early in the game which really should have killed the tie (if the referee wasn't blind, the aggregate would probably have been 4-0 by this point). Did well to test Hart later in the game as well but one comes away with the feeling that, although Neymar has improved from the previous match, there is still some way to go. He lost possession too easily but overall we don't have to worry too much.

Lionel Messi
9.2
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 72
Passes: 38
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Shots/Shots on Target: 3/1
Fouls Won: 1
Successful Dribbles: 7
Key Passes: 5
Turnovers: 1

Inder says: 9.0

Unplayable. Lescott's reputation has surely taken a big hit after this game. Messi ran at both Lescott and Kompany and beat both consistently over the 90 minutes. It was a combination of awe inspiring runs, passes and, of course, a goal. The moment that defined the kind of day he was going to have was about 3 minutes into the match when Messi made a 40 yard run to regain possession from his friend Aguero. That was definitely the kind of performance that forced the rest of the team to up their game. That said, everyone should realize he is human and will not be able to have such a great game always.

Andres Iniesta
8.8
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 105
Passes: 81
Pass Accuracy: 95%
Shots/Shots on Target: 3/0
Fouls Won: 6
Key Passes: 2
Successful Dribbles: 4
Turnovers: 0

Inder says: 8.5

Assisted Dani Alves' goal in the final minutes of the match but that was nothing compared to his overall performance. Iniesta, despite just returning from a family tragedy, was determined to boss the game and executed perfectly. Sublime touches, incisive runs and passing. Andres Iniesta at his best can only be matched by one other player in the world.

Alexis Sanchez 6.4
Minutes played: 10
Touches: 8
Passes: 6
Pass Accuracy: 100%
Aerial Duels Won: 1
Tackles: 1

Bostjan says: N/A

The Chilean was brought onto the pitch with 10 minutes remaining, but that was not enough time to make an impact.

Sergi Roberto
6.2
Minutes played: 4
Touches: 9
Passes: 7
Pass Accuracy: 100%

Bostjan says: N/A

Sergi was subbed on even later in the game and it would be unfair to him to give him a full grade. Though he was one of the main contributors on City's goal as he played Kompany onside.

The Team 7.8
Passes: 647
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Shots/Shots on Target: 15/7
Tackles: 17
Aerial Battles Won: 44%
Fouls Won/Committed: 23/8

Bostjan says: 8.5

Everybody on the team knew what needed to be done in this game and everybody delivered a very good performance. Of course, you can still find areas of the game that can still improve, like finishing chances off and tightening up on defense, but winning not one, but two, games against City is nothing to sneeze at. Especially considering this is one of the worst stretches this team has gone through in recent years.

Gerardo Martino 8.4

Bostjan says: 8.0

The coach got his tactics once again right against Manchester City and as a result of the midfield superiority offered by having, well, all midfielders on the pitch, Barcelona controlled the game. The substitutions once again came a bit late, especially the first one, but in a game like this I can't blame Tata for sticking with the line-up that did the trick.

MOTM - Lionel Messi
59%

Bostjan says: Messi

This was one of the toughest decisions for MOTM in recent memory. Three players stood out for me: Messi, Iniesta and Alba, but in the end I sided with most of the community which also voted for Messi as the Man of the Match (59%). Iniesta finished with 23% of the votes while Alba rounded off the top three with 9%.