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La Liga: Villarreal CF 2-3 FC Barcelona: Player Ratings

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A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona's bizarre La Liga win over Villarreal

David Ramos

Jose Manuel Pinto
5.2
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 16
Passes: 7
Pass Accuracy: 100%
Shots Faced: 3
Saves Made: 1

Bostjan says: 6.5

The seventh consecutive game in which Pinto wasn't able to keep a clean sheet, though unlike in (too) many games in recent weeks it didn't cost Barcelona any points. Can't really fault the 38-year old shot stopper for any of the goals allowed, but it would be nice if the team could end the season on a high note defensively with a couple zeros on the board. Pinto did have a solid day commanding the area which was a refreshing thing to see considering his problems in that department.

Dani Alves
6.7
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 146
Passes: 102
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Key Passes: 4
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/0
Tackles: 1
Aerial Duels Won: 0
Clearances: 0
Fouls Won: 2
Interceptions: 2

Bostjan says: 7.0

This might go down as one of Alves' most important games in his footballing career, though it probably won't be remembered for his play on the pitch even though two if his crosses did end up in the back of the net thanks to some poor defending by Villarreal's center-backs. Other than that the Brazilian was very wasteful with his crosses, which has become a disturbing trend. What Alves' performance will be remembered for is the banana eating gesture that started an anti-racism campaign and could force the league's hand in taking a stronger stand in the war on racism.

Marc Bartra
7.3
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 60
Passes: 43
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Tackles: 7
Interceptions: 3
Clearances: 1
Aerial Duels Won: 1

Bostjan says: 7.5

The young Barça center-back once again put in a very solid defensive performance, making several impressive plays, leading the team in tackles and interceptions. Bartra's most important play in the game came late in the first half when he was able to clear the ball off the line to keep the game scoreless, though that changed about a minute later. Bartra also spent some time in the attacking third making a couple impressive runs that caused danger, but ultimately led to no goals.

Javier Mascherano
6.7
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 64
Passes: 56
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Tackles: 3
Interceptions: 3
Clearances: 1
Aerial Duels Won: 0
Fouls: 2

Bostjan says: 7.0

Mascherano had in my opinion a very up and down game. He was caught out of position on quite a few occasions, something we aren't used to seeing from him, but on the other hand he made several picture perfect sliding tackles that atoned for his poor positioning. Mascherano's long passing was once again outstanding, he completed 16 out of 19 long attempts, which allowed Barcelona to move the ball quickly from their half into their attacking third.

Adriano Correia
6.0
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 104
Passes: 78
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 3
Clearances: 1
Fouls: 0
Key passes: 0

Bostjan says: 6.0

I barely even noticed Adriano was even on the pitch. He made a few solid yet unspectacular plays on defense, but he was virtually a non-factor in attack where none of his crosses found the intended recipient and he made no key plays. Adriano wasn't making the runs up the left flank that we've become used to earlier in the season which was disappointing to see and it forced Barcelona to focus their play on the right side of the pitch.

Sergio Busquets
7.2
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 94
Passes: 82
Pass Accuracy: 98%
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 3
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Fouls: 1
Aerial Duels Won: 3
Turnovers: 2
Key passes: 1

Sam says: 7.0

Busquets' highlight of the game was a beautifully weighted chip ball that led to Barcelona’s winner. The pivote spotted the run of his midfield partner, Cesc Fàbregas and dinked the ball perfectly into his path. Busquets’ passing was brilliant all night as he achieved a 97% success rate. But the La Masia graduate was at fault for Villarreal’s second. He failed to watch the run of Manu Trigueros and the Spaniard was left with a free header that flew past Pinto. Despite this error, and almost giving away a penalty, it was a good game for Busi.

Andres Iniesta
7.0
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 108
Passes: 88
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/0
Turnovers: 4
Key Passes: 2
Successful Dribbles: 4
Interceptions: 1

Sam says: 7.5

It was a similar story of recent weeks as Iniesta was one of few players who showed an urgency an eagerness to get back into the game after going 2-0 down. He was perhaps Barcelona’s most consistent performer of the night as he popped up all around the area, looking to get a shot off or for a precision pass. This attitude helped Barcelona to create pressure on Villarreal which led to them getting back into the game.

Xavi
6.1
Minutes played: 62
Touches: 63
Passes: 58
Pass Accuracy: 88%
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/1
Fouls Won: 0
Tackles: 0
Turnovers: 0
Key Passes: 0
Fouls: 0

Sam says: 6.5

I thought Xavi started the game very brightly. Pushing forward and becoming a central part of Barça’s attack alongside Iniesta and Messi. He also seemed to link well with Dani Alves on the right wing as Barça looked to play their way into Villarreal’s box. But after Villarreal got their second, he shrunk back a bit and Martino elected to bring on a more direct player in Cesc Fàbregas. One negative of Xavi’s game was his pass success rate was much lower then usual at 88%.

Alexis Sanchez
5.8
Minutes played: 62
Touches: 36
Passes: 21
Pass Accuracy: 71%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Turnovers: 4
Successful Dribbles: 2
Key Passes: 0
Tackles: 0
Fouls: 1

Inder says: 7.0

Some good twists and turns with the ball. Alexis is beginning to beat his player more consistently. His passing was a little off but the direct runs with pace into the opponent's box were great. Took a two footed challenge from Asenjo (and a kick after) and somehow the referee saw fit to give Alexis a yellow card. His second half was quiet compared to the first.

Lionel Messi
7.2
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 86
Passes: 57
Pass Accuracy: 89%
Shots/Shots on Target: 7/6
Fouls Won: 5
Successful Dribbles: 5
Key Passes: 5
Turnovers: 7

Inder says: 9.0

Passing was accurate. Numerous dribbles. Winning goal and still people complain. Unbelievable! The coach who taught Pique, Cesc and Messi the tricks of their trade as young kids passed away recently and it definitely seemed like Messi was looking to make a statement. Scored the winner after Cesc headed the ball into his path (from a superb chipped pass from Busquets).

Pedro 5.9
Minutes played: 89
Touches: 70
Passes: 50
Pass Accuracy: 84%
Shots/Shots on Target: 3/0
Fouls Won: 1
Key Passes: 2
Successful Dribbles: 1
Turnovers: 4

Inder says: 7.0

Didn't have the best of games as he wasn't very effective in attack. However, Barca's first goal can partially be attributed to Pedro's superb first touch which released Alves in the box with some space. Besides that, there was a lot of running but not much to show for it. Considering the circumstances under which this game was played, it's hard to really blame Pedro.

Cesc Fabregas
7.0
Minutes played: 28
Touches: 42
Passes: 30
Pass Accuracy: 93%
Shots/Shots on Target: 3/0
Key Passes: 1

Arron says: 8.0

I can only imagine how difficult this night must have been for Cesc Fàbregas. The loss of former Barcelona head coach Tito Vilanova has affected us all, but for Cesc, Tito was more than a manager. He was also the coach of the youth team during Fàbregas’ time at La Masia, and he must have been anxious to enter the field to spur the Blaugrana onto victory. For Tito. And while he only got half-an-hour, Fàbregas managed to do just that, providing the all-important assist for Lionel Messi’s winner.

Cristian Tello
5.4
Minutes played: 28
Touches: 26
Passes: 17
Pass Accuracy: 65%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Tackles: 1

Arron says: 7.5

Tello entered the field at the same time as Fàbregas, and while he wouldn’t make such a noticeable impact on proceedings, I was impressed with his display. Alexis Sánchez is a great player, but part of me just felt a little more confident with Tello in attack – which is odd given the relative lack of game time afforded to the Catalan winger. Hopefully Neymar’s injury will allow Tello a chance to press on and shine in the closing stages of this season.

Sergi Roberto
5.3
Minutes played: 1
Touches: 3
Passes: 3
Pass Accuracy: 100%

Arron says: N/A

With the turnaround complete, Martino utilised his final change as a tool to waste time, closing out valuable seconds by bringing Sergi Roberto onto the field.

The Team 6.9
Passes: 631
Pass Accuracy: 90%
Shots/Shots on Target: 20/7
Tackles: 20
Aerial Battles Won: 67%
Fouls Won/Committed: 6/11

Arron says: 10.0
Who cares that we fell two goals behind? Who cares that the side lacked intensity? I don’t know about you, but I was struggling to concentrate on the match, especially after such an emotional moment prior to kick-off. And I wasn’t playing. And I wasn’t anywhere near as close to Tito Vilanova as our players were. To even step out at El Madrigal must have taken a monumental effort and tow in the match? Well, that’s just special.
Gerardo Martino 5.8

Arron says: 8.0

His changes helped turn the game, and really, there wasn’t anything wrong with his initial selection, even if Barça fell two goals behind.

MOTM - Lionel Messi
44%

Bostjan says: Messi

There were quite a few players that put in very good performances in what was a very emotional and difficult game, including Alves, Bartra and Iniesta, but I will give my vote to Messi on the account of scoring the game winning goal so that the team was able to dedicate with win to Tito Vilanova.