clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

La Liga: Villarreal CF 0-1 FC Barcelona: Player Ratings

New, comments

A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona's hard-fought La Liga victory over Villarreal

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso

Claudio Bravo
6.4
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 23
Passes: 15
Pass Accuracy: 53%
Shots Faced: 0
Saves Made: 0

Bostjan says: 7.0

180 minutes of football played while in goal for FC Barcelona and Bravo still hasn’t made a single save. That sentence by itself doesn’t tell the whole story though as Bravo also managed to keep his net unscathed in both games. But unlike in the game against Elche, this time Bravo had a lot of luck on his side, twice being bailed out by the post. He had to collect a couple of balls sent into the box, but that was about all the Chilean had to in this game.

Dani Alves
6.1
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 146
Passes: 74
Pass Accuracy: 88%
Key Passes: 4
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Tackles: 2
Aerial Duels Won: 0
Clearances: 0
Fouls: 2
Interceptions: 2

Bostjan says: 7.5

Again playing very high up the pitch, often looking like a right winger, Alves was constantly available for a pass and was one of the most active players on the pitch, accruing 146 touches, 25 more than the next players, Alba. His short passing was excellent throughout the game, he could’ve easily finished the game with a couple assists had his teammates finished what he created. His crossing, though, remains a mess, as only four of eighteen found the target. Defensively Alves still leaves much to be desired, but with Rakitic covering the space behind him, that might be design.

Jeremy Mathieu
6.5
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 58
Passes: 44
Pass Accuracy: 80%
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 1
Clearances: 4
Aerial Duels Won: 3

Bostjan says: 6.5

After largely impressing in his Barcelona debut, Mathieu had an up and down game against Villarreal. The Frenchman was very active in the Barcelona third and was very effective when he had to display his speed and tackling abilities. But when he was asked to clear the ball from danger from inside the penalty box he failed miserably on a couple occasions in the second half, both times nearly costing Barcelona a goal. In the first half Mathieu was bailed out by the post when his deflection on a Villarreal cross very nearly beat his own goalkeeper.

Gerard Pique
7.0
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 71
Passes: 63
Pass Accuracy: 95%
Tackles: 1
Interceptions: 1
Clearances: 1
Aerial Duels Won: 1
Fouls: 0

Bostjan says: 7.5

Making his season debut, Pique was the better of the two center-backs. Constantly in the right position, Pique made several strong defensive plays which included an effectively cleared corner kick early in the game, something Barcelona fans could get used to. Playing the full 90 minutes there were no evidences of the hip injury Vicente del Bosque used as an excuse to leave Pique off his list of players for the international break. If Pique continues to play at this level the Barcelona back-line will be much more solid this season.

Jordi Alba
7.0
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 121
Passes: 88
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Tackles: 1
Interceptions: 2
Clearances: 1
Fouls: 0
Key passes: 0

Bostjan says: 7.5

Unlike his teammate on the right side of the defense, Alba didn’t feature as much in play build up, especially in the first half. In the second half he started playing higher up the pitch, probably because the game was still tied, and was a catalyst on several occasions; in the 55th minute he should’ve picked up an assist, but nobody was in front of goal to simply tap the ball in after Alba’s excellent run and cross. Defensively Alba was very solid, not only holding his own against the speedy Giovani dos Santos, but allowing him little to no space at all.

Sergio Busquets
7.1
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 103
Passes: 90
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Tackles: 3
Interceptions: 2
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Fouls Won: 2
Aerial Duels Won: 6
Turnovers: 1
Key passes: 0

Sam says: 7.0

With a fair amount of pace in the Yellow Submarine’s team, it was paramount Busquets was wary of any emerging counterattacks and he kept his eye on the ball throughout. When Villarreal did break, Busi wasn’t far behind and helped  secure Barça a clean sheet. But without Xavi and Iniesta on the field, Busquets could’ve provided a little more creativity in this game to break down a stubborn Villarreal defence.

Rafinha
6.1
Minutes played: 75
Touches: 70
Passes: 105
Pass Accuracy: 88%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/1
Turnovers: 1
Key Passes: 1
Successful Dribbles: 1
Tackles: 1

Sam says: 6.5

A quiet game for Rafinha as he struggled to really make his mark from centre midfield. Villarreal’s compact defence meant there was little room for Rafinha to run into and the youngster found it frustrating. However, he did on occasion link well with Messi and create a chance for himself. Not one for Rafinha’s highlight reel but a good experience of what playing in midfield for Barcelona is like.

Ivan Rakitić
7.3
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 119
Passes: 99
Pass Accuracy: 94%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Fouls Won: 2
Interceptions: 2
Turnovers: 1
Key Passes: 1
Fouls: 2

Sam says: 7.0

Following on from his impressive league debut last week, Rakitić put in another good, if not great, performance. Playing deeper than during his time at Sevilla, this game highlighted how positionally aware he is. Bursting forward when possible while remaining defensively responsible when Alves bombed past him. However his final ball sometimes let him down, whether it be a misplaced pass or a shot that sails over. His passing though is reaching the heights expected of a Barcelona midfielder with an accuracy of 94%.

Pedro
5.4
Minutes played: 70
Touches: 46
Passes: 30
Pass Accuracy: 93%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/1
Turnovers: 4
Successful Dribbles: 1
Key Passes: 1
Tackles: 1
Fouls Won: 1

Ahmed says: 6.5

Good attempt after receiving a pass from Messi early on. He should arguably have had a penalty early on after clear contact from Mario Gaspar. Committed a clear foul on Giovani and received a deserved yellow card. Pedro worked hard and defended well, but his impact was minimal. Too easily dispossessed in an ineffective outing. More was expected of him.

Lionel Messi
8.5
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 94
Passes: 60
Pass Accuracy: 75%
Shots/Shots on Target: 8/4
Fouls Won: 2
Successful Dribbles: 5
Key Passes: 4
Turnovers: 3
Tackles: 3

Ahmed says: 8.5

Great work ethic, immense hunger and energy from beginning to end. Tracked back on more than one occasion and put Pedro in on goal. Messi was lively throughout. Brilliant free-kick causing havoc in the Villarreal box. A few great crosses and through balls from deep. A good free-kick in the second half forced Asenjo into a save. Messi missed a free header from a corner where he should really have scored. He really benefited from the introduction of Neymar. Phenomenal effort from Villarreal's defenders in blocking quite a few of Messi's shots prevented the Argentine from celebrating a goal or two. It was his fantastic run which led to an eventual assist for Sandro's tap-in game-winning goal.

Munir El Haddadi
6.1
Minutes played: 59
Touches: 31
Passes: 14
Pass Accuracy: 93%
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/0
Tackles: 1
Key Passes: 1
Successful Dribbles: 0
Turnovers: 6

Ahmed says: 6.5

Munir found it difficult. There wasn't much room behind the Villarreal defence. He did not receive much service and when he did he wasn't very effective. Munir ran almost 7 kilometres, but he had very few touches of the ball. He will be a star for years to come at Barcelona, but he struggled at El Madrigal.

Neymar
6.6
Minutes played: 31
Touches: 18
Passes: 14
Pass Accuracy: 71%
Shots/Shots on Target: 3/1
Key passes: 1

Arron says: 7.5

After spending roughly an hour pandering for Enrique to introduce Neymar to the action, the  Brazilian was finally readied around that fabled hour mark and was one of the key forces behind   Barcelona’s decisive spell of pressure. His link-up play with Messi was exceptional and his mere   presence created space for the rest of the attacking line – including Sandro, who used it to deadly   effect for his winning goal.

Sandro Ramirez
7.3
Minutes played: 20
Touches: 14
Passes: 10
Pass Accuracy: 100%
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/1
Tackles: 1

Arron says: 7.5

In all honesty, I didn’t see an awful lot from Sandro aside from his blocked shot moments after hisintroduction and the crucial goal, but who cares? He knew where to be and when to make the mostof Messi’s magic and convert the winning goal. All in all, a memorable debut for the talented youngforward.

Xavi
6.9
Minutes played: 15
Touches: 27
Passes: 24
Pass Accuracy: 96%

Arron says: 7.0

Another good substitution from Enrique; Xavi’s introduction was obvious and inevitable, but Lucho timed it to perfection to stretch the Villarreal defense and step up the pressure. Isn’t it incredible that we can call upon such a quality player off the bench?

The Team 7.4
Passes: 765
Pass Accuracy: 89%
Shots/Shots on Target: 20/8
Tackles: 17
Aerial Battles Won: 63%
Fouls Won/Committed: 12/9

Arron says: 8.0
Not the greatest performance, but hardly the worst either. We created some chances, probably conceded too many even if Villarreal couldn’t capitalise and weren’t as clinical as we should have been – but we did enough. Grinding out tough wins away from home when you’re not at your best is a skill – just ask Real Madrid how easy it is – and these three points could prove vital when May rolls around.
Luis Enrique
7.6

Arron says: 8.0

Working with what he had at his disposal, and working with that pitch, Lucho did well. Very well infact. Odd decisions here and there could be questioned – but who can question the final result?

MOTM - Lionel Messi
82%

Bostjan says: Messi

Unlike last week, this time I also agree with the large majority of voters, that Messi deserves to win the Man of the Match award. It might not have been one of the performances for the ages, but it was enough for the assist on the game winning goal. The only goalscorer, Sandro, finished in second place (5%) while Rakitic once again features in the top three (5%)