clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

La Liga: RCD Espanyol 0-2 FC Barcelona: Player Ratings

New, comments

A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona's win in the Catalan Derby.

David Ramos/Getty Images

Claudio Bravo
7.7
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 39
Passes: 23
Pass Accuracy: 52%
Shots Faced: 2
Saves Made: 2
Cross claims: 4

Bostjan says: 8.0

Bravo was once again excellent in goal for Barcelona, helping the team to yet another La Liga clean sheet. He didn’t have to make many saves, only two, both in the second half. The first was a fairly simple save as the shot was right at him, but he had to make a good play to keep Christian Stuani’s low shot from crossing the line. But where the Chilean truly excellent was in the air game, claiming just about every high ball that was sent into the penalty area, and punching out a few more.

Dani Alves
7.1
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 87
Passes: 77
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Key Passes: 0
Fouls Won: 2
Tackles: 6
Turnovers: 1
Clearances: 0
Fouls: 0
Interceptions: 2

Bostjan says: 6.5

Alves had a quiet game at the back for Barcelona. He wasn’t quite his marauding self, even during the time in which Barcelona still played with eleven on the pitch. He did offer some width, but he didn’t push as high up the pitch he usually does. Defensively he was quite solid, but a game wouldn’t be complete without at least one blunder where he holds on to the ball for too long, leading to a turnover and a chance for the opponents. He also picked up a yellow card for dissent.

Gerard Pique
7.5
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 81
Passes: 70
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Tackles: 3
Interceptions: 1
Clearances: 3
Fouls: 2

Bostjan says: 7.5

Pique had another up and down game though it was mostly positive. He wasn’t always positionally sound, leading to a couple odd-man rushes, but none of them transpired in a goal. But enough about the bad plays, Pique did very well in corner coverage, clearing a few of them out of danger. Toward the end of the game he also showed good awareness, as he often ventured forward, hoping to score a goal, but always returned back into position before Espanyol could threaten.

Javier Mascherano
7.7
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 73
Passes: 61
Pass Accuracy: 89%
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 1
Clearances: 5
Aerial Duels Won: 1
Fouls: 2

Bostjan says: 8.0

Again starting in place of Jeremy Mathieu in the heart of the defense, Mascherano again had a strong game. I can only remember one play when he strayed out of position - and he managed to recover quickly to make a brilliant sliding tackle from behind. On a few occasions he was left in a tough spot because his defensive partner didn’t have the best of games, but Mascherano simply didn’t allow anybody to get past him. He effectively neutralized Sergio Garcia out of the game, continuously harassing the Catalan striker.

Jordi Alba
6.4
Minutes played: 54
Touches: 69
Passes: 63
Pass Accuracy: 89%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Tackles: 3
Interceptions: 0
Clearances: 0
Key Passes: 2
Fouls: 2

Bostjan says: 6.0

Not counting the double yellow card incident Alba actually had a very good game, making numerous defensive plays and helping out on offense, earning an assist along the way with a lovely low cross right into the path of Neymar. But he did pick up a red card. With Mateu Lahoz refereeing the game Alba should’ve known better than to kick the ball away after the whistle and say anything afterwards, even if he was reciting lyrics to a Kings of Leon song...

Sergio Busquets
6.9
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 86
Passes: 76
Pass Accuracy: 93%
Tackles: 4
Interceptions: 1
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Clearances: 2
Aerial Duels Won: 6
Turnovers: 1
Key passes: 1

Sam says: 7.5

When Barça had eleven men, Busquets helped maintain midfield superiority and was also an option going forward. Once Jordi Alba had been sent off, Busquets defensive work increased as he looked to reduce the advantage Espanyol had. He made four tackles and one interception to ensure Barça kept a clean sheet. Unsurprisingly, his passing was excellent. Making 76 passes with a 93% success rate.

Andres Iniesta
7.8
Minutes played: 87
Touches: 104
Passes: 95
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Turnovers: 2
Key Passes: 1
Successful Dribbles: 2
Tackles: 4

Sam says: 7.5

Iniesta was the chief playmaker in the midfield for Barça and pretty much ran it for that majority of the game. He regularly pinged the ball across the midfield which opened space for the attackers and it was his chip ball that was the "assist" before the assist. He found Suárez with a perfectly weighted pass and Suárez in turn found Messi who scored. Passing as usual was excellent with a success rate of 92% and just shy of 100 passes completed. Job well done.

Rafinha
6.6
Minutes played: 64
Touches: 66
Passes: 56
Pass Accuracy: 93%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Fouls Won: 3
Turnovers: 3
Successful Dribbles: 3
Key Passes: 0
Clearances: 1

Sam says: 7.0

Another good game for Rafinha in which he showed he is also an option to start ahead of Xavi and Rakitic. His passing was good, maintaining a 93% success rate and he also offered an option going forward. Despite not registering a shot in the game, his dribbles did open space for the others.

Luis Suarez
8.5
Minutes played: 79
Touches: 33
Passes: 26
Pass Accuracy: 85%
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/1
Turnovers: 0
Successful Dribbles: 0
Key Passes: 4
Fouls Won: 2
Clearances: 1

Ahmed says: 8.5

His movement was a threat throughout. Suarez made a brilliant stepover to set Neymar up perfectly for the first goal and laid the second on a plate for Messi.  The intensity, flicks and intelligent plays were on display as usual.

Lionel Messi
8.8
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 89
Passes: 73
Pass Accuracy: 85%
Shots/Shots on Target: 4/1
Fouls Won: 4
Successful Dribbles: 4
Key Passes: 1
Turnovers: 2
Tackles: 1

Ahmed says: 9.0

Demonstrated his exquisite passing range in the build-up to the first goal and scored the second. Messi pulled the strings all game and it was indeed his distribution that once again caught the eye.  With such tremendous passing, it is little wonder why his role is steadily being refined with Neymar and Suarez providing the firepower (only De Bruyne has more assists in the top leagues). Even then, Messi has already scored 47 goals in 48 games this season. Wow.


Neymar
8.5
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 84
Passes: 59
Pass Accuracy: 90%
Shots/Shots on Target: 6/3
Tackles: 2
Key Passes: 1
Successful Dribbles: 4
Turnovers: 2

Ahmed says: 8.5

Arguably the biggest threat to Espanyol throughout. Neymar was dangerous all game. He was third time lucky after missing two earlier chances by finishing off the move in a wonderfully worked team goal. Missed another chance later in the half and a couple in the second-half. Decision making could at time have been better. Should definitely have scored more, but he constantly got into fantastic positions and gave the home defence horrifying nightmares.

Jeremy Mathieu
6.9
Minutes played: 26
Touches: 22
Passes: 14
Pass Accuracy: 79%
Clearances: 3

Arron says: 7.0

With Alba unfortunate to see red for his innocuous comments to Antonio Mateu Lahoz, Jeremy Mathieu was the obvious choice from the Barcelona bench and while it took ten minutes for Lucho to make the switch, it helped settle the Blaugrana down. With a conventional four-man backline restored, we were more comfortable and confident, even if Mathieu himself didn't contribute an awful lot at either end.

Ivan Rakitić
N/A
Minutes played: 11
Touches: 12
Passes: 10
Pass Accuracy: 100%
Clearances: 1

Arron says: N/A

The Croatian midfielder has been crucial in recent victories over Valencia and Paris Saint-Germain, but in this instance Ivan was afforded a well-deserved rest, only emerging as a late sub for Luis Suarez. At this stage, Barcelona were looking to close out the remainder of the game without incident and as such, Rakitic did his job well.

Xavi
6.9
Minutes played: 3
Touches: 9
Passes: 8
Pass Accuracy: 100%
Successful Dribbles: 1

Arron says: N/A

Our club captain has seen a pretty sizeable increase in his minutes as of late, but this match broke that trend as Xavi was only brought off the bench as a late substitute to essentially waste time. As such, there was no need to give him a full rating.

The Team 8.4
Passes: 722
Pass Accuracy: 89%
Shots/Shots on Target: 12/5
Tackles: 26
Aerial Battles Won: 71%
Fouls Won/Committed: 21/12

Arron says: 9.5

On a scale of 1 to 10, the first-half was obviously an 11, such was the Blaugrana's dominance. Only two goals found their way into the back of the Espanyol net in that glorious 45 minute period, but it could have quite easily been 5 or 6 and the memory of our incredible start might just be one of the highlights of the season so far. After Alba's sending off however, Barcelona were a markedly different side and while still superior, they were far less dominant and that was probably reflected by the somewhat tense nature of the final half-hour.

Luis Enrique
8.1

Arron says: 9.5

The lack of rotation probably caught a few people off-guard, but it worked a treat. The front three were all at their effervescent best, while the introduction of Rafinha to the midfield certainly didn't have a negative impact. Perhaps Lucho could have made his subs earlier, but again we're just nitpicking in what was another glorious afternoon for both the coach and the club.

MOTM - Messi
57%

Bostjan says: Messi

With the sheer dominance of the front three, especially in the first half, it should come as no surprise that all of them finished in the top three of the Man of the Match voting. Messi won the sweepstakes this time. Suarez won the battle for second place with 20% while Neymar settled for third with 13%.