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La Liga: Celta Vigo 0-1 FC Barcelona: Player Ratings

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A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona's La Liga win against Celta Vigo.

Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Claudio Bravo
7.9
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 40
Passes: 31
Pass Accuracy: 74%
Shots Faced: 1
Saves Made: 1
Tackles: 1

Bostjan says: 8.0

Clean sheets have been hard to come by for Bravo lately, usually due to some mistakes in Barcelona’s back-line, but this time he has to thank his defenders, especially Gerard Pique, for an excellent showing and the help in securing the three points. Bravo only had to make a single save, but that is a very deceiving stat as the Chilean had to be active throughout the game. The save have made was a dandy, stopping Joaquín Larrivey’s low shot. However, that was not Bravo’s best play of the game. That came about 30 minutes in, when he slid in to clear the ball away from the attacker and bail out Alves after one of his many mistakes.

Dani Alves
5.2
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 52
Passes: 36
Pass Accuracy: 89%
Key Passes: 1
Fouls: 3
Tackles: 7
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Clearances: 1
Turnovers: 3
Interceptions: 0

Bostjan says: 5.0

Call me a Martin Montoya fan-boy all you want, but it’s time to end Alves’ reign as starting right-back. We’ve come to accept his poor performances with glimpses of excellence last season, but this year it has been bad play after bad play, and it was no different against Celta. On numerous occasions he lost possession of the ball and I can’t remember a single time he actually put an effort to actually track back. Furthermore, when he actually defended he was often skinned easily by the opponents, usually Nolito. Alves made a couple decent play through the game, but the play that summed up his night perfectly was the scoffed shot just after the one hour mark when he had a golden opportunity to open the scoring, but he failed miserably.

Gerard Pique
8.6
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 90
Passes: 76
Pass Accuracy: 80%
Tackles: 5
Interceptions: 2
Clearances: 5
Aerial Duels Won: 7

Bostjan says: 8.5

It’s really enjoyable to watch Pique in excellent form once again, and had it not been for his excellent form Barcelona probably would lost the game by a two or three goal margin. Positionally he was just about prefect throughout the game, making play after play. Pique absolutely dominated the air game, winning seven aerial duels, five more than anybody else on the pitch, including Celta players. He also had the most clearances and finished second on the team in successful tackles. Speaking about his tackling, Pique made a few absolutely perfect diving tackles, every time catching the ball cleanly, preventing some excellent scoring chances for Celta.

Jeremy Mathieu
8.5
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 74
Passes: 66
Pass Accuracy: 86%
Tackles: 0
Interceptions: 1
Clearances: 4
Aerial Duels Won: 2
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/1

Bostjan says: 8.0

Similarly to his partner in the heart of the defense Mathieu had a good defensive game, but the Frenchman was far from the shutdown defender Pique was. Mathieu made the occasional mistake and some of his clearances didn’t fully defuse the situation, but overall it was a very solid showing from a player that looked very shaky when confronted by danger just a month ago. Mathieu made up for some of his defensive miscues with a fantastic header on the other side of the pitch, scoring the only goal of the game in the 74th minute.

Adriano Correia
6.0
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 53
Passes: 38
Pass Accuracy: 84%
Turnovers: 2
Tackles: 4
Interceptions: 3
Clearances: 3
Key Passes: 0
Aerial Duels Won: 2

Bostjan says: 6.5

Like his Brazilian compatriot on the other side of the defensive line, Adriano too offered little in attack. He lost possession many times, his control of the ball was poor and he was often not on the same page with Neymar. But unlike Alves Adriano tried his best on the defensive side of the ball, though the results were mixed. He allowed a bit of traffic get through him which caused some problems for Mathieu, but overall it was not a bad defensive performance as he handled Fabián Orellana pretty well.

Sergio Busquets
7.0
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 76
Passes: 62
Pass Accuracy: 87%
Tackles: 5
Interceptions: 3
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Clearances: 2
Aerial Duels Won: 1
Turnovers: 0
Key passes: 0

Sam says: 7.5

It was a strong defensive performance from Barça’s pivot, making five tackles and three interceptions helped ensure Barça kept a clean sheet. So that when Barcelona’s forwards struggled to score, Busquets ensured it was only the one goal the team needed for the win. His passing success rate was slightly lower then usual but that can be seen as his attempts to play more risky balls in order to penetrate Celta. His game ended with perhaps the weirdest red card of the season as he was the recipient of a chunk of grass thrown at him by Orellana.

Rafinha
5.5
Minutes played: 57
Touches: 43
Passes: 31
Pass Accuracy: 90%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Turnovers: 3
Key Passes: 0
Successful Dribbles: 0
Tackles: 4

Sam says: 6.5

In his first return to Celta as a Barcelona player, Rafinha didn’t put in the kind of performance he would’ve been hoping for. He was rarely effective throughout the game, registering zero shots and zero key passes, but this was largely due to the well organised midfield of Celta. He also made just 31 passes before leaving the field in the 57th minute. Not the greatest performance for the man who was Celta’s star player last season.

Andres Iniesta
6.4
Minutes played: 74
Touches: 67
Passes: 61
Pass Accuracy: 89%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Fouls Won: 5
Interceptions: 1
Tackles: 3
Key Passes: 0
Successful Dribbles: 0

Sam says: 7.0

Like Rafinha, Iniesta struggled to breakdown a compact Celta defence. He couldn’t get a firm foothold in the game which meant he was unable to dictate play as he was used to and it was only once Xavi entered the field that he began to grow into the game. However his passing did maintain midfield possession for Barça at a time when they needed to guard against dangerous Celta counterattacks.

Luis Suarez
6.2
Minutes played: 86
Touches: 44
Passes: 25
Pass Accuracy: 76%
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/1
Turnovers: 8
Successful Dribbles: 1
Key Passes: 2
Fouls Won: 3
Tackles: 1

Ahmed says: 6.0

The Uruguayan occupied the Celta Vigo centre backs with a number of good runs, but he did not have too many chances. He was booked late in the first-half for diving and went down easily at least one other time too. Suarez won the free-kick for the winner. Yet he tired in the second-half and was replaced by Rakitic on the 87th minute.

Lionel Messi
7.0
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 67
Passes: 49
Pass Accuracy: 88%
Shots/Shots on Target: 4/1
Fouls Won: 2
Successful Dribbles: 3
Key Passes: 3
Turnovers: 5
Tackles: 0

Ahmed says: 6.5

The Argentine dropped deep and asserted influence but struggled to do much before missing a sitter by lifting an effort over the crossbar late on. Messi has recovered from his foot injury and seemed to be at the heart of most Barcelona attacks. Yet it was far from Messi’s best performance.


Neymar
5.7
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 70
Passes: 47
Pass Accuracy: 81%
Shots/Shots on Target: 2/0
Fouls Won: 4
Key Passes: 3
Tackles: 3
Turnovers: 7

Ahmed says: 6.0

The Brazilian prodigy missed a good chance with a fluffed rebound early on in the game and had a perfectly legitimate super strike ruled out for offside at the beginning of the second-half. He was involved in a tussle with Hugo Mallo. All in all, he had an ineffective evening as exemplified by the fact that he completed no dribbles, a rare feat for someone of Neymar’s calibre. Yet there is no justification in making him a scapegoat, most of the rest were just as culpable. Neymar lost a lot of balls and not much of what he tried came off, but he never stopped trying.

Xavi
7.4
Minutes played: 33
Touches: 39
Passes: 34
Pass Accuracy: 82%
Key Passes: 1

Arron says: 8.0

Having reportedly spent his international break verbally agreeing to a contract with Al Sadd in Qatar, Xavi's future at FC Barcelona seemed more uncertain than ever with most Cules contemplating the very real thought of life without our midfield conductor. However, on the basis of this cameo performance, Barcelona still cannot afford to let Xavi leave -- not just yet anyway. The quality of his final pass is unrivaled while his leadership and experience can prove oh so vital against tough opposition. The cross for Mathieu's goal was exemplary, but more than that: Xavi was a calming presence, helping to ease the nerves and help Barca keep their focus as they searched for that winning goal.

Pedro
6.3
Minutes played: 16
Touches: 12
Passes: 6
Pass Accuracy: 100%
Tackles: 1

Arron says: 6.5

I'll admit, I expected to see Pedro replace the somewhat ineffective Neymar so it was a shock to see the Spaniard replace Andres Iniesta even if he didn't take up position in the Blaugrana midfield. Pedro worked hard and did what was required of him, but didn't really have the offensive impact that one might have hoped, even after Suarez was withdrawn.

Ivan Rakitić
6.2
Minutes played: 4
Touches: 6
Passes: 4
Pass Accuracy: 100%
Key Passes: 1

Arron says: N/A

Nothing more than a cameo for the Croatian who will surely be given a little longer look against both Almeria on Wednesday and possibly next weekend against his former club. We probably missed his attitude during the game, but everyone has to rest and on the basis of the result, we can cope without him -- just about anyway.

The Team 6.5
Passes: 583
Pass Accuracy: 85%
Shots/Shots on Target: 12/3
Tackles: 35
Aerial Battles Won: 71%
Fouls Won/Committed: 26/12

Arron says: 8.0

Luis explored the idea yesterday: optimism vs pessimism within the Barcelona fanbase and as he pointed out, it isn't always black and white -- but I'm certainly one of those optimists. I'm the kind of guy who looked at this performance and thought: "you know what, this wasn't at all bad". We saw just how threatening Celta could be at the Camp Nou, and now that we go to their backyard and beat them, after an international break, someone wants to tell me that it wasn't good enough? If anything, this was proof positive that we are learning, that we are growing under Luis Enrique. Would a Manita have looked better? Sure. But the three points are all that matters and we wrapped them up quite nicely indeed.

Luis Enrique
6.7

Arron says: 7.5

Speaking of Lucho, while we learned from our mistakes and while his substitutions helped change the game, I feel as though he could have been more proactive, issuing more instructions from the touchline in a bid to turn the tide a little sooner. Alas, I'm just nitpicking here: a good selection, even if the midfield was a little off and as mentioned previously, we got the job done.

MOTM - Gerard Pique
47%

Bostjan says: Pique

It doesn't happen often that your two center-halves get the most votes for Man of the Match. Especially in a game won by Barcelona. But that was the case this time with Pique picking up close to a half of all votes cast with Mathieu finishing in second place with 29%. Messi finished a distant third with 14% of the votes.