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Arsenal 0-2 Barcelona, 2016 Champions League: Player Ratings

A detailed, player-by-player breakdown of Barcelona's win against Arsenal the Champions League.

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Marc-Andre ter Stegen
8.6
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 47
Passes: 32
Pass Accuracy: 84%
Shots Faced: 3
Saves Made: 3
Cross Claims: 1

Bostjan says: 8.5

The young German was once again a rock in the Barcelona goal. He wasn’t particularly tested much, but when he was called into action he was up for the task. Was lucky in the first half when he was scrambling on the ground that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s effort was very poor, but made a fantastic diving save on Olivier Giroud’s header in the second. Ter Stegen was again very solid in the air game and with the ball at his feet.

Dani Alves
7.2
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 111
Passes: 84
Pass Accuracy: 89%
Key Passes: 1
Turnovers: 6
Tackles: 2
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Clearances: 3
Aerial Duels Won: 1
Interceptions: 4

Bostjan says: 7.5

Alves had been struggling in recent weeks, but against Arsenal he was again making strong runs forward and making solid plays defensively. His crossing left much to be desired, again, but through providing width Alves helped open space for Barcelona’s attackers. Still, he lost possession a few too many times, but it was a good improvement over his recent showings.

Gerard Pique
7.6
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 92
Passes: 79
Pass Accuracy: 90%
Tackles: 1
Interceptions: 2
Clearances: 7
Aerial Duels Won: 1
Turnovers: 1

Bostjan says: 7.0

One of the few players that struggled against Arsenal was Pique who was not playing at a level expected and seen from him this season. He wasn’t his usual sure-footed self, and even though he made a number of important plays, all too often he looked out of position and was making rash plays. Pique picked up a late yellow card for a foul as a result of which he will miss the return leg.

Javier Mascherano
7.8
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 83
Passes: 76
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 2
Clearances: 1
Aerial Duels Won: 1
Fouls: 1

Bostjan says: 8.0

After being criticized for his performances in recent weeks Mascherano was arguably Barcelona’s best defender on the night. Strong positionally throughout, Mascherano was making tackles, clearances and was blocking shots. With Pique out of the 2nd leg El Jefecito will have to be on his game again.

Jordi Alba
6.9
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 80
Passes: 70
Pass Accuracy: 89%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 2
Clearances: 3
Key Passes: 1
Fouls Won: 1

Bostjan says: 6.5

Again showed his hot-headedness, squaring up Giroud after what appeared to be a mere brush the Frenchman put on the Spaniard. But it was just one of a few wrong decisions Alba made against Arsenal. Although at times linking well with his teammates, Alba often lacked conviction in attack and wasn’t his usual productive self. Defensively Alba also didn’t look very solid, often straying out of position.

Sergio Busquets
8.0
Minutes played: 90
Touches:89
Passes: 82
Pass Accuracy: 96%
Shots/Shots on Target: 0/0
Tackles: 2
Interceptions: 2
Clearances: 0
Turnovers: 2
Aerial Duels Won: 1
Key Passes: 4
Fouls Won: 1

Sam says: 8.5

During Arsenal’s high press, Barcelona relied upon Busquets to fight for midfield dominance. He accomplished this through two tackles and two interceptions but more importantly his passing. Busquets passed the ball 82 times, only Dani Alves passed more, and registered the best success rate at 96%. It wasn’t just safe possession passes either and he almost created the opening goal. Picking up the ball just inside the Arsenal half, Busquets hit a cross field ball over to Dani Alves who crossed to Suárez. The Uruguayan missed but it was one of Barça’s first chances. Superb throughout which made his brief injury scare all the more dating as it becomes more and more evident that Busquets is the heart of the team.

Ivan Rakitić
7.3
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 64
Passes: 59
Pass Accuracy: 92%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Turnovers: 0
Key Passes: 1
Fouls Won: 1
Tackles: 2

Sam says: 7.0

Some of the jobs Rakitić does may not be the prettiest of all but they are effective. He committed three fouls but they were when Arsenal were looking to break or get into dangerous situations. After winning the ball back, he retained it well with 59 passes at an accuracy of 92%. Still took some stick off the press for "not turning up" but without players like Rakitić, the front three wouldn't have such a free reign.

Andres Iniesta
7.6
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 84
Passes: 76
Pass Accuracy: 91%
Shots/Shots on Target: 1/0
Fouls Won: 0
Turnovers: 0
Successful Dribbles: 3
Key Passes: 1
Tackles: 1

Sam says: 8.0

The most offensive of Barça’s midfielders, it was Iniesta’s job to link up with the front three and create danger. In fact, it was his blink-of-the-eye flick that sent Neymar away for the first goal. Receiving the ball from Piqué, Iniesta had no time to think but still managed to get the ball to Neymar. He didn’t just play in Arsenal’s half though and was regularly tracking back to get men behind the ball when the home side were going forward.

Neymar
7.9
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 85
Passes: 63
Pass Accuracy: 81%
Shots/Shots on Target: 3/2
Turnovers: 5
Successful Dribbles: 6
Key Passes: 2
Fouls Won: 2
Tackles: 2

Bostjan says: 7.5

Despite not having one of his best finishing days, Neymar missed two great chances to score a goal, the Brazilian’s contributions to the game were big. He picked up the assist on the opening goal of the night, had a good dribbling day and even chipped in defensively when needed. Neymar has been a bit snake bitten in front of goal, but he still remains a threat for defenses, but in this one he at times again showed that he can still hold on to the ball for a second or two too long

Luis Suarez
7.1
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 39
Passes: 27
Pass Accuracy: 70%
Shots/Shots on Target: 4/0
Fouls Won: 1
Successful Dribbles: 1
Key Passes: 3
Turnovers: 2
Clearances: 1

Bostjan says: 7.0

As seemingly always, Suarez’s link-up with his attacking partners was impressive, as he was crucially involved in the build-up to Messi’s opener, but like Neymar he too couldn’t find the back of the net despite a few excellent chances. At the end of the first half he had not one but two, but on both of them he didn’t test Petr Čech. Suarez had an even clearer chance late in the second half, facing the Arsenal keeper one-on-one, but while he did get the ball past Čech he was denied by the post. With the impressive scoring run Saurez has been on lately this was surely just a one-off, but had he taken one of his chances the return leg would surely would've been a mere formality.


Lionel Messi 9.1
Minutes played: 90
Touches: 98
Passes: 73
Pass Accuracy: 86%
Shots/Shots on Target: 6/2
Successful Dribbles: 5
Key Passes: 2
Fouls Won: 3
Turnovers: 3
Tackles: 2

Bostjan says: 9.0

The difference-maker in a match filled with immensely talented footballers. Messi seemed to start the game a little bit slow, but as it went on he was more and more involved and was starting to get into the danger areas. A lot of ink has been used to talk about how he hasn’t scored again Čech, but in the 71st minute, he but that debate to rest. He proceeded to assist for two scoring chance on one play, to his fellow attackers, both of which were wasted, before winning a penalty kick that he calmly sent to the back of the net for the final result.

The Team 8.2
Passes: 748
Pass Accuracy: 89%
Shots/Shots on Target: 15/4
Tackles: 16
Aerial Battles Won: 30%
Fouls Won/Committed: 13/14

Bostjan says: 8.5

There's now a whole lot more you can ask from a team playing an away game in the Champions League knockout stages than what Barcelona did in London. Playing solid enough defense to preserve the clean sheen and scoring two away goal while not firing on all cylinders should be enough of an advantage for the 2nd leg but the Catalans can't afford to take the game lightly. For that Suarez and/or Neymar should've found the back of the net from their chances.

Luis Enrique
8.3

Kevin says: 8.5

The manager started with the same eleven that won the Champions league just last year. Everyone was doing so well that he didn't want to change anything, it was claimed. Aside from the odd occasion when Mascherano and Alba were isolated aerially against taller Arsenal players, Barcelona defended brilliantly and played out from the back incredibly well at times. The Mister's midfield selection was bang on, stood firm when they needed to and kept the ball away from Arsenal laughably easily at times when the pace of the game needed to be slowed. Little needs to be said of the front three. He got it right. Dani Alves said the team now has a pair of balls and wins matches they would have previously lost. We've gotta put some of that down to our manager.

MOTM - Lionel Messi
70%

Bostjan says: Messi
No surprise here as the two-time goalscorer ran away with the man of the match award. Coming in second place was the Barcelona shot-stopper, ter Stegen with 17%. Finally getting some recognition was Busquets who finished in third place (5%)

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