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Barcelona Player Ratings from El Clásico

April 17, 2011

Here are the player ratings from the 1-1 draw against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabéu.

Two of the best men on the pitch, Xavi and Pepe, fight for the ball. Picture courtesy of http://www.sport.es.


Victor Valdés: 7 out of 10

Valdés wasn’t put to the hardest tests of his career, but when Real Madrid came close, he was there. Can’t be blamed for the goal, but he did have a slip up when he almost fumbled an easy ball into the net.

Dani Alves: 7
Alves is perhaps the best right back in the world, but that mostly is because of his great offensive skill set. In this game he found himself in a different role than he’s used to, as the threat of Ángel Di María forced him to play more defensively than preferred. He did the job well, and made Di María invisible most of he game, but the lack of offensive contributions limits his rating. He also conceded a penalty, even though it might have been a harsh decision by the ref.

Gerard Piqué: 8
A rock in the defence, and always at the right place at the right time. He seemed focused and broke down many attacks. Looked like he really enjoyed having his partner, Carles Puyol, back in the line up.

Carles Puyol: 8
Puyol didn’t show much sign of rust in his first game in almost three months. The captain was commanding, and it looked like he boosted the confidence of his team mates. As alway he gave 100 percent in every duel, and together with Piqué he took Benzema out of the game. Was forced to leave the game early in the second half due to a hamstring injury, maybe starting him wasn’t all that wise after all.

Adriano: 8+
Great game by the Brazilian left back. Cristiano Ronaldo failed to get much going because of the resilience of Adriano. He was probably the best of the back four, and is really close to a 9. His offensive contributions was surprisingly better than Alves’, even though he had to fend off Cristiano Ronaldo all game. He also saved a goal from the line du to his great positioning.

Sergio Busquets: 6+
Busquets didn’t really get into the game as well as he did last time. He had few offensive contributions and seemed stressed at times. He won some important duels, but he usually has better games than this.

Xavi: 9
Involved in everything that happened offensively. His precise passes opened the Real Madrid defence time and time again, and if David Villa and Lionel Messi had taken half of the chances given to him by Xavi, Barcelona would have won easily. Possibly man of th match.

Andrés Iniesta: 7-
Quiet game by the Ballon d’Or runner-up. He struggled to get things going as he was constantly hunted down by a fantastic Pepe in the Real Madrid midfield. He had some good involvements, but he can do much better than this. If Pepe hadn’t been on fire, I’m sure he would have been an instrumental part of the game.

Lionel Messi: 8
Every time he had the ball, Real Madrid and its supporters shivered. The Ballon d’Or winner had some great runs that nearly ended in a goal, and he scored the immensely important goal from the penalty spot, even though supporters on the stands tried to blind him with lasers. Only a good Casillas in the Real Madrid goal, hindered him from scoring more.

Messi is getting blinded by laser lights. Picture courtesy of AFP.

 

Pedro: 6
Was largely invisible during the game, and was subsequently subbed for Ibrahim Affelay. He hasn’t really got things going after his return from injury, and this game was no different. He struggled to get into the rhythm of the match, and failed to make an impact.

David Villa: 7-
He made som good runs, and he did win a penalty kick and should have got another when Casillas tripped him in the first half, but he struggled with his finishing, as he has done of late. He can’t find the net at the moment, and that impairs Barcelona’s possibilities for three points. Villa was scorching earlier this season, and Barcelona need him to perform if they’re going to win the treble this year.

Substitutes:
Seydou Keita 6:
– Replaced an injured Puyol, but he didn’t find the rhythm of the game. He did perform quite well defensively, though.
Ibrahim Affelay 7: – Was brought on to replace Pedro, and did quite well. He could have been the match winner, but his shot wasn’t god enough.
Maxwell: – He replaced an injured Adriano, but had too little time on the pitch to affect the result.

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