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Played
September 20, 2012 4:45 AM EST
Camp Nou — Barcelona
Referee:‬ M. Mažić‎
Attendance:‬ 73580‎
 
14′ Tello
Daniel Alves 29′ (OG)
72′ Lionel Messi
Rômulo 59′
80′ Lionel Messi
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Barcelona 3-2 Spartak Moscow

Goal.com casts a studious eye over the performers at Camp Nou, as Lionel Messi came up with the goods in front of goal once again to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat

By Keeghann Sinanan

  • Víctor Valdés
    9
    7
    2.50

    Víctor Valdés

    Helpless for Dani Alves’ own goal, but far from convincing for Spartak’s second, letting a tame finish slip under his body.

  • Daniel Alves
    7
    5
    2.00

    Daniel Alves Flop of the Match

    Produced a cold-blooded finish into the bottom corner just before the half-hour - unfortunately it was into his own net. His offensive contribution was a little blunted after that, and he was taken off in the second-half.

  • Piqué
    7
    5
    2.50

    Piqué

    Picked up a suspected ankle injury when he landed awkwardly after attacking a corner, and was forced off for Alex Song after barely 10 minutes of action.

  • Adriano
    5
    5
    2.50

    Adriano

    Happy to bomb forward on the left flank all game long, and one decoy run helped free a defender from Tello for the opener. However, he was nowhere to be found when defending was required for the visitors’ first goal, and was beaten with embarrassing ease by Romulo for their second.

  • Cesc Fàbregas
    8
    6
    2.50

    Cesc Fàbregas

    His awkward start to the new season continued here with another unconvincing performance. He never looked too comfortable as the most attacking of the midfield three, and often encroached on the space occupied by Messi.

  • Xavi
    7
    4
    3.00

    Xavi

    Not the most vintage Xavi performance by any stretch, but he was efficient in possession despite not finding many avenues to lay on a killer pass. Had a little more room to breathe in the closing stages of the game.

  • Javier Mascherano
    6
    5
    2.50

    Javier Mascherano

    He was given all sorts of problems by the pace and power of Emenike when defending balls forward, a prime example occurring when the Nigerian pushed off him and raced past to set Spartak’s first-half goal in motion.

  • Busquets
    9
    4
    3.00

    Busquets

    His defensive contributions were needed a lot more than was expected, as Spartak’s forays on the counter attack forced him to track back and help out the back four on many occasions.

  • Lionel Messi
    12
    6
    3.50

    Lionel Messi Top of the Match

    What else can we say about Messi, who has dragged his team over the finish line once again? His decidedly below-par first-half will be forgiven in an instant after he popped up twice in the last 18 minutes to score, and turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead. His goals were nothing more than poacher’s efforts, but their importance is beyond question.

  • Pedro
    8
    4
    2.50

    Pedro

    Eager to drift from flank to flank in a bid to find space, but despite moments of incisive link-up play around the edge of the box, he drifted to the periphery of the game on occasions.

  • Tello
    9
    2
    3.50

    Tello

    Handed a surprise start and looked eager to impress early on. He broke the deadlock with a fine finish after cutting in off the left flank, and a mazy, Iniesta-like run on the left set up Messi’s equaliser soon after. Could not have done much more to show Vilanova why he merits a starting spot.

Substitutions

  • Alex Song
    6
    6
    2.50

    Alex Song

    Snapped up from Arsenal for this very reason. The Cameroonian was called upon to cover for the injured Gerard Pique in defence. His defending, however, left a lot to be desired. He was nutmegged by a cross in the build-up to Spartak’s goal, and flattened Emenike cynically to earn a deserved yellow card.

  • David Villa
    8
    3
    2.50

    David Villa

    Another appearance off the bench, and he nearly came good with a shot that seemed destined for the net, but for a last ditch block from Rafael Carioca.

  • Alexis Sánchez
    10
    2
    3.50

    Alexis Sánchez

    Set up the all-important winner for Lionel Messi, and nearly repeated the trick moments later for Pedro. Very productive spell off the bench.

  • Andrey Dykan
    4
    4
    3.00

    Andrey Dykan

    Two great saves denied both Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas, but he will be a tad disappointed that he was not more commanding in his box during the buildup to both Messi goals.

  • Juan Manuel Insaurralde
    4
    4
    3.00

    Juan Manuel Insaurralde

    Much like Suchy, his fortunes were greater in the first-half, where he was a pillar of strength, displaying fearless defending time and time again. Deflated however, by Messi’s late salvo.

  • Marek Suchy
    4
    4
    2.50

    Marek Suchy

    Strong, committed and alert, especially in the first half. He made his share of last gasp interceptions and no-nonsense clearances, but Barca's late pressure took its toll.

  • Rafael Carioca
    4
    3
    3.00

    Rafael Carioca

    Did all he could to help his team defensively, and often filled in as a makeshift centre-back when the situation called for it. His nous was shown with a fantastic sliding block to thwart Villa and deny Barca a certain goal.

  • Kirill Kombarov
    4
    3
    2.50

    Kirill Kombarov

    Run ragged by Pedro and Tello on the flanks. He sent the former flying with a reckless tackle that saw him given a yellow card. Put out of his misery at half-time as Unai Emery clearly recognized him as a weak link.

  • Aiden McGeady
    4
    3
    3.00

    Aiden McGeady

    Had a little more room to operate in the second-half, and laid on Romulo’s goal with a nifty short pass into space. He was poor defensively on Tello moments before Messi’s equaliser though.

  • Kim Källström
    7
    3
    2.50

    Kim Källström

    Most of his time was spent providing cover in his own half and harrying the Barca players in possession. Picked up a yellow for a flying challenge on Pedro in the first-half.

  • Dmitriy Kombarov
    4
    3
    3.00

    Dmitriy Kombarov

    Began brightly and looked solid defensively, but his performance tailed off in the second-half as he started to fatigue.

  • Rômulo
    5
    3
    3.50

    Rômulo

    Gave his side a stunning lead at Camp Nou with a cool finish on the break. The result did not work out for him, but he played a big part in the counterattacking threat posed by the visitors.

  • Ari
    4
    3
    3.00

    Ari

    After a largely irrelevant first-half, Ari came to the fore after the interval. He was a menace on the flanks whenever his side broke forward, and one of his attacking forays set the second Spartak goal in motion. Not shy to track back and put his foot about either.

  • Emenike
    7
    3
    3.50

    Emenike

    An admirable and fearless display leading the line in the most daunting of venues. He was relentless at chasing down long balls, and his physicality and tenacity was a constant threat for the likes of Mascherano, who he bullied to force the first goal for his side.

Substitutions

  • Evgeniy Makeev
    4
    3
    3.00

    Evgeniy Makeev

    Immediately provided a more sturdy presence in defence. Barcelona found the left flank a lot harder to breach once he was on the field.

Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
14 1
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
PSG
10 1
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
8 2
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
7 0
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
6 2