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Played
November 2, 2013 1:30 AM IST
Camp Nou — Barcelona
Referee:‬ Carlos Velasco‎
Attendance:‬ 79977‎
 
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Barcelona 1-0 Espanyol

Goal rates the players on show as a solitary strike from Alexis Sanchez sees Tata Martino's men to victory in the Catalan derby...

By Martin Macdonald

  • Víctor Valdés
    65
    18
    3.00

    Víctor Valdés

    Denied Victor Sanchez with a superb one-on-one save with his legs which saved Barca from going a goal down against the run of play. Didn't have too much else to deal with but distribution was excellent as always.

  • Montoya
    46
    15
    3.00

    Montoya

    Was employed out of position at left-back but didn't have anything to deal with defensively so was often available up top as an extra attacker. Was a little too reluctant to get beyond Neymar on the overlap, though.

  • Piqué
    40
    29
    3.00

    Piqué

    Was lucky to escape a booking in the first half as he took out Sergio Garcia with a tackle from behind. Only had Sergio Garcia to deal with and he did so pretty easily as he had the Espanyol captain dominated aerially.

  • Daniel Alves
    56
    35
    2.50

    Daniel Alves

    Had an awful first half in which he continually got into good positions down the right, but couldn't find any team-mates due to an awful final ball. Improved slightly as the match went on as his crossing improved and he struck the post with an unlucky volley.

  • Xavi
    55
    20
    3.00

    Xavi

    Was neat and tidy in possession as always and his spraying of the ball from deeper areas was outstanding. However, his performance lacked the incisive threaded passes through the middle which are his trademark.

  • Andrés Iniesta Luján
    48
    30
    3.00

    Andrés Iniesta Luján

    Glided gracefully in and around the penalty area with penetrative dribbles but struggled to find a final product. Seemed to be slightly off the pace as on more than one occasion his passes went wayward.

  • Javier Mascherano
    52
    17
    3.50

    Javier Mascherano

    Was susceptible to making a mistake under the pressure of Sergio Garcia at times in the first half but recovered excellently and eventually marshalled the defence well. Worryingly limped off the pitch towards the end of the game.

  • Busquets
    31
    33
    2.50

    Busquets

    Patrolled the area in front of the Barcelona defence with ease as he didn't have any player dropping into the hole to deal with. This resulted in him floating further forward but he was left wanting slightly as he got hunted down rather easily when in possession.

  • Alexis Sánchez
    111
    14
    3.50

    Alexis Sánchez

    Formed an excellent bond with Dani Alves down that right-hand side and the Brazilian running on the overlap meant that he could drift inside and cause problems centrally. Grabbed the only goal of the match with his predatory finish at he back post.

  • Lionel Messi
    137
    149
    2.00

    Lionel Messi Flop of the Match

    Looked off the pace from the start and just didn't seem to be totally up for the game, whether it be mental or physical. Frustration lead to him trying to hard to do things himself but eventually succumbed to his fourth consecutive match without a goal.

  • Neymar
    227
    42
    3.50

    Neymar Top of the Match

    Was Barcelona's biggest threat from the first whistle as he continually took the ball on pacey runs down the left-hand side and gave Raul a torrid time at points. Created the winning goal with a fantastic pass through the legs of two Espanyol players.

Substitutions

  • Bartra
    26
    7

    Bartra

    Late change.

  • Cesc Fàbregas
    33
    11

    Cesc Fàbregas

    Late change.

  • Pedro
    29
    15

    Pedro

    Looked energetic after coming on.

  • Kiko Casilla
    14
    7
    3.50

    Kiko Casilla

    Kept his side in the match in the first half with a couple of accomplished but comfortable saves as he denied Neymar's curled strike and beat away Iniesta's superb volley.

  • Raúl Rodríguez
    6
    5
    3.00

    Raúl Rodríguez

    Was left for dead a few times by the pace of Neymar and allowed the Brazilian far too much room down the left to cut inside and get the assist for the opening goal.

  • Héctor Moreno
    7
    5
    3.50

    Héctor Moreno

    Organised the defence superbly for the first 70 minutes of play as he instructed his colleagues when to press and when to hold. Also put in a number of important challenges on the edge of the box.

  • Fuentes
    4
    6
    3.00

    Fuentes

    Had his hands full with Alexis and the continually overlapping Dani Alves but will have Torje to thank as he had help all evening from his team-mate.

  • Sidnei
    9
    5
    3.50

    Sidnei

    Was extremely solid for the majority of the match and put his body on the line to block a number of strikes, most notably a Messi attempt from 10 yards.

  • Víctor Sánchez Mata
    5
    7
    3.00

    Víctor Sánchez Mata

    Should have been booked early in the first half as he brought down Messi with a nasty challenge on the edge of the box, but eventually earned his yellow after hauling down Iniesta.

  • David López
    5
    6
    3.00

    David López

    Sat in front of the Espanyol defence nicely and just looked to intercept and screen any potential balls through, and did a decent job for the majority of the match. Attacking ambition was zero as he rarely ventured forward from his deep position.

  • Abraham
    5
    5
    2.50

    Abraham

    Was arguably given the most attacking license going forward but barely saw the ball in the position between the midfield and frontline, which made any potential link-ups difficult. Instead slotted in in the three-man central midfield and screened the defence.

  • Gabriel Torje
    5
    6
    2.50

    Gabriel Torje

    Put in a fantastic shift all evening as his defensive responsibilities required him to continually match the overlapping runs of Dani Alves. Helped out his full back massively and didn't allow him to be outnumbered.

  • Sergio García
    6
    6
    2.50

    Sergio García

    Did about as much as he could up top as he was horribly isolated as the lone striker with barely any support. Chased down every loose ball and even came close to equalising for Espanyol late on as he fizzed a strike just over the bar from a tight angle.

  • Thievy Bifoum
    6
    5
    3.00

    Thievy Bifoum

    Was always back helping out his full-back and didn't allow Barcelona to double up. However, his play going forward on the rare occasion he saw the ball was not good as he was poor at retaining possession and taking the pressure off his team-mates.

Substitutions

  • Jhon Córdoba
    5
    6
    3.00

    Jhon Córdoba

    Didn't provide as much help to his team defensively as his predecessor, Thievy, but provided a physical presence going forward.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atlético de Madrid
27 5
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
25 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0