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4 vs 2
Played
January 16, 2012 2:00 AM IST
Camp Nou — Barcelona
Referee:‬ Ignacio Iglesias‎
Attendance:‬ 69889‎
 
10′ Xavi
12′ Lionel Messi
 
86′ (PG) Lionel Messi
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Barcelona 4-2 Betis

Goal.com rates the players as the Catalans throw away a two-goal lead but then down the Andalusians at Camp Nou on Sunday night

By Ben Hayward

  • Víctor Valdés
    44
    50
    3.00

    Víctor Valdés

    Not the way he would have wanted to spend his 30th birthday as he sought a new clean sheet record. But he couldn't have done anything about either of the goals and produced a decent save early on as well.

  • Carles Puyol
    55
    26
    2.50

    Carles Puyol

    Given too much work in a three-man back line and it showed today. Flanked by just two defensive team-mates he is stretched in terms of pace and Betis were given too much room at times. Also booked for handball.

  • Éric Abidal
    37
    33
    3.00

    Éric Abidal

    Another who is given too many responsibilities when he is in a three-man back line. Looked less assured than he usually does and was unable to influence the game going forward. Caught out of position on occasions, despite his pace.

  • Cesc Fàbregas
    42
    29
    3.00

    Cesc Fàbregas

    It was his mis-hit shot which inadvertently set up Xavi for the opening goal, but the former Arsenal midfielder was less impressive than he has been in recent weeks. Saw one effort deflected wide in the second half, but was less of a threat than he has been lately.

  • Xavi
    61
    23
    3.50

    Xavi

    Showed off his Bronze Ball before kick-off and got off to a bright start with the opening goal, but he faded after that and was unable to exert his usual influence in this match. Got an assist for Alexis' goal, but that was more about the Chilean's finish.

  • Andrés Iniesta Luján
    79
    20
    3.50

    Andrés Iniesta Luján

    Always positive and always looking to offer something different, Iniesta set up Alexis in the build-up to the second and had one excellent run shortly afterwards. Also should have had a penalty in the second half.

  • Javier Mascherano
    42
    27
    3.00

    Javier Mascherano

    Has looked adept in a three-man back line but less so tonight as Barca gave the ball away too much in midfield. Caught out in terms of pace and positioning as Barca looked rattled, but also made several important interceptions at the back.

  • Busquets
    41
    30
    3.50

    Busquets

    Not at his best on his 100th league appearance for the Catalan club. Gave away possession on several occasions and offered little going forward as well. Not a night to remember for the midfielder - apart from his milestone.

  • Alexis Sánchez
    155
    20
    4.00

    Alexis Sánchez Top of the Match

    A very positive performance from the Chilean, who is gradually starting to look like a great signing for Barcelona. Provided the assist for Messi's goal and was a constant threat. Also scored a fine third goal when Barca were in need of inspiration at 2-2.

  • Lionel Messi
    124
    64
    3.50

    Lionel Messi

    Not his best game, but he still scored twice. Clinically latched onto Alexis' pass to beat Casto for the first and added the second from the spot late on. Also had two or three trademark bursts through the visitors' defence after showing off his Ballon d'Or before kick-off.

  • Cuenca
    43
    25
    2.50

    Cuenca

    Has been brilliant since breaking into the first team earlier this season but this was not his best night as most of Barca's attacks took place on the other side of the pitch. Unable to really break away and was replaced by Alves at the break.

Substitutions

  • Daniel Alves
    59
    16
    3.00

    Daniel Alves

    Came on at half-time and slotted back in after a slow start. Less spectacular going forward than he can be, but he gave Barca more balance after replacing Cuenca.

  • Adriano
    35
    15
    0.00

    Adriano

    Came on for the last two minutes to allow Iniesta a nice send-off from the Catalan fans.

  • Thiago Alcántara
    41
    15
    0.00

    Thiago Alcántara

    Replaced Cesc late on and had little opportunity to influence the game.

  • Casto
    10
    9
    2.50

    Casto

    Forced to pick the ball out of his net four times but also did well to stop goalbound efforts from both Messi and Alves.

  • Isidoro
    8
    6
    2.50

    Isidoro

    Struggled to cope with the threat of both Iniesta and Alexis, two of Barca's best players on the night. Was given insufficient help from his midfield, however, and can't be blamed for failing to stop the Chilean in the second goal.

  • Mario
    14
    17
    1.50

    Mario Flop of the Match

    Left his side with 10 men when they needed to defend a point. Needlessly booked twice after his side had come from 2-0 down and they were unable to hold on with a man down, as you would expect. His dismissal was the end for Betis.

  • Dorado
    7
    6
    2.50

    Dorado

    Made one vital block to deny Messi but was otherwise caused plenty of problems and his handball saw the Andalusians concede a late penalty - which Messi scored.

  • Nacho
    8
    6
    2.00

    Nacho

    Made one saving tackle from Messi and coped well with the threat of Cuenca, Most of Barca's best attacks came from the other flank, so he wasn't really to blame for his side's downfall.

  • Salva Sevilla
    8
    6
    3.00

    Salva Sevilla

    Back in the side after injury and showed Betis what they had missed as he set up Ruben Castro for their first goal. Faded in the second period and was replaced by Matilla after 57 minutes, but showed plenty of quality.

  • Iriney
    8
    7
    3.00

    Iriney

    Replaced at the interval following a sub-standard showing in the first period, when he was completely anonymous in the centre of the park.

  • José Cañas
    8
    5
    3.00

    José Cañas

    Lively on the wing but offered insufficient protection to Isidoro in defence as the full-back struggled with Iniesta and Alexis.

  • Jorge Molina
    7
    6
    2.50

    Jorge Molina

    Had his moments in attack for Betis but was largely isolated up front and was replaced late in the game, having made little impact.

  • Jefferson Antonio Montero
    13
    5
    3.00

    Jefferson Antonio Montero

    The winger is an exciting prospect going forward and his exceptional pace caused Barca problems, but he tripped Iniesta and was lucky not to concede a penalty in the second half.

  • Rubén Castro
    8
    6
    3.50

    Rubén Castro

    Was a decent outlet on the wing, even though he was isolated for long periods. Hauled Betis back into the game with his side's first, ending all hopes of a new clean sheet record for the Catalan club. Didn't see enough of the ball, though.

Substitutions

  • Ustaritz
    6
    7
    2.50

    Ustaritz

    Came on late on to tighten up defensively but wasn't able to cope as Barca claimed victory late on.

  • Matilla
    7
    5
    2.50

    Matilla

    Came on as a substitute late on but was unable to have a real infuence on the game.

  • Roque Santa Cruz
    28
    4
    3.50

    Roque Santa Cruz

    Came on a sub and scored a wonderful equaliser, but was provided with little service after that.

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
26 4
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