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Played
January 6, 2013 7:00 PM WAT
Camp Nou — Barcelona
Referee:‬ Jesús Gil‎
Attendance:‬ 73760‎
 
10′ Xavi
 
15′ Pedro
 
27′ Pedro
 
29′ (PG) Lionel Messi
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Barcelona 4-0 Espanyol

Goal.com rates the players on show as the Blaugrana showed no signs of rustiness on their return to Liga action with a commanding display against their Catalan rivals

By Tom Webber

  • Víctor Valdés
    7
    3
    3.00

    Víctor Valdés

    The keeper may not have an easier evening this year, and that is by no means an exaggeration. He was not forced into one difficult save until the 80th minute, and then he came out on top.

  • Daniel Alves
    8
    1
    3.00

    Daniel Alves

    It was not quite a stand-out performance from the Brazilian but he was by no means a disappointment. He rampaged up and down the right but his delivery in the final third frequently left a lot to be desired.

  • Piqué
    7
    1
    3.00

    Piqué

    Had a hand, with Puyol, in a mistake that almost enabled Sergio Garcia to score midway through the first half. He was composed for much of the game but came close to gifting Albin a goal at the death.

  • Carles Puyol
    9
    2
    3.00

    Carles Puyol

    One mix-up whereby he failed to deal with a long ball which almost handed Espanyol a route back into the game at the midway point, but otherwise he was a rock. He had very little to do in the remainder of the game and was comfortable.

  • Jordi Alba
    8
    1
    3.50

    Jordi Alba

    Pushed up early on and looked for the give-and-go with Iniesta. He supported the 28-year-old well and enabled him to drift inside at times. His explosive pace also limited the effect of Espanyol going forward.

  • Cesc Fàbregas
    12
    3
    3.50

    Cesc Fàbregas

    Used the ball excellently with a number of tremendous turns to keep possession for his side. Some scintillating wide play created the second goal before racing through to win a penalty for his side's fourth to cap a great night.

  • Xavi
    10
    2
    4.00

    Xavi

    An impressive evening for the midfielder. He always seemed to find space to receive the ball and picked his passes well. Scored for the second consecutive game with a relatively simple finish in the 10th minute.

  • Andrés Iniesta Luján
    10
    3
    3.50

    Andrés Iniesta Luján

    Played excellently wide on the left as he tormented Javi Lopez early on. He supplied the cross for the opening goal and really set the tone for the evening. However, he failed to maintain that level in the second half.

  • Busquets
    10
    1
    4.00

    Busquets

    Showed the tremendous passing ability he holds in his locker, not just the simple stuff. His distribution was quality all evening with the highlight of his performance being a measured ball up to Pedro for the third goal.

  • Lionel Messi
    25
    5
    3.00

    Lionel Messi

    It was not one of the Argentine's most effective evenings. He seemed to be stifled by the bodies Espanyol put behind the ball in the second half, though he slotted home his penalty with ease. Could have had a second late on but his excellent free-kick came back off the bar.

  • Pedro
    16
    6
    4.50

    Pedro Top of the Match

    Tormented the Espanyol defence as he got back on the scoresheet in La Liga for the first time since August. His first may have been a somewhat fortunate deflection but his second oozed quality as he used his pace to beat the defence and dink the ball past Casilla.

Substitutions

  • Thiago Alcántara
    9
    1
    3.00

    Thiago Alcántara

    Came on for Xavi in the 63rd minute and kept things ticking over in the middle.

  • David Villa
    8
    0
    3.00

    David Villa

    Replaced Fabregas with 24 minutes remaining but was unable to really influence the outcome.

  • Alexis Sánchez
    5
    1
    3.00

    Alexis Sánchez

    Brought on for Pedro in the 75th minute.

  • Kiko Casilla
    1
    4
    3.00

    Kiko Casilla

    Made a brilliant save to deny Iniesta in the 13th minute but there was little he could do to stop the Barcelona onslaught. The Blaugrana players seemed to find space at will in the Espanyol defence, leaving Casilla close to helpless.

  • Juan Daniel Forlín
    0
    1
    2.50

    Juan Daniel Forlín

    Struggled to deal with the crisp passing in Barcelona's midfield as they moved the ball past him at every opportunity. He was perhaps unfortunate that his wayward interception led to the penalty which Messi tucked away.

  • Héctor Moreno
    0
    2
    1.50

    Héctor Moreno Flop of the Match

    It was a shocking opening 30 minutes for the Espanyol defender, as the Mexican not only failed to react to seeing Xavi in space in the area when he slid in the opener, but was also caught idle as Pedro grabbed his second.

  • Javier López Rodríguez
    0
    1
    2.50

    Javier López Rodríguez

    The full-back was beaten time and again as he was left to fend for himself. He failed to close Iniesta down quick enough ahead of the first goal and he was then skinned by Fabregas in the build-up to the second.

  • Diego Daniel Colotto
    1
    1
    2.50

    Diego Daniel Colotto

    The Argentine made a number of decent clearances which showed an ability to read the game, but he was caught out of position at some costly moments.

  • Joan Capdevila
    0
    2
    2.00

    Joan Capdevila

    A torrid night for the full-back as he offered little resistance up against Pedro and Dani Alves. He was beaten far too easily and left plenty of space in behind. He offered no support to Simao going forward either.

  • Víctor Sánchez Mata
    0
    1
    2.50

    Víctor Sánchez Mata

    Offered very little in attack on the right but did not do much more defensively. He left Javi Lopez isolated all too often and that proved to have a devastating impact.

  • Verdú
    0
    1
    2.00

    Verdú

    Was unable to play as high up the pitch as he would have liked and was therefore below standard. Whenever he received the ball it was not in his most desired areas which led to him becoming increasingly frustrated.

  • Simão
    0
    2
    2.50

    Simão

    The Portuguese was forced to do a lot more defending than he would have liked as Espanyol put 10 men behind the ball for much of the game. He initiated a couple of decent counter-attacks but was ultimately left a spectator.

  • Raúl Baena
    0
    1
    2.50

    Raúl Baena

    Failed to get anywhere near the ball in midfield as Barcelona ran the show for the full 90 minutes. He was completely overrun before being withdrawn on the hour mark.

  • Sergio García
    1
    1
    3.00

    Sergio García

    He may have grabbed a great goal against Real Madrid earlier in the season, but he failed to show the same composure as he blasted a fantastic opportunity over the bar in the 23rd minute. Nevertheless he worked hard and his hold-up play provided some relief for his defence.

Substitutions

  • J. Albín
    0
    1
    2.50

    J. Albín

    Really should have got a goal for his side when he latched onto a short back pass from Pique. However, he lacked to composure to slot past Valdes.

  • Alfonso
    0
    1
    2.50

    Alfonso

    Replaced Baena on the hour mark but did not offer much more steel to the centre of midfield.

  • Stuani
    0
    1
    2.50

    Stuani

    Brought on for Verdu in the 63rd minute but the Uruguayan did not see enough of the ball to test the Barcelona defence.

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
Atl. 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