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Played
September 1, 2013 3:00 PM EDT
Estadio de Mestalla — Valencia
Referee:‬ José Teixeira‎
Attendance:‬ 45000‎
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Valencia 2-3 Barcelona

Goal.com rates the players on show as Lionel Messi bags a hat trick for the Blaugrana on their way to a win at Estadio Mestalla.

By Martin Macdonald

  • Diego Alves
    9
    3
    4.00

    Diego Alves

    The result would have been much bigger in Barcelona's favor if it wasn't for the Valencia 'keeper, who pulled off a string of super saves. The pick of the bunch came late on when he denied a point-blank strike from Messi.

  • Adil Rami
    3
    3
    2.50

    Adil Rami Flop of the Match

    Put his head on everything that came into the Valencia half and put in a couple of excellent blocks inside the box. However, failed to organize his defense well as the space between himself and his central defensive partner was too big.

  • João Pereira
    1
    3
    3.00

    João Pereira

    Got himself booked rather early on for a nasty challenge on Neymar, but his commitment cannot be faulted as he attempted everything to stop the Brazilian. Lacked the quality at times, however, whenever the Barca man came inside.

  • Jose Andrés Guardado
    3
    3
    3.00

    Jose Andrés Guardado

    Was up and down that left-hand side all night and showed a terrific engine in attack and defense. Should have done better when he found himself through on Valdes but done well in his defensive duties and made some important interceptions.

  • Ricardo Costa
    1
    3
    2.50

    Ricardo Costa

    Didn't communicate particularly well with Rami and they were all over the place at times. However, when it got down to the rough and tumble he was putting his body in front of everything, and denied Tello with a superb block in the latter stages.

  • Ever Banega
    3
    2
    3.50

    Ever Banega

    Was lazy on the ball in his own half which allowed Busquets to nick in and set up the attack for Barca's second. However, claimed an assist with a great corner into the box and had Valdes scrambling with a couple of wicked long-range strikes.

  • Javi Fuego
    0
    2
    2.50

    Javi Fuego

    Was always looking to get in the face of the Barcelona midfield but struggled a little with the ball at his feet and didn't really pick out too many passes. Not a particularly creative influence for Valencia.

  • Míchel
    1
    2
    3.50

    Míchel

    Was employed in an advanced position behind Postiga but couldn't get his foot on the ball to get any shots on goal or create much play. Done a good defensive shift when Barca had the ball but didn't provide too much ammunition for the Portuguese.

  • Hélder Postiga
    11
    5
    4.00

    Hélder Postiga

    Got Valencia back into the match with a fantastic volley and then a brilliant header. Was always a thorn in the side of Barcelona and put himself about up top, which ruffled the feathers of the back line.

  • Canales
    0
    2
    3.00

    Canales

    Had a good first half as he found space in front of the Barcelona defense. However, became anonymous as the game progressed and had less of an affect on the game. Had Barcelona worried at times during the game with his movement, though.

Substitutions

  • Sofiane Feghouli
    0
    2
    2.00

    Sofiane Feghouli

    Didn't see too much of the ball after his introduction.

  • Jonas
    2
    2
    3.00

    Jonas

    Nearly earned a draw for Valencia as he struck the post in the latter stages. Was influential after coming on.

  • Víctor Valdés
    23
    1
    3.50

    Víctor Valdés

    Was certainly kept busy despite his side having the majority of possession. Denied Pabon, Postiga, and Banega with a string of accomplished saves and was always willing to receive the ball when necessary, which allowed him to distribute excellently.

  • Piqué
    15
    6
    3.00

    Piqué

    Distributed the ball with precision from the back and read the game well, particularly in the first half. Also proved he is a very capable attacker as he picked out a number of incisive passes in the final third.

  • Jordi Alba
    13
    1
    3.00

    Jordi Alba

    Was always driving down the left wing on the overlap which gave Barcelona a second attacker. However, earned a yellow card for a nasty challenge on Joao Pereira that could have seen him sent off on another night.

  • Daniel Alves
    11
    4
    3.00

    Daniel Alves

    Not his most swashbuckling performance down that wing but was always available as an extra attacker on the right-hand side. Crossing could have been a lot better though, as his final ball more often than not was overhit.

  • Cesc Fàbregas
    19
    2
    3.50

    Cesc Fàbregas

    Continued his brilliant early season form as he confidently strutted around midfield and spread the play with classy passes. Cut open the Valencia defense time and time again and earned himself two assists for Messi's goals.

  • Andrés Iniesta Luján
    16
    1
    3.00

    Andrés Iniesta Luján

    Oozed class throughout the match and was always dropping into the hole in front of the Valencia defense. Drifted past opposition players with ease and slid a number of outstanding passes behind the defense. His performance just lacked a dangerous shot or decisive assist.

  • Javier Mascherano
    15
    2
    3.50

    Javier Mascherano

    Had his hands full with an in-form Postiga and was involved in a running battle with the Portuguese. Gave as much as he got though and did keep him at bay at times. Made a couple of important blocks in the latter stages.

  • Busquets
    15
    2
    3.50

    Busquets

    Was always a calming presence in the middle of midfield and put out fires constantly in front of the Barca defense. Had a hand in the second goal as he relentlessly closed down Banega and played the ball into Fabregas for Messi's second.

  • Pedro
    8
    3
    3.50

    Pedro

    Was the quietest player of the Barca frontline as the play mostly went through Iniesta and Neymar down the left-hand side, but still had an affective match. His pace and movement always looked likely to cause Valencia problems.

  • Lionel Messi
    46
    2
    5.00

    Lionel Messi Top of the Match

    Lit up the Mestalla in the first half with a wonderful hat-trick and terrorized the Valencia defense throughout the match. Was always a danger in the final third and was largely the source of all things good for Barca.

  • Neymar
    41
    4
    3.50

    Neymar

    Looks to be starting a very cohesive partnership with Messi which proved to be formidable tonight. Had Joao Pereira on toast at times down the left and earned an assist with a lovely jink inside and pass to the Argentine.

Substitutions

  • Sergi Roberto
    11
    1
    2.50

    Sergi Roberto

    Came on in the latter stages as Barca looked to tighten things up.

  • Tello
    15
    2
    2.50

    Tello

    Pace was an outlet for Barca after coming on.

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