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Ewan Macdonald runs the rule over the stars of Barcelona and Valencia after the blaugrana's 3-0 win at Camp Nou.

BARCELONA

Valdés 7 -
Had little to do, but did it well.

Alves
8 - Better going forward than he was at the back - and that's praise, not criticism! Excellent stuff from the Brazilian.

Márquez
6.5 - A quiet, but decent game for the Mexican. He didn't impose himself as much as Puyol but he still did well.

Puyol
7.5 - His near-post clearances in the first half were vital, and he was a strong, disciplined performer in the second period, too.

Abidal
7.5 - One of his best performances of 2008. He had the beating of Joaquin in most of their encounters, and when cutting in centrally he looked the part, too.

Xavi
8 - From that post-hitting shot onwards he was confident and cool. His understanding with Gudjohnsen is excellent, as are his through balls.

Touré
7.5 - Recovered from a poor start to set up an Henry strike: this emboldened him significantly. With the self-assured nonchalance of a trial judge he dictated which flank would see the ball with his excellent cross-field passing.

Gudjohnsen
7.5 - A typically dependable performance from the Iceland international, who comes into the side with great effect seemingly at will.

Hleb 8 - An improved performance for the Belarussian, who is finally starting to show his promise, even though he's more of a 'builder' than a wizard like Ronaldinho was.

Messi 7.5 - Some superb dribbling but precious little end product. Still, when he's being double-marked as much as he is, it can't be too easy. In any case he has the fans on his side and will only get better.

Henry 9 - He doesn't have the burst of pace that he used to, but he's still got the finish. A hat-trick, and a well-deserved one at that.What's more, his play down the left flank is looking a bit better, too.

Substitutes

Bojan 7.5 - Did brilliantly to fox both Valencia's center-backs for Henry's third.

Pedro 6 - Did enough to earn a decent score.

Keita N/A

VALENCIA

Renan
6.5 - Did well to deal with a one-on-one with Hleb, and another with Messi, but he could have done better with the first goal.

Miguel
5 - Caught out with long balls over the top, and his going forward was less effective than usual as Abidal kept Barça's left-side intact.

Albiol
5.5 - From his early yellow card onwards he wasn't the stabilizing influence that he should have been.

Maduro 5
- One cannot say that he's out of his depth in the Liga, but he looked out of his depth at the Camp Nou. Then again he was in a makeshift back line out of position.

Del Horno
6 - Probably the best of the back four but he didn't make too much of an impact, and he was even outmuscled by Messi at one stage.

Fernandes
8 - Slowed down slightly in the second period but it was largely thanks to the former Everton man that Valencia were still in it at the break. He's getting better and better, and it's finally starting to pay off that Los Che even signed him in the first place.

Albelda
5.5 - A petulant performance at times, with that yellow card being more than deserved. Not a captain's showing.

Baraja
5 - Largely anonymous, especially in the second half. For all his experience he looked remarkably naive at times.

Joaquín
6.5 - Linked up decently with Fernandes in particularly but luck was not on his side. Gave the ball away too much.

Villa
6 - Only blessed with one chance with the ball at his feet, and he spurned it. Very unlike him. A difficult evening in which it was all he could do to keep the fight going.

Mata
5 - Faded out of the game very quickly and might as well not have been on the pitch in the second period.

Substitutes

Michel 5.5 - Did very little except commit a foul.

Vicente 6.5 - A couple of good deep crosses but he knew the game was a lost cause.

Pablo Hernandez N/A

--Ewan Macdonald, Goal.com

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