Commanded his area at set-pieces and communicated well with his back line throughout the tie. With Osvaldo determined to test the Barcelona ‘keeper, Valdes stood tall and made two good saves to deny Espanyol of a lifeline.
Surged forward in the first-half and was his team’s outlet on more than one occasion. Was involved in intricate passing, triangles all over the pitch to good effect.
Wasteful in his distribution from the back but grew in confidence as the game developed. Scored with a strong header to put Barca in a comfortable position and closed out the game well. Was shown up by good touches from Osvaldo, perhaps ominous with the likes of Hernandez and Rooney on the horizon.
In a rare start for the defender he showed maturity and solidarity throughout. Opted to go back or to the side when the right option was forward but that will come when his confidence builds. Not targeted properly by Espanyol so defensively he wasn’t tested too much.
Kept things ticking over, like he always does for Barca. Never wasted the ball and played it quickly, forcing the opposition back. Efficient and seamless.
Strong tackles and last ditch challenges demonstrate that he is growing in this more defensive role. Questionable in the air but his strength and determination make up for that. Needs to stop with the drama, as he will lose respect because of it.
Scored the first goal with a sublime finish and show of trickery. Was a constant threat and could have scored earlier after he found space in the area but brought a save out of Kameni. Played brilliantly in the hole between midfield and attack, keeping the ball all night.
Robust in the tackle, winning the ball back and giving some protection to the backline when Espanyol looked to attack. Passed the ball well, but allowed Xavi to pull the strings. Substituted late on.
Everything but a goal tonight. Showed quick feet around the penalty area and was a constant threat. Unselfishly gave the ball to his teammates rather than going on his own. Great touch to take the ball down from out the air, and showed his class with a flick to Iniesta.
Got himself into superb positions throughout the entire match but he wasted them all. Should have finished after Iniesta and Messi combined to play him in for what would have been a surreal goal, but he pushed it wide of the post.
Had a strong shot well saved in one of his rare involvements. Helped the ball on but never changed the game himself.
Was called upon, as would have been expected. Made smart saves to deny Iniesta and Pedro. Unable to do anything about Iniesta’s strike but partly at fault for Pique’s when his communication let him down. Determination cannot be faulted, flung his body to deny Villa, earning a knock to the head.
Good work to keep the ball and when he was used he kept the ball well. Forced to defend and was pushed back, being denied any space and failed to deal with Dani Alves’ movement.
Disrupted play when it was 0-0 but when they fell behind he was charged with moving Espanyol forward. Didn’t have the awareness or speed to get the team moving and Espanyol never threatened as a unit as a consequence.
Looked strong in defence until he was forced backwards by direct runs. When this happened he was indecisive, as on Barca’s first goal. He was run in behind too easily and wasn’t aware of what was behind him too often.
Turned by Messi and was troubled by Barcelona’s pace and direct approach. Did brilliantly well to turn a cross over the bar with Messi and Villa lurking.
Looked to get forward but could not do anything to help Espanyol find the goal they desperately needed. His poor touch allowed Iniesta to capitalise and it lead to the first Barcelona goal.
Strong tackles in the middle of the pitch and was a constant nuisance to Barca. Eventually though he was overrun with Xavi’s and Busquets' smart passing.
Looked to push forward well when he could and cut inside to move the ball. Unable to do so enough, as he didn’t have enough service.
Looked to be the link between midfield and attack but he failed in doing so and as a result Espanyol were unable to get a foothold in the game. Left Osvaldo isolated too often and failed to catch up with him when attacks were on. Substituted at half-time.
Got the closest to Osvaldo when Espanyol looked to respond to falling behind. He has a lot of promise but was unable to show much of it, a couple of good touches weren’t enough when much more was needed.
The one man attack from Espanyol. Showed good touches to get other players in the game, but went wide to find space. Troubled Mascherano and Pique and forced Valdes into two sharp saves.
- 13 Pinto
His biggest run out since his return from the sidelines and he bombed forward to good effect. Assured touches at the back too, good signs tonight.
- 32 Bartra
- 30 Thiago Alcântara
- 15 S. Kéita
Showed good pace when he came on but his touch let him down when he was in promising positions.
- 11 Jeffren
- 25 C. Álvarez
- 38 Albert Canal
Lost the ball too much when he got it to feet and afforded Iniesta too much space. Not much time to make an impact, and didn't make one.
- 33 David López
Charged with getting Espanyol back in the game but his side were two down three minutes into the second-half. Toiled hard but was easily dominated by Barcelona's defence.
The bit of pace Espanyol required was meant to come from Vazquez but he was unable to get on the ball. Came on with the game pretty much finished.