He had little to do in the first half, but made two excellent saves in the second to ensure that Barcelona kept a clean sheet on home turf.
Competed well with Larrivey and only afforded the Argentine two half chances all game. Did well in the air and covered well for Puyol.
Showed desire and commitment to the cause, as he threw himself into aerial battles and strong challenges throughout.
Picked out several excellent long passes, and was unfortunate not to find the net with two good long-range efforts.
Opened the scoring with a delightful placed shot inside two minutes, and offered plenty going forward, without being beaten to the byline all game.
An imperious performance from the diminutive midfielder, who looked sharp and silky, carving the Rayo defence open at will and losing the ball sparingly.
Ran the show in the centre of midfield, showing a great passing range and being involved in most of the goals. Denied a goal by a great Ze Castro block.
Allowed for Iniesta and Fabregas to press forward, and did the simple jobs effectively. Kept possession and broke up play on occasion.
Scored twice to surpass Di Stefano's La Liga goalscoring record, and looked back to his best. Exquisite touch, confidence and looked to enjoy the match.
Unfortunate to strike the woodwork in the first half, but did slide home at the end of an excellent team move in the second half.
His pace caused the Rayo defence problems, and he took his goal calmly. Enjoyed a fierce battle with Mojica.
Made one good save to deny Messi, but was otherwise powerless, as shots rained in on his goal throughout.
Had an awful first half, as he was systematically torn apart by Pedro, before being replaced by Tito.
His physicality and pace allowed him to compete with Alexis over the 90 minutes, as well as permitting him to bomb forward whenever possible.
Made one good block to deny Fabregas and slide in well on two occasions to prevent the scoreline from becoming even more embarrassing.
Retained possession well, and played several excellent long-range through balls in search of Larrivey.
Made several important interceptions in the first half, which allowed for the relegation strugglers to head to the dressing room at merely 2-0 at half-time.
Didn't offer much going forward and was regularly bypassed in midfield by the imperious Iniesta and Fabregas.
Isolated and didn't receive much good service, but his physical presence caused Barcelona one or two problems.
Tested Valdes on two occasions, as his trickery bought him enough space to fire a shot at goal.
Spurned Rayo's biggest chance at 1-0, forcing Valdes into an excellent save with his legs.
Plenty of effort, but little in the way of end product, as the former Real Madrid man didn't enjoy a productive evening.