Was not given any protection whatsoever from his defence and did not have a chance with six out of the seven Barca goals. However, his limp attempt at stopping Messi's second summed up the straightforward nature that the visitors managed to win the game.
Actually done relatively fine in the opening 15 minutes of the match as he put in a couple of excellent last-ditch challenges. However, as the game went on he was effortlessly outclassed and out-thought in dangerous areas by the Barca players. Simply could not deal with the sharp movement of the attackers.
Continually lost the players he was marking and was guilty of ball-watching for the majority of the match. Dealt with balls in the air okay but his lack of positioning sense and awareness of his surroundings gave Barcelona free roam in and around the penalty area.
Struggled terribly with whatever threat he faced down the right. Alexis was given the freedom of the pitch to cut inside and pick out passes and get to the by-line with ease. Pedro continually drifted inside totally unmarked to receive passes in dangerous areas.
Was quite unlucky when he deflected the ball into his own net to double Barca's lead in the first half. It was a double blow for him as he collided with the post in his attempts to clear the ball and had to be withdrawn due to injury.
Admirably attempted to chase down the Barcelona midfielders and put them under pressure but the visitors dealt well with his attention. Was not able to exert his passing skill on the match as he barely had the ball. Tired very quickly and was taken off just after the break.
Very nearly found the net with a well-struck free kick from 25 yards that was wonderfully saved by Pinto in the Barca goal. Sadly that was his only real moment of quality in the match as on the rare occasion he found himself in advanced positions, his passing was off and Barca usually collected possession.
Buzzed around in the final third and was a pest to Barcelona but a player of his quality needs the ball in order to affect the match for his side. Barca negated his threat by not allowing Rayo meaningful periods of possession in the match. Should have scored in the second half with a close range header that went over the bar.
Has gained a lot of admirers this season and continued his impressive recent displays tonight. Was the only Rayo player who caused Barca any real problems and his pace and brute force particularly down the left had the visitors on the ropes at times. Nearly scored with a cracking shot from the edge of the area that was well saved by Pinto.
A very limp performance from the forward. Did not give Carles Puyol any problems whatsoever in advanced areas and was dealt with far too easily by the Barcelona captain. Needed to be stronger when in possession and his passes in central areas failed to find any team-mates.
Did not get a lot of change out of Puyol and Mascherano in central areas but did get some joy down the right against Adriano. His dribbling and running power gave the Barca left-back a few worries as he managed to get in a few crosses. However, ultimately nothing came from his work.
Pulled off a magnificent save in the first half as he turned a whipped free kick from Trashorras round the post with his fingertips. Topped that with a world-class save in the second half from a rasper of a shot from Bangoura that looked destined for the top corner.
Always kept extremely tight to the back of Diego Costa at the back which stopped the Brazilian from introducing team-mates into the play. Continually kept things neat and tidy at the back and made a number of excellent interceptions that if not executed, would have saw a Rayo player through on goal.
Another impressively solid performance by the 20-year-old. Kept Rayo talisman Michu at bay down the left-hand side and did not allow him a lot of room to affect the game. Did not offer much in terms of attacking play down the right but put in a good shift at right-back.
Not his most swashbuckling performance down the left tonight as his usual marauding runs down to the byeline were slightly less frequent and reserved. Did not have much to deal with defensively and pretty much went through the motions in the match. Replaced on the hour mark by Dani Alves.
Passing was not up to the standards of Xavi during the game but he was still at the heart of a lot of meaningful attacking play from Barca. Was unlucky not to grab himself a goal when he cut a side-footed shot just past the post from the edge of the area. Eventually found the net when he took advantage of some poor defending to score a header from 14 yards.
With every game he plays at centre back he looks more and more comfortable. Defended with a high level of intelligence which left the Rayo attackers not a lot to work with in terms of scraps in and around the area. Burst out from the back a few times and instigated some attacking play through the centre.
Can count himself lucky that he did not give away a penalty in the opening minutes of the match when he rashly slid in on Diego Costa in the area. However, quickly settled into the match and in typical fashion, was neat in possession and screened the area in front of the Barca defence well.
Enjoyed his role as a box-to-box midfielder this evening. Was always a willing runner on the overlap through the centre which lead to his goal when he latched on to a pass from Messi to coolly slot home. Continually won back possession and was a true powerhouse when driving forward with the ball.
Showed superb vision to pick out Pedro with a threaded pass to the right that lead to Barcelona's first goal of the match. His determination and pace also ultimately resulted in their second goal when his cross from the by-line deflected in off Rober.
Displayed terrific desire to drive into the box and get on the end of Pedro's measured pass to the back post, which he slotted home for the opening goal of the match. Found Keita with a magnificent defence-splitting pass which gave the Malian his goal. Set-up Pedro with a delightful lob over the defence and claimed his second with a cool finish from the edge of the area.
Unselfishly set up Messi with a nice pass along the six yard box to get the ball rolling for Barca in the first half. Positioning was spot on just after the break when he found himself in the right place at the right time to slot home from an open goal just after the break. Grabbed a second with a carefully slotted finish in the dying minutes.
- 25 Joel Robles
- 24 Dani Pacheco
Attempted to put himself about after his early introduction but was slightly out of his depth when dealing with the pace and sharp movement of the Barca attackers.
Was introduced early in the second half in an attempt to add steel to the Rayo midfield but all that was accomplished was further needless surrendering of possession due to poor passing.
- 23 A. Delibašić
- 1 Víctor Valdés
Was introduced when Barcelona were flying and had fun in his time on the pitch, attempted skillful flicks and link-up play with Messi.
- 32 Bartra
Will take a while before he can get back up to the pace of the game but done OK after he came on, showing a few good touches.
- 8 Iniesta
- 4 Fàbregas