The result would have been much bigger in Barcelona's favour 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.
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.
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.
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 organise his defence well as the space between himself and his central defensive partner was too big.
Was up and down that left-hand side all night and showed a terrific engine in attack and defence. Should have done better when he found himself through on Valdes but done well in his defensive duties and made some important interceptions.
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.
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.
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.
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 backline.
Had a good first half as he found space in front of the Barcelona defence. 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.
- 11 D. Pabón
Was certainly kept busy despite his side having the majority of possession. Denied Pabon, Postiga, and Banega with a string of accomplished save and was always willing to receive the ball when necessary, which allowed him to distribute excellently.
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.
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.
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.
Oozed class throughout the match and was always dropping into the hole in front of the Valencia defence. Drifted past opposition players with ease and slid a number of outstanding passes behind the defence. His performance just lacked a dangerous shot or decisive assist.
Continued his brilliant early season form as he confidently strutted around midfield and spread the play with classy passes. Cut open the Valencia defence time and time again and earned himself two assists for Messi's goals.
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.
Was always a calming presence in the middle of midfield and put out fires constantly in front of the Barca defence. Had a hand in the second goal as he relentlessly closed down Banega and played the ball into Fabregas for Messi's second.
Lit up the Mestalla in the first half with a wonderful hat-trick and terrorized the Valencia defence throughout the match. Was always a danger in the final third and was largely the source of all things good for Barca.
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.
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.