A perfect ten for Leo Messi was the highlight of Barcelona's massacre of the Gunners in the Camp Nou...BARCELONA
Valdes: 7.5 - Should have taken his deckchair and enjoyed the Messi show in
comfort. Had little to do for the most part but did make a good block to deny
Bendtner before the Danish striker scored off the rebound. Apart from that it was a quite night between the sticks.
Alves: 8 - Works tirelessly for his side and chases every loose ball. Tonight was
typical of his work rate as he made a good block early in the first half and
chased back to deny Bendtner with a last ditch tackle before the forward gave
the visitors a surprise lead.
Milito: 7.5 - Slotted into the back four without any apparent problems and put
some manners on Nasri with a slalom tackle. Did well to deny Bendtner with a perfectly timed tackle on the hour mark just when Arsenal were threatening.
Marquez: 6.5 - Certainly not the player of old and doesn't have the pace to play at this level any longer. One of the few Barca players to give the ball away but in his defence he did clatter into Rosicky early on making the Czech a spectator for the remainder of the match.
Abidal: 7 - Reasonably good and would have been expecting a harder night with Walcott starting for Arsenal even if he was left for dead on a handful of occasions. Supplied a poor ball which eventually led to Messi's second and was withdrawn with an injury shortly after half-time.
Busquets: 7 - Guilty of some cynical play in the first half by slicing down the
speedy Walcott with some bad challenges. Dished out the rough stuff and threw himself to ground when Eboue appeared to send an elbow in his direction.
Xavi: 8 - A modicum of consistency as he patrolled the midfield with his usual
brand of class. Simply doesn't give the ball away. No wonder Barca had 75% of
the possession at one stage.
Keita: 8 - Good all-round performance as he was the iron fist to Xavi's velvet
glove. Supplied the assist for Messi's hat-trick with a neat header which set
the number ten on his way.
Pedro: 8 - Looked lively from the start fizzing an early shot wide. Tracked into
his own to win the ball back when he gave it away and delivered some good
Messi: 10 - A perfect ten for the world's perfect ten. The magician was simply
unplayable scoring a mesmerising four goals with each one of them assisted by
his unique brand of genius. His first was a rocket strike, the second an
instinctive piece of the art of goalscoring, the third an outrageous cheeky chip
while his fourth showed his relentless refusal to be beaten. Nobody can touch Messi on his present form so enjoy him at his breathtaking best. As tonight's exhibition showed it's the greatest show in town.
Bojan: 6 - Very quiet night in front of goal replacing Ibrahimovic. In
truth though everyone was in Messi's shadow.
Maxwell: 6.5 - Replaced Abidal in the second half and was never tested by
Walcott's pace mainly because Barca hogged the ball.
Yaya Toure: 6.5 - On for Bojan in the 55th and steadied the Barca ship ensuring they didn't go to pieces like the final 20 minutes in the Emirates.
Iniesta: N/A - A five minute cameo near the end meaning he should see some
action in the Clasico this weekend.
Almunia: 5.5 - Not a top class goalkeeper, never has been and never will be.
While Messi's goals were all superb a better shot-stopper would have done better on at least the final goal where he was made to look silly. Potential England goalkeeper. Yeah right.
Sagna: 6 - A spectator for the most part but did charge forward at times
sending in the occasional good ball.
Vermaelen: 6.5 - Made a vital block to deny Bojan in the first half and was
Arsenal's best defender on a sorry night for the north Londoners.
Silvestre: 4.5 - Awful night for the former Manchester United player. Can no
longer cut it at this level and his errors led to both of Messi's first two
goals. Needs to be sent packing and fast.
Clichy: 6.5 - Fizzed in a terrific ball for Bendtner's header which struck the
post in the second half. Later tried a very optimistic shot from range which his
side were well beaten.
Denilson: 5.5 - Picked up a harsh booking for a fair tackle on Messi in the
first-half when he clearly won the ball. Rarely seen afterwards.
Nasri: 6 - Picked up an early knock and was left clutching his ankle making his
contribution rather fleeting while he battled on.
Diaby: 7 - Won the ball brilliantly in the midfield to go on a lung bursting run
to set up Walcott to create Bendtner's shock early goal. A rare bright spark for
the Gunners on a sad night for Arsene Wenger.
Walcott: 5.5 - Given a start he should have done better and while his pace was a threat it was seen in only fits and starts. Not a patch on his introduction a week ago.
Bendtner: 7 - Took his goal well and was a threat up front when he saw got some service. His touch let him down on the hour mark when he could have got a second.
Rosicky: 5 - Didn't look fit and even worse not particularly interested.
Marquez's early bone crunching challenge set the tone for his night and he
wasted a good chance when he was clean through on goal.
Eboue: 5.5 - Picked up a booking for using his elbow aiming it at Busquet's
Eduardo: 5 - Replaced Rosicky but struggled to get a kick in his quarter on an
hour stint in the Camp Nou.
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