Player Ratings: Real Madrid 2-6 Barcelona

Goal.com's Ewan Macdonald rates the performers on show in the Clasico encounter between the two Spanish giants.
REAL MADRID (4-4-2)

Casillas 7 -
Helped to keep the score down amidst some fierce Barcelona pressure. A positive showing even though he was clearly distraught at times. He deserves better. (And Henry's second wasn't his fault.)

Sergio Ramos 6 - A delicious cross for Higuain's goal early on and his header to score was very well-taken. But on a night on which he had to balance his role, he failed in his defensive duties. (That said, was removing him really the right option for Juande Ramos?)

Fabio Cannavaro 4 - Many people still entertain the idea that Fabio Cannavaro remains a top-level performer. I am not one of these. He held his line well enough but he hasn't the pace or imagination to cope anymore.

Metzelder 4 - Came in at a very difficult time for his side and, true to form, had a difficult evening.

Heinze 3.5 - Was always cast as a potential liability and thus it proved as he sold the jerseys for the Henry equaliser, and while he recovered after that he was again at fault at the fifth.

Robben 7 - A bright start from the Dutchman, but he couldn't do it all himself

Lassana Diarra 5 -
Again, Lass started brightly, but he gave away a cheap goal and never regained his composure after that. He deserves praise for covering so much ground and being positionally aware, but it was a poor display.

Gago 4.5 - The game almost completely passed him by, and his languid, considered style was not suitable for this derby. With Madrid playing so far up the pitch he needed to chip in with more defensive duties, but couldn't.

Marcelo 6 - One of the better performers, Marcelo was surprisingly substituted at a time when his pace and invention looked like Madrid's only way of getting back into the game.

Higuain 7 - Took his header wonderfully to open the scoring and otherwise was a danger. Will be terribly disappointed with how the Liga campaign has ended despite his best season to date.

Raul 5 - Not even the captain extraordinaire could rescue his side this evening as he struggled to make an impact.

Substitutes

Huntelaar 5 - Barely touched the ball, but was thrown in at the deep end by a coach short of ideas.

Van der Vaart 5.5

Javi Garcia N/A


BARCELONA (4-3-3)

Victor Valdes 7 -
Could have done better for Madrid's second goal but came off his line well at other times.

Dani Alves 7.5 - Energetic as always, and while he wasn't a direct assister for goals he was suitably menacing up and down that flank.

Pique 9 - I may have criticised him in the past, but this was a great performance. Gerard was confident, astute, and even chipped in with a goal. Can he keep it up?

Puyol 7 - Completely at sea for Real Madrid's opener. Then, of course, he pops up at the other end to score with a well-taken, albeit free,  header. Redeemed himself nicely as Madrid's heads went down.

Abidal 7- Had a lot of work to do between dealing with Sergio Ramos and Arjen Robben, so deserves a bit of sympathy, but he was not up to the challenge at all times. Still, not too bad.

Xavi 9 - Just call him Mr. Through Ball. He made it look so easy - granted, with the aid of some poor Madrid defending - as time and again he sliced open the back line.

Yaya Toure 7.5 - Did enough to keep the pressure on Madrid at a time when they might have been able to move the ball quickly out of defence.

Iniesta 7.5 - Started slowly, but his wizardy on the ball was worth waiting for as he hit his stride. Not his best performance, but still a cut above what most players could provide.

Messi 9 - Helped to turn the tide of the match with that opening assist, and it was all one way from there as the youngster enjoyed a fine evening.

Eto'o 6.5 - Looks jaded and creaky, and not the predator that he was earlier in the season. Nothing really seemed to come off for him until that late assist for Pique, which admittedly showed his spirit.

Henry 9.5 - A majestic showing both on and off the ball. Two goals? That's the least his night's work deserved. Not only has he silenced his doubters, but he has them bowing at his feet. What a performance!

Substitutes

Keita 6.5 - Came in to make sure a job done stayed finished, and that's what he did.

Bojan N/A

Busquets N/A

Ewan Macdonald, Goal.com