Player Ratings: Lyon 1-1 Barcelona

Ewan Macdonald runs the rule over the individual performers in the Champions League as the Gones met the Blaugrana at the Stade Gerland...

Lloris 8 -
The ex-Nice man dealt well with all aerial balls, although he had few shots to deal with. Calm with set pieces, too. Pretty much blameless for the goal as there was no man on the back post...

Mensah 7 - In his battle with Henry, it was honours even, which is the most that could be asked of him, given Barcelona's attacking nature. Positive.

Cris 6.5 - Surprisingly poor in distribution, and clearly worried by the presence of Eto'o. That said, he got better as the game drew on.

Boumsong 7 -
Despite his questionable reputation, Boumsong looked abundantly comfortable.

Grosso 7.5 - No-nonsense, and a physical 'doubler-upper' on Messi. Not pretty, but effective - very effective.

Kader Keita 5.5 - From his eyrie out on the right flank his end product should have much better than it was, but as far as getting into space and holding up the ball went he couldn't be faulted. But that final ball...

Makoun 6.5 -
Played the simple pass without difficulty, even though he was sometimes clumsy in the challenge. Not a great defender of set pieces but good attacking them.

Toulalan 7 - Covers less ground than he used to but he has a fierce footballing intellect. Can count himself unlucky to be booked.

Juninho 8.5 -
More than just a free-kick taker, despite what the highlight reel might suggest. His through balls were just as good. Drew plenty of markers and fouls, too. Invaluable.

Ederson 6 - A quiet performance, but nothing wrong with it - certainly kept the defence busy with his runs, if not his passes. Hooked not long after the break.

Benzema 6 - Pacy and powerful, but still immature. One particular incident in the first half saw him greedily shield the ball off to his right when he had Toulalan begging for it on the left. There's too much of that in his play.


Cesar Delgado 6.5 -
Plenty of energy but not his absolute best.

Kim Kallstrom 6.5

Pjanic - NA


Valdes 5 -
It is true that the opening goal was well-taken, but it's also true that Valdes wasn't even close to getting a hand to it. To fail to save it would be forgivable; to not even attempt it is not. Shaky otherwise.

Dani Alves 7 - He was kept crowded off the ball and, barring a couple of moments, was unable to practice his much-vaunted combination with Leo Messi. Good defending, though.

Pique 6.5 - Did not communicate with Valdes in those early stages, and generally looked to be one step off the pace. His 'hail marys' are poor, but what saves his game is his bravery at set pieces - at both ends of the pitch. For this he is valuable, and grew into this role.

Marquez 7.5 - Not nearly imposing as he should have been in the opening moments. In the second, though, he sprung to life and prevented two far-post finishes that could have killed his side off. Smart.

Puyol 7 -
Although he's growing increasingly used to this full-back position this was not the skipper's best performance. Nor was it the worst: once he got his bearings he was defensively solid.

Xavi 7.5 - A complaint leveled against the Barca midfield last season was that it was too ponderous. Xavi has clearly taken this to heart: his quick passing is vastly improved, and key to the Blaugrana game. Good, but not a classic performance.

Yaya Toure 5 - Forced to play slightly deeper than he is used to, his lack of positioning ability against a packed attacking midfield was plain to see. Plenty of effort, good  going forward - but overrun otherwise.

Busquets 6 - Not up to his usual standard, the youngster was substituted 15 minutes from time as his passing grew increasingly wayward.

Messi 6.5 - Frustration was etched on his face from the fifth minute onwards; starved of support he found getting involved extremely difficult. A couple of moments of genius, but it wasn't enough.

Eto'o 6.5 - Always eager to get on the end of things, but lacked composure, oddly enough, in the first period. Improved markedly in the second.

Henry 7 -
Took his goal well and generally kept himself well-placed. But, other than the goal, his shooting was completely wayward.


Seydou Keita 5.5 - Virtually anonymous other than one telling pass.

Ewan Macdonald,