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Player Ratings: Barcelona 4-0 Stuttgart (Agg: 5-1)


Valdes – 7: The goalkeeper is unlikely to have an easier match all season, with Stuttgart rarely threatening his area. Distribution was sound.

Alves – 7: Proved his defensive prowess early with a fine interception, and offered the obligatory overlap on the right to allow Messi to roam free.

Pique – 7.5: The former Manchester United defender continues to be a pillar of strength in the centre of defence, and easily marshalled any attacks the German side could muster.

Puyol – 7.0: The captain returned after a rest at the weekend, and was rarely troubled by the front two of Stuttgart during a composed display.

Maxwell – 7: Much more comfortable in attack than in the defensive third of the pitch, but after his side’s early two goal advantage the necessity to attack waned, giving the former Inter man a comfortable evening.

Toure – 7.5: Replaced the injured Xavi but ensured the Spaniard’s absence did not hamper Barcelona’s stride. His display was more attacking than his conventional role, and he burst forward to set up Pedro for the second goal.

Busquets – 6.5: Did the simple things all evening, breaking up possession and stifling any creative element to the Germans play.

Iniesta – 7:
Drifted in from the left and linked well with the front three, giving Stuttgart’s midfielders a torrid time as they attempted to track his movements.

Pedro – 7.5: Interchanged flanks with Messi on a regular basis to bamboozle the opposition, and was in the right place to slot home the killer second goal that ended the German’s resolve.

Henry – 6.5: Given the nod through the centre ahead of Ibrahimovic, and he produced an industrious if not his most creative performance.

Messi – 9: Yet another masterful performance from the Ballon d’Or incumbent. His first goal was a work of art as he ran half of the length of the pitch to rifle home, before providing a dream pass to Toure as part of the second goal. He is unplayable on this form.


Ibrahimovic – 5.5: Given the last 25 minutes and set up Bojan’s fourth.

Milito – 5:
On for the final ten minutes.

Bojan – 6:
Played two minutes – and scored a goal.


Lehmann – 6: Helpless on any of the goals, and managed to pick himself up a needless booking for dissent as the referee bore the brunt of his frustration.

Celozzi – 5.0: Let Toure drift in behind him all too easily to set up the second goal, and was withdrawn at half-time after a night to forget.

Niedermeier – 7: Dealt reasonably well with the threat of Thierry Henry through the centre, but was let down by his full-backs’ inability to track Barcelona’s runners on the flanks.

Delpierre – 6.5: The Frenchman was at times caught out of position as Barcelona’s intricate passing dragged him across the pitch.

Molinaro – 5.5: The Italian was given an absolutely torrid time by the manner in which Pedro and Messi constantly rotated flanks, and ultimately he failed to track either of them as Barcelona dominated.

Trasch – 6.5: Looked to thread the ball down the channels at every opportunity to get in behind Barcelona, and did not give up despite the increasing hopelessness of the situation.

Kuzmanovic – 5.5:
Did not close down Messi quickly enough for the opening goal, and then was booked in the second half for a raking tackle on the Argentine. The Serbian was unable to create anything of note for his side.

Khedira – 6: Given the task of protecting his back four, but was incapable of doing so as he was dragged across the pitch by the movement of the Blaugrana.

Hleb – 5.5: He is expected to return to Barcelona in the summer, but if his performances continue to be as anonymous as this, he will not remain there for long. Produced nothing.

Cacau – 6.5: Showed slightly more invention than the majority of his colleagues, but his task was fruitless as he was starved of possession and service from the midfield.

Pogrebnyak – 6: The Russian was barely given a sniff throughout the entire match, and he was replaced midway through the second half.


Marica - 5: Came on with the game long gone.

Gebhart - 5:
Arrived at half-time but couldn't impact on proceedings.

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