Despite dominating the entire match, with 84% possession and multiple chances, FC Barcelona lost 2-1 at Celtic Park against the locals, a result that does not compromise the club’s European campaign but still leaves a sour taste.
Here are the ratings for last night’s match:
Victor Valdés – 6
Had a frustrating night: Celtic only had two shots, both were goals and he had no chance in either.
Jordi Alba – 6.5
Was beaten in the air for Celtic’s first goal; had little work to do defensively and offered a good attacking outlet down the left, but his actions mostly turned out to be inconsequential, as his final pass was lacking despite some good plays.
Marc Bartra – 6
Had a very nervous performance overall, struggling with the height and strength of Celtic’s attackers and almost gifting a goal to Celtic, as well as lacking calm and composure on the ball, although his positioning was generally good.
Javier Mascherano – 6
His positioning was often dubious, but he made some quality and important interceptions preventing possible danger.
Daniel Alves – 6.5
Was very active in attack, although rarely dangerous, but was caught out in defense a few times by Celtic’s wingers on quick counters.
Alex Song – 3
Had a quite disastrous performance, failing to provide adequate protection to the backline, missing many passes and being quite lucky not to have got himself sent off.
Xavi Hernandez – 6.5
Pulled the strings in Barcelona’s midfield as usual, constantly probing for any possible openings in the Celtic defense, but it was a very unusual mistake of his that allowed Celtic to score their second goal.
Andrés Iniesta – 6.5
Had some good combinations with Xavi and very accurate passing, but lacked the cutting edge and penetration he usually brings to the table as he didn’t really make anything happen.
Pedro Rodriguez – 6
Had a very subdued performance overall; he tried as hard as he always does, running his heart out and applying pressure off the ball, but he didn’t offer much as an attacking threat.
Alexis Sanchez – 6.5
He rarely managed to beat his defender and when he did his final ball let him down. Ended up being replaced by Villa late in the second half.
Lionel Messi – 7.5
Tried as hard as he could to fight against the team’s fortunes, but he was denied by Foster time and again until he finally got a goal from close range in the dying minutes. Definitely the best Barcelona player on the pitch.
Gerard Piqué – 7
Came into the match for Bartra to be the team’s #9 and had a good impact in the game, offering a threat in Celtic’s box.
Cesc Fabregas – 6.5
Came into the match for Song and couldn’t make much of an impact, although his passing and movement looked sharp.
David Villa – 6.5
Came in for Alexis and had a very positive impact. Had a goal unluckily denied as his goal bound shot met Piqué in the way.
Editor’s note: These ratings have been written by Manuel Traquete. He is a lifelong FC Barcelona supporter and a freelance football writer who shares his thoughts @Manueltraquete.