FC Barcelona continued its triumphant La Liga campaign with a solid 3-1 over Celta de Vigo at home, thus retaining the 8 point lead over Real Madrid. The match was far from brilliant, but the final outcome never seemed to be in doubt even after Celta’s equalizer.
Here are the ratings for Saturday’s match:
Victor Valdés – 8
Didn’t have much work as usual but he was excellent whenever called upon, denying Celta on at least two occasions. Had no chance in the Celta goal although he did save the first shot.
Jordi Alba – 8
Had a very good performance, dominating the entire left flank and being an ever dangerous threat. Also scored the team’s third goal.
Javier Mascherano – 7
Had a more than decent performance overall, but his bad positioning at times (too far up the field) could have been more costly, although fortunately it wasn’t.
Adriano Correia – 8
Only played 38 minutes before having to be subbed due to injury, but those were some really good 38 minutes overall. He was extremely active down the right flank and scored a goal from a move he initiated himself.
Sergio Busquets – 8.5
Had a very good match, performing both midfield and defensive duties to great effect. Showed his immense positional awareness by dropping back to defense whenever needed and excelling there as well.
Xavi Hernandez – 7
His performance was mostly subdued as he didn’t take many risks with his passing, but it was still good enough. His passing and distribution were almost flawless, as expected.
Andrés Iniesta – 8.5
Had a very good performance, giving the crowd and football fans worldwide a spectacular show of dribbling and ball control, as well as vision. Also brilliantly assisted Villa for his goal late in the first half.
Cesc Fabregas – 6.5
Didn’t confirm his recent good form at all. His passing was off and he could never fully click with the rest of his teammates. Was predictably replaced by Bartra during half-time as Tito Vilanova looked to go back to his traditional 4-3-3.
Pedro Rodriguez – 7.5
Worked very hard on and off the ball to make space for his teammates to shine, and he also set up the first goal for Adriano. His impact waned as the match went on but it was still a very good match overall.
David Villa – 9
Scored a brilliant goal to finish an amazing combination with Iniesta, assisted Alba’s goal and was constantly involved in Barcelona’s attacking moves, linking up superbly with the likes of Messi, Iniesta and Alba. He was the best player on the pitch today.
Lionel Messi – 7.5
Had a rather subdued performance by his standards, perhaps due to his mind being elsewhere (his newborn son). Still had quite a few chances to score, all denied by Javi Varas.
Daniel Alves – 6.5
Came into the match for the injured Adriano and was not nearly as active or dangerous as him, although he did a decent job manning the right flank.
Marc Bartra – 7
Came into the match for Fabregas at half-time and had a solid performance at the back, keeping his calm and composure, even though he was rarely tested by Celta’s attackers.
Alexis Sanchez – 6.5
Came into the match for Villa with about 20 minutes left and didn’t make much of an impact, although he had a few potentially dangerous runs that ended up leading nowhere.
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.
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