FC Barcelona continued its incredible La Liga run with a 3-1 win over Zaragoza, with the inevitable Lionel Messi being the star of the show. The lead over Real Madrid remains at 8 points and the title seems more and more to be heading the blaugrana’s way.
Here are the ratings for today’s match:
Victor Valdés – 7
Could do nothing to prevent Zaragoza’s goal and was pretty much a spectator otherwise.
Jordi Alba – 8
Set up Messi’s first goal and had a very good performance overall, never compromising in defense and creating danger with his excellent overlapping runs in attack.
Carles Puyol – 7
Didn’t look fully sharp, as expected after such a nasty injury, but truth be told he really didn’t need to do as Zaragoza did very little in attack. He got some valuable match play.
Gerard Piqué – 7.5
Also returned to the lineup and played a very good match, bossing the defense and covering for Puyol sometimes. Also showed his traditional great distribution from the back.
Martin Montoya – 8
Constantly involved in attack like Alba on the other side, and was quite dangerous. It was one of his overlapping runs that set up Messi’s second goal of the night.
Alex Song – 8
Had an excellent performance, breaking up play often and scoring Barcelona’s second goal of the night after a great assist from Messi. His passing wasn’t always perfect, but it is improving.
Xavi Hernandez – 7.5
Wasn’t at his glorious best, but still played a great role in Barcelona’s dominance, pulling the strings in midfield with his pinpoint passing and quick, accurate ball distribution.
Andrés Iniesta – 8.5
Wreaked havoc in Zaragoza’s defense all match long with his constant dribbling runs and eye for the killer pass. He could have scored himself on a couple of occasions, but still had a great match.
Pedro Rodriguez – 7
A decent performance, but couldn’t really make an impact as far as creating chances. He still showed his usual traditional work ethic and commitment to the cause, which make him an invaluable asset to the club.
David Villa – 6
Had an extremely subdued performance, barely being involved in any dangerous plays. He was mostly kept quiet by Zaragoza’a defense before getting replaced by Tello in the second half.
Lionel Messi – 9.5
A sensational match-winning performance; the Argentine showed again why he’s the world’s best, with two goals, one assist and plenty of mesmerizing football. He was the hero of the day yet again.
Cristian Tello – 6.5
Came in for Villa and had some bursts, but they all turned out to be inconsequential.
Marc Bartra – N/A
Didn’t play long enough to make an impact.
Cesc Fabregas – N/A
Also came into the match too late to make a real impact.
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.
Image: Claudio Chaves/MD