Barcelona has completed a 4-match winning streak for the first time in this season’s La Liga, with a 2-0 win at El Sardinero against Racing Santander. Lionel Messi picked up where he had left off last Wednesday and scored the two goals, one of them from the penalty spot.
Here are the ratings for today’s match.
Victor Valdés – 7
Had virtually nothing to do, as Racing couldn’t muster a single shot on goal during the 90 minutes. His distribution was great as usual, though.
Carles Puyol – 7.5
Had little to do, but did well whenever called upon with some excellent tackles and interceptions.
Javier Mascherano – 8
Also had very little to do defensively, but showed excellent distribution and vision. Ended up playing almost as a midfielder, mostly due to Racing’s lack of attacking intent.
Daniel Alves – 8
Spent most of the game in attack and was a huge threat down the right flank. He was a bit unlucky not to have got an assist when Messi couldn’t score from his brilliant chipped pass.
Sergio Busquets – 8.5
Had a very complete performance, with impeccable distribution and reading of the game, dropping back whenever necessary and providing some great through balls. He was fouled time and again, but kept his composure at all times.
Xavi Hernandez – 8
Didn’t look very comfortable at the beginning, missing more passes than usual, but improved as the match went on and dictated the team’s play going forward. Created the first goal with his pass to Cesc.
Andrés Iniesta – 8.5
Tormented Santander’s defense all day long with his incredible dribbling and passing, bringing great fluidity to Barca’s offense. Almost scored in the first half, but his shot hit the crossbar.
Cesc Fabregas – 8
Missed a few passes in the beginning, but improved as the match went on. He had a great chance to open the score (which he missed) and minutes later he assisted Messi for the first goal, and he also earned the penalty for the second goal.
Isaac Cuenca – 7
Showed his usual work ethic, running a lot and helping out in defense when needed, but lacked sharpness with his final ball. His crosses met very little success. He almost scored in the second half, but his shot hit the post.
Pedro Rodriguez – 7
Showed some glimpses of his best form as he was very involved in the team’s attacking movements, but he still lacked sharpness in front of goal. The signs are positive, though.
Lionel Messi – 8.5
Didn’t quite reach the heights of last Wednesday’s monumental performance, but still scored two goals, taking his season tally to an unfathomable 50 goals, with more than two months left to go.
Tello – 7.5
Made an impact from the bench as usual with his tremendous pace and was very close to scoring.
Adriano Correia – N/A
Came in too late to make a significant impact.
Seydou Keita – N/A
Also came into the match in the dying minutes, with the score already settled.
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 credit: REUTERS/Felix Ordonez