Barcelona said goodbye to the La Liga title with a quite lackluster performance against Real Madrid in El Clásico and a negative result to match. Sloppy passing, missed chances and glaring defensive mistakes were the main themes today, with Barcelona losing their first league Clásico in 4 years.
Here are the ratings for today’s match.
Victor Valdés – 5.5
Had a very forgettable match, as he could have done better in both Real Madrid goals. He wasn’t very tested otherwise, but the way he conceded the two goals leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of culés all over.
Adriano Correira – 7
Dealt very well with Di Maria on his flank, but offered very little going forward. Defensively, he was very good, which was the main requirement for this game.
Carles Puyol – 6.5
Had a good game overall, with several crucial tackles and clearances and great captainship, but he was the main culprit in Real’s first goal, as he could have easily got rid of the ball before Kherdira poked it in.
Javier Mascherano – 6
Had a very average performance overall, after a string of great matches, despite some good long balls and clearances. He was especially at fault for Madrid’s second goal, where he couldn’t anticipate Cristiano Ronaldo’s run or keep up with him and he often struggled to deal with Karim Benzema.
Sergio Busquets – 7
Had a solid performance, consistently winning the ball back in midfield and spraying quality passes. Could have perhaps contributed more up front by trying some through balls.
Xavi Hernandez – 5.5
Poor performance overall by his standards, ceding possession far more often than usual and unable to find any killer passes. Besides, he missed a glorious scoring chance in the end of the first half. Replaced by Alexis Sanchez early in the second half.
Thiago Alcantara – 6.5
Had some poor moments in the game, but also moments of great brilliance, often dribbling past several Real Madrid players and sending a fantastic assist to Tello, who missed his shot.
Andrés Iniesta – 5.5
A match to forget, one of his worst in recent years and surely this season. He missed far too many passes, offered no penetration and couldn’t have his trademark combination plays with Messi. Nothing went right for him, which is rather unusual in big matches for Andrés.
Christian Tello – 6
He was very active, which is good for a kid playing his first Clásico, but extremely nervous in front of goal, as attested by his incredible misses. He also rarely managed to beat Arbeloa on his flank as he was extremely predictable with his movements.
Daniel Alves – 5.5
Played as a winger and was never able to impose his game on the attacking end. Was completely dominated by Fabio Coentrão down the flank and could never find any answers.
Lionel Messi – 6.5
Had a few great dribbling runs, one of them leading to the equalizing goal, but was overall just as lackluster as some of his teammates today, with only a few flashes of brilliance like his amazing pass to Xavi in the first half. Barcelona need him back to his irresistible best next Tuesday.
Alexis Sanchez – 7.5
Came in for Xavi and scored a scrappy goal seconds after his introduction and continued being active and somewhat dangerous from then on. Had a great impact on this match.
Pedro Rodriguez – 6
Ran his heart out but couldn’t have any big impact on the match.
Cesc Fabregas – N/A
Played for less than 10 minutes and barely had any chance to leave a mark on this match.
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
Amazing image: JAVIER SORIANO – AFP