Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Barcelona vs Arsenal - Match Ratings

By Shane Thomas


Manuel Almunia - Had a thankless task and could do nothing with the goals. Was only ever on the pitch to service Messi's greatness. 6 (out of 10)

Bacary Sagna - Was one of many to struggle on the night. Made no impact going forward. 5

Thomas Vermaelen - Like last week, applied himself manfully, but does not yet possess the necessary experience to hold a back line together on his own. 6

Mikael Silvestre - Normally a liability in defence and made a slight error for Messi's first goal. But couldn't be considered the weak link here. 5

Gael Clichy - Battled hard but was pressured often and made too may poor choices when attacking down Arsenal's left. 6

Denilson - Started quite well but was unfairly booked and it seemed to have a subsequent negative effect on his game. Shirked responsibility and used the ball poorly thereafter. 5

Abou Diaby - All application, but little quality. When Arsenal needed him to fill the shoes of the absent Cesc Fabregas he was dreadful in possession. His pass to release Walcott for the goal was cancelled out by his inexplicable choice to ignore Walcott 15 minutes later which led to Barcelona equalising. 4

Samir Nasri - I picked him out as a key man for Arsenal. Pep Guardiola must have done the same. Was given no space whenever he had the ball and made no impact in the final third of the pitch. 5

Theo Walcott - Apart from his run to set up the goal, he did very little. This wasn't altogether his fault as he received awful service from his midfield, and that was on the rare occasions he received any service. 5

Tomas Rosicky - Whatever good recent form he's shown must have been left back in North London. Was simply abysmal. Can take no positives from his performance and should have been substituted earlier than he was. 2

Nicklas Bentder - After his excellent game at The Emirates, he struggled against Marquez. Did well with his goal but his team needed him to link the play better than he did. 6


Victor Valdes - Was unlucky with Bendter's goal after making a good initial save. Otherwise could have taken a nap. But he would have then missed out Messi's masterclass at the other end. 7

Dani Alves - Attacked with his usual purpose but his passing was unusually poor. Could have endured a difficult night if Rosicky was on his game. 6

Rafael Marquez - Had an excellent game against Bentder. Had him in his pocket throughout and led the back four in Carles Puyol's absence admirably. 8

Gabriel Milito - Started sluggishly but improved as the game went on. Made a wonderful tackle to deny Bentder in the second half. 7

Eric Abidal - Was involved in the second goal, albeit from a poor cross. Having to leave the pitch after relapse of thigh injury suggests that Walcott could have given him a difficult night if he'd received better service. 6

Sergio Busquets - Should have been booked in the first half for cynical foul on Walcott. But closed down Arsenal's midfield brilliantly. Has quietly become one of football's best 'water carriers' in the past year. 7

Xavi - When he's allowed to control the midfield Barcelona tend to win. He controlled the midfield. Barcelona won. 8

Seydou Keita - Had a marvelous defensive match. Harried Arsenal like a wasp at a picnic and kept Walcott quiet throughout. Also added an assist. 7

Pedro Rodriguez - Showed some moments of real quality interspersed with quite a bit of profligacy. But that's just a lack of experience at this level. His time will come & he gave a delicious touch to set up Messi for his second. 7

Bojan Krcic - Never a like for like replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and was one of the few Barcelona players to have a pretty mediocre game. 6

Lionel Messi - Magical. Glorious. Ruthless. Genius. 10

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1 comment:

  1. I pointed out on the night that Messi had his score/10 printed on the back of his shirt :-)