The Real Footie Analyst

Player Ratings: Barcelona 3 Arsenal 1

Barcelona

Valdes – 6 – Didn’t have a single shot on goal to contend with.

Alves – 6 – Made some good forward runs and ensured that Arsenal were kept under pressure from the flanks.

Busquets – 5 – The stand-in centre half was largely untroubled but provided Arsenal with an equaliser from the corner.Out of depth in that position.

Abidal – 7 – Looked very comfortable on the ball even though he is a full-back by trade. On occasion he got forward well and supported the attacks.

Adriano – 7 – Made some good runs to give Sagna a torrid evening. Also provided some decent crosses into the box.

Mascherano – 6 – Provided defensive cob=ver for the Barca midfield and played his holding role to good effect.

Xavi – 8 – The midfield maestro scored a gem of a goal following some good pass and move with Villa and Iniesta.

Iniesta – 8 – Like Xavi he too floated around the pitch and made everything look so easy. Pushed the Arsenal defence into making mistakes by his constant pressing.

Pedro – 7 – Had a good game throughout and was a constant threat to the Arsenal defence with his movement and link-up play with Messi and Villa.

Villa – 6 – Had a quiet game by his standard but provided Xavi with the one-touch pass for the important second goal.

Messi – 9 – Scored the third from a well taken penalty. Also scored the first with an exquisite finish on a top a brilliant showing.

Substitutes:

Affelay – 7 – Came on and had an instant impact towards the latter stages of the game. Almost scored with two great chances.

Keita – too little time to provide a rating

Maxwell – too little time to provide a rating

Arsenal

Szczesny – 6 -Looked comfortable behind the back four until he picked up an unfortunate injury after a Daniel Alves pile-driver free kick.

Sagna – 6 – Did ok under the circumstances. Spent most of the night defending and being stretched yt Barcelona’s left full-back Adriano.

Djourou – 5 – Didn’t settle and struggled with the movement from the like of Messi, Iniesta and Villa.

Koscielny – 6 – Had a night to forget as he gave penalty away with a clumsy challenge which put Barca into the next round.

Clichy – 6 – Had a busy night having to contend with Alves’ marauding runs down the right flank. Like Sagan he could only watch and admire the movement from the Barca attack.

Diaby – 4 – Gave the ball away and was horribly outclassed by the Barcelona midfield. Failed to put his mark on the game.

Wilshere – 6 – Looked isolated at times but then again it was the Barcelona midfield who closed down any space he had.

Nasri – 7 – Arsenal’s best player on the night. Ha d a good old tussle with Dani Alves in the first half. Played out too wide for him to be more influential.

Fabregas – 5 – Gifted Barcelona with their first goal with his needless back-heel. He was a late inclusion due to injury and it showed as he was eventually substituted.

Rosicky – 6 – Tried in vain to break down the Barcelona attack and movement and was let down by the rest of the Arsenal midfield.

Van Persie – 5 – Got himself booked in the first half and then was wrongly sent off for what was deemed as time-wasting by the ref.

Substitutes:

Almunia – 6 – Did well under the circumstances and could do nothing for both goals. Made some good saves to keep the score down.

Bendtner – 5- Had a good chance to get Arsenal a second goal but was denied after a poor first touch.

Referee

– 4 – Had a poor game and wrongfully sent off Robin van Persie that killed off any hope for Arsenal.

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