The Real Footie Analyst

Player Ratings: Barcelona 3 Manchester United 1

Simply a footballing lesson. United were outplayed in every facet of the game.

Man of the Match:

Lionel Messi – 10

There are no more superlatives to describe him.

Untouchable, United just couldn’t get anywhere near him.

A goal mid-way in the second half and for terrorizing the Red Devils all evening, Messi deservedly earns my man of the match.

Barcelona

Valdes – 8 – Apart from Rooney’s equalizer, the Spanish shotstopper had a fairly casual evening between the sticks.

Abidal – 7 – Had little to do as United camped on the right hand side of the field in attack.

Mascherano – 7 – Struggled in the early stages when United pressed, but had little do for the rest of the match.

Pique – 8 – Looked shaky in the early stages as well, but came into his own as the game drew on.

Alves – 8 – The Brazilian wingback linked defence with attack to perfection.

Busquets – 8 – The height of composure, Busquets looked like a player well beyond his years. Cleaned up wonderfully and gave Messi and Co the freedom to attack.

Xavi – 9 – The puppeteer pulled Barcelona’s strings all evening. Gave an eye of the needle pass through to Pedro who slotted the game’s opener.

Iniesta – 9 – Xavi’s accomplice kept United on the backfoot with his neat, simple but yet effective interplay.

Pedro – 8 – Scored the game’s opener, but was anonymous in the second period.

Villa – 9 – Scored the goal that killed the game as a contest. Looked dangerous all evening from a man who hasn’t been at his best all season.

Substitutions:

Puyol – Too little time to provide a rating.

Keita – Too little time to provide a rating.

Manchester United

Van Der Sar – 7 – Tried his best to keep United in the tie, but it was an impossible task. A sad way to end what was a memorable career.

Evra – 5 – The French International unnecessarily drifted into the centre for Barcelona’s opener, leaving Pedro free. Failed to rush out to Messi to try and block a shot which was eventually Barcelona’s second goal.

Ferdinand – 6 – Tried his best to keep the Catalan attack out, but eventually succumbed to unrelenting pressure.

Vidic – 7 – United’s best defender on the evening, but couldn’t stop the attacking machine of Barcelona.

Fabio – 6 – The Brazillian twin did well against Pedro in the first half. Had his night cut short due to injury after a spectacular stop off United’s goalline.

Carrick – 6 – The midfielder tried his best to keep up with Xavi and Iniesta, but struggled in the latter. Was eventually substituted for Paul Scholes.

Park – 7 – Industrious as usual, Park’s work rate was outstanding. Worked tirelessly but to no avail.

Giggs – 7 – United’s best attacking outlet from the midfield, although he struggled to keep up with Barcelona’s passing game. Layed off a wonderful ball into the space for Rooney for United’s equalizer.

Valencia – 5 – Struggled all evening, frustated at what little ball he was receiving and ended up making a few dodgy tackles.

Hernandez – 4 – A passenger all evening. Hardly had a sniff of scoring.

Rooney – 7 – Scored a stunner to equalise for United, but then struggled to receive ball as the game went on

Substitutions:

Scholes – 5 – The midfield maestro could not receive any ball to make any sort of impact.

Nani – 5 – Had a shot whilstling past the post late on in the game, but that was all she wrote for the Portuguese.

Referee

Viktor Kassai (Hungary) – 7 – To his credit, he allowed the game to flow. Hardly any stoppages and played advantage well.

3 Comments

  1. footieanalyst says:

    Spot on Jarred. What ratings would you give both managers’?

  2. Jarred Manasse says:

    Considering the outcome of last night and tactics set out by both managers, its hard to actually rate them I think.

    We all knew how Barcelona were going to play, formation etc. Apart from Puyol’s exclusion, I don’t think there were many surprises from Guardiola’s side.

    As for United, one can be very critical, saying Ferguson got his tactics wrong.

    I feel though, not matching Barcelona’s formation like – for – like was the right one.

    If Ferguson had matched them, it would have seemed as if we are intimidated, scared.

    Ferguson decided to stick with his 4-4-1-1 formation, which showed his intent to beat Barcelona, and not just soak up the pressure and hope for the best.

    However, it blew up in his face, but in order to pick the lock to beating them, I think was a risk worth taking.

    If I were to rate them it would be:

    Guardiola – 8

    Ferguson – 5

    What would be your ratings?

  3. footieanalyst says:

    I’d say that would be a fair rating for both of them…did you see the camera shot on Fergie’s hands skaking like a leaf? Hectic…

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