Player ratings Barca Vs Athletic Bilbao

9 03 2009

Barca got their swagger back in a 2-0 win against Athletic Club Bilbao.  After  watching the match here’s the ratings i think the players deserved!!!!

Team: 8. There were some moments of selfishness and inexplicable behavior, but the mojo seems to be back. Pace with the ball, aggression and movement were all back, and how.

Guardiola: 9. Right lineup, and he clearly had them ready to play. He was coaching, cajoling and getting on the lads’ butts about the occasional lax play that allowed Bilbao opportunities. Personally, I would have had Puyol subbed out long before his injury, but that’s just me.

Valdes: 7. Patrolled his area well, and the one kick save he was forced to make was a big one. There wasn’t a darned thing he could do in the Yeste situation, so he just ran at the player, hoping to put him off. It worked.

Puyol: 9. No, he isn’t Dani Alves, but he sure does work fine in a pinch, portraying the role of Barca’s hand cream-loving Brazilian dynamo to perfection. He should have had a couple of assists to go with his omnipresent, stalwart defense.

Pique: 7. Yes, he didn’t properly clear that ball that resulted in the ping-about that sprung Yeste loose. But he didn’t put a boot wrong after that, including single-handedly clearing the box twice in the same sequence of plays, and a few last-ditch sliding tackles to stop Bilbao attacks. And his long, attack-starting passes were crazy good.

Marquez: 6. The Kaiser was much better than he’s been, and had some very good, very solid play. Pique was Barca’s best central defender today, but Marquez was right there.

Sylvinho: 6: I was ready to give the old man a hard time, but he played a very solid match today, playing and controlling his space with much more effectiveness, and contributing some very nice passes, as well.

Busquets: 5. Been better, been worse. He made many possession errors, as if playing for the foul instead of to keep the offense moving. He also has to learn to get into position, instead of just throwing his legs out and lunging for the ball. He also loses contain on his man too easily. Even if Pique screwed up the clearance, Busquets should have been marking the man better.

Xavi: 8. He’s a few bad passes away from perfection, but Barca’s General is back. He really does make the team go, and now that his energy is back, you can see how much more easily the offense starts. He’s also playing defense as well, with interceptions and a couple of most excellent sliding tackles. Nice pass dropped directly to the top of Busquets’ head, too.

Iniesta: 7. I like his recent run of play, but he was off today. Passes didn’t find the mark and he was a little slow with the play as he held the ball too long on more than one occasion. Still, it’s good to have him back as part of Murderers’ Row.

Messi: 6. I know, I know. He was better than a 6. No he wasn’t. He can do much more than any player on this planet but today he was selfish with the ball. Those crowd-pleasing runs didn’t result in anything except applause. We forget, because the ones that do work are so memorable. He’s most effective when he leaves passing as an option.

Henry: 6. Good passing, strong effort both on offense and defense. But dude…. you can’t leave goals on the pitch. There was the soft roller at the keeper in the first half, one more at the keeper in the second, then one that you bury 9 out of 10 times. Those misses can cost in a closer game. Get with the program.

Eto’o: 5. Without the selfishness and unwillingness to play with Henry, he’s a 7, even with the wasted opportunities, because he’d probably have had an assist or two to pad his rating. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. His first touch is gone. It should return, but more worrisome is the black hole that he became with the ball. When he passes from his central position, it makes Barca verge on unstoppable. When his mind is only on the goal, they are weaker as a consequence.

Substitutions

Gudjohnsen (for Iniesta): 4. Not bad, not good. The role that was required of him fit his skill set. He just didn’t seem to have a knack for being where the ball was. Often, he does.

Sanchez (for Puyol): incomplete. For obvious reasons. Coming in with about a minute of stoppage time left just means that you’re filing out the XI.

Agree with the rating????? Let me know!!!!!!!

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