Player Ratings: Barcelona 3 -1 Manchester United




Football - Player Ratings

Football – Player Ratings

Here is our guide to how Barcelona’s geniuses and Manchester United’s outclassed stars fared at Wembley in the Champions League final.

Barcelona

Victor Valdes – 7

Rarely troubled by the opponents he had nothing to do for long periods of time. However he looked sharp and equal to the task whenever called upon. Also could do nothing as Rooney curled the ball into the top corner after a lightning quick break, sadly for United supporters, also the only shot on goal for them.

Dani Alves – 7.5

His rampaging runs down the right have become a familiar sight for all football fans and the trademark runs were present whenever Barca looked to spread the ball wide in search of width on the pitch. Solid defensively too he nullified Park and perhaps more importantly stayed away from shenanigans.

Gerald Pique – 7

Was initially taken aback by Manchester United’s fast start but gradually settled down and performed his duties with aplomb. Never looked to be playing in a makeshift centerback pairing.

Javier Mascherano – 7

Held his own against Chicharito though he was helped by the fact that the Mexican was always perpetually offside or had a bad touch. He also showed his attacking side with a surging run down the middle in the first half.

Eric Abidal – 8

Solid at the back and rendered Valencia useless for the duration of the match. He was given the honour of lifting the trophy, a fitting rejoinder to his remarkable fightback from cancer this season.

Sergio Busquets- 8

He focussed on the football at hand and ensured that the world remembered this final for all the right reasons. He was unflustered on the ball neatly spraying it about to help Xavi & Iniesta take full control of the midfield.

Andres Iniesta – 8.5

The midfield wizard barely reaches the shoulders of Carrick, but footballing wise he is head and shoulders and probably miles ahead. Passed United out of the game and his every move seemed to have danger written all over it.

Xavi – 9

I can’t remember a single misplaced pass by Xavi in the entire game. After some time, bored by the constant wave of Barcelona attacks I resorted to trying to spot one and failed. His impeccable passing and constant pressing ensured that Giggs looked each of his 37 years.

Pedro – 8

A willing runner to chase the intricate diagonals made. He was an ever present quantity in all attacks and ensured that Barcelona got the all important first goal with his assured finish.

David Villa – 8.5

He showed exactly why Barca paid 40 million euros for him with his curled finish from 20 yards for Barcelona’s third goal on the night. He looked lively all evening and kept VDS on his toes throughout.

Lionel Messi – 9.5

Mark his name because if at 23 he is this good I want to see him when he is around 27-28. He was in one word- unstoppable, running at the United defence again and again. After being blocked out by a resolute defence for the first half, he produced a finish of the highest order to leave VDS flummoxed how he got beaten with 3 defenders in front of him. Why was he not given a 10? Well he forgot to comb his hair or something like that

Substitutes

Carlos Puyol – NA

Came on to replace Alves for the last 5 mins, and predictability had hardly anything to do.

Seydou Keita –  NA

Brought on to increase the number of appearances this year.

Ibrahim Affelay – NA

Barcelona’s future as acclaimed by many, though after this master class I fail to see the point of him in this team.

Manchester United

Edwin Van der Saar – 6

He retired from football after the game and could count this game to be an aberration on his resume. He could do nothing for any of the goals and did his best to ensure the match did not turn into a nightmare for United supporters.

Fabio – 6.5

He tried his best to give back as good as he was getting from Barcelona. He kept Pedro down to the odd shimmy and pass and was on hand to make some last ditch tackles.

Rio Ferdinand – 6.5

Stayed deep and tried to defend against the wave after wave of Barcelona attacks. However he discovered like many of his peers that Barcelona do not need a mistake to score goals, they score inspite of good defending.

Nemanja Vidic – 6

He wistfully remarked at the end of the game, ‘It’s surprising. They don’t play with a forward.’ Obviously Sir, a trite remark just a bit too late to be of any use to your team. He was reduced to making last second tackles to cover for the innumerable mistakes by Evra.

Patrice Evra – 4.5

There are more than a few numbers who are playing in the Manchester United team based on past performances and the Frenchman is certainly one of them. Wandered off Pedro only for Xavi to send a measured through ball for the first goal. At no moment did it look that he has been a constant fixture in a team for 3 years missing players completely with his passes.

Michael Carrick – 5.5

He must have tried very hard to forget Rome but Wembley just showed that the wounds had been filled, not gone. A nightmare revisited. Highlighted the need for Sir Alex Ferguson to dip into his transfer kitty to buy a creative midfielder this summer.

Ryan Giggs – 5

‘Giggs, tearing teams apart since 1991.’ ‘Sure,’ said Barcelona and proceeded to give him a run around for the next 90 mins. The United legend grew so frustrated that at one point he stopped while in possession to appeal for handball.

Antonio Valencia – 5

Played his role of a bouncer in the Wembley bar barging and bringing down any Barcelona player in sight. Got an earful in the first half from Sir Alex Ferguson and was duly dispatched to cover in at right back.

Park Ji Sung – 6

He worked hard for his team but his huffing and puffing got his team nowhere in the end. Had nothing to show for all his efforts on the night and was substituted to bring on Scholes.

Wayne Rooney – 7

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Rooney almost brought United back into the match single handed scoring from almost nothing. He must have repaired his image after being probably the only player to come out of the match with his reputation enhanced ever so slightly.

Javier Hernandez – 5.5

He is a good player of that there cannot be any doubt. However he allowed the occasion to get to him as he was totally ineffective throughout. His efforts did not justify Berbatov not even making the subs bench. Would have been substituted if there were any alternatives on the bench.

Substitutes

Nani – 5.5

Came on and promptly gave the ball away for Barcelona’s third goal. His bag of tricks had no impact as Barcelona kept the door firmly closed.

Paul Scholes – 5

A token entry at the end with hardly any lasting impression on the game.

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