Player Ratings: Atlético Madrid 1-3 Barcelona

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    FooSe
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    Registration date : 2009-01-06

    Player Ratings: Atlético Madrid 1-3 Barcelona

    Post by FooSe on Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:10 pm

    Mighty Barcelona continued their spectacular run as they steamrolled past ten-man Atlético Madrid, thanks largely to a certain Lionel Messi. Goal.com rates the performers on the pitch.


    ATLÉTICO MADRID

    Coupet – 6: Was hoping to make amends after shipping in six goals the last time the two sides met but once again, he was embarrassed by a rampant Messi… not that he was solely to blame for all three goals.

    Seitaridis – 5.5: Didn’t have much to do on the right against a subdued Iniesta. Should have used the opportunity to attack Barça’s supposed weaker flank.

    Perea – 6.5: Drifted to the left a few times to help shackle Messi. And he did an excellent job, too, by blocking off the Argentine in one-on-one battles. Atleti would have been in much bigger trouble tonight if it wasn’t for him.

    Heitinga – 4: Lucky not to have given away a penalty for a clumsy shoulder charge on Messi early in the game. But couldn’t get away with it the second time as his trip on the Argentine also saw him sent off.

    Mariano Pernía – 6: A busy day at the office trying to keep up with Messi. Did his job to break up the play whenever his rival had the ball with a few cynical challenges. Barely had the chance to attack.

    Maxi – 6: Drifted in and out of the game. Made a bright start but disappeared for long patches in the middle stint.

    Maniche – 7: Very active in midfield. Went after every ball and ran tirelessly from box to box helping out his defenders and his forwards.

    Assunção – 5: Looked uncomfortable from the opening whistle. His tackles were late, reckless and sloppy. A night to forget for the often reliable Portuguese.

    Simão – 7: Liveliest of the Atlético lot. Worked hard to try and create in-roads down the left but he rarely had the support from his teammates once he got into a good position.

    Sinama-Pongolle – 5: Isolated upfront. Dropped down deep just to get a touch of the ball. Given a rare chance to start and impress but nothing of note to show to repay the coach’s faith.

    Forlán – 6.5: Took on Agüero’s role by playing as a secondary forward/playmaker. Saw a lot of the ball and created plenty of openings for his teammates. Barely had a shot at goal, though.

    Substitutes:

    Banega – 6: Brought in to bolster the tiring midfield as Assunção soften up following his yellow card.

    Ujfalusi – 6.5: Made a few important interceptions and blocks. Scored the team’s only goal with a simple header, which may or may not be decisive in the return leg.

    Miguel – N/A

    BARCELONA

    Pinto – 8: Made a crucial block to deny Atleti the equalising goal and that stop led to Barcelona’s third. Made another sensational save moments later to deny Simão’s freekick.

    Alves – 7.5: Made a delightful assist for the opening goal with a most flamboyant of backheels and it was his inch-perfect cross which set-up Messi to draw the penalty. Involved in almost every Barça attack down his wing.

    Piqué – 7.5: Strong in the air. Always at the right place at the right time to cut out any dangerous high balls.

    Cáceres – 6.5: Poor marking allowed Ujfalusi to score from a free header. Did well up to that point and even looked dangerous at the other end of the pitch.

    Sylvinho – 7: Made a few short trips into the Atlético half but left no gaps at the back for Maxi to exploit. A clean, no-frills-no-thrills display.

    Touré Yayá – 7: Stayed behind to do the dirty work. Looked tempted at times to drift forward but he remained disciplined to keep the shape in midfield.

    Busquets – 7.5: Held the ball up well, whether it was in his own half or on the attacking front. Showed great positioning by being ever-present to pick up any loose balls.

    Keita – 8: Acted almost as the deep-lying playmaker, playing through balls to the forwards from the back. Ghosted into the box behind the unsuspecting Atleti backline a few times and had a number of look-ins at goal.

    Messi – 9.5: Five shots on target, three goals. Initiated the first goal, won the penalty which he converted himself, and almost netted an absolutely humdinger just seconds before he wrapped up his hat-trick. Left the match to a standing ovation from the Calderón crowd.

    Bojan – 6: Barely had a meaningful touch of the ball in the first half. Completely closed out upfront and had to be switched to Messi’s flank in the second. Stayed positive to try and get into the game but not one of his best nights.

    Iniesta – 7: Still not yet at his sharpest. Made a sluggish start but came alive in the second half and set-up the third goal with a delightful chip over the defence.

    Substitutes:

    Pedro – 5: Had impossible shoes to fill when he replaced Messi. But credit to him, he got straight into the contest and did his best to impress in the ten minutes he was on.

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