Barcelona 3-2 Real Madrid: El Clásico Player Ratings

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentAugust 18, 2011

Barcelona 3-2 Real Madrid: El Clásico Player Ratings

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    El Clásico was once again plagued by diving, fouls, unsportsmanlike acts, but at least it was entertaining.

    Find out which Barcelona player allegedly made a religious slur which caused the fracas.   

    In seven El Clásicos under a José Mourinho-led Real Madrid, they've only won once.

    Barcelona re-avenge the Copa del Rey failure with a Supercopa de España triumph. 

    Surprisingly Mourinho has done away with the park the plane in front of goals mentality. Close, but no cigar like usual.     

    The hostilities between each other aren't fostered by a Catalonia v Spanish sentiment, as it was in the past, more so just pure disgust for each other on the day.

    A disgust produced by Barcelona's diving and Real Madrid's over-physical nature, which at times boadered on thuggish behaviour.   

    It's the second time a Real Madrid player has lashed out at a Barcelona player in the dying minutes. 

    Even after victory, Gerard Piqué accused Mourinho of destroying Spanish football, perhaps not from an aesthetic, rather a moral point of view. 

    Whereas Iker Casillas believed Cesc Fàbregas threw himself to the ground like usual when Marcelo hacked him in thuggish fashion. 

    A view reinforced by Mourinho who stated, "I have been polite and played like a man and not fallen to the ground at the first touch." I guess he thought it was polite to randomly twist the ear of Barcelona assistant manager Tito Vilanova.

    Hopefully we'll get more drama filled El Clásicos this season. 

    Here are the player ratings for Barcelona and Real Madrid.    

Barcelona: Victor Valdés

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    Player rating: 7.5/10

    Bad defending rather then Victor Valdés was the reason why Barcelona conceded twice. 

    As players and a certain manager disgraced themselves in the past two games, Valdés has oddly been on his best behaviour. 

    We didn't see the Valdés running box-to-box to argue with a referee's decision nor do we see one being a general nuisance.

    Rather we've seen Valdés out-keep Iker Casillas in the Supercopa de España.

    Valdés made a stunning save to palm Cristiano Ronaldo's goal-bound effort onto the bar, before running out of his box to deny Karim Benzema and Mesut Özil clear openings.    

Real Madrid: Iker Casillas

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    Player rating: 6/10

    Iker Casillas was not at fault for any of the goals.

    Rather people should focus on that save he made to deny Pedro immediately after Karim Benzema had scored. 

    What about saving Cristiano Ronaldo's blushes as it was his loss of possession which led to a swift Barcelona counter attack forcing Casillas to deny Lionel Messi with his feet. 

Barcelona: Dani Alves

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    Player rating: 8/10

    Dani Alves must have had an epiphany the night before: Cristiano Ronaldo will not get past me. 

    Alves played a good first leg, but I was extremely surprised as how disciplined and how defensive minded he was tonight.

    Long gone was the cavalier like Alves who wanted to boost his offensive statistics, rather there was an Alves tonight who realised if he went walk about, Ronaldo would punish.

    There was a period where in the space of five minutes, Alves dispossessed Ronaldo twice.

    Alves sacrificed his offensive output to neutralise Ronaldo. 

Real Madrid: Sergio Ramos

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    Player rating: 5/10

    Sergio Ramos was left red faced after his attempt to play the offside trap failed; 1-0 to Barcelona.

    Had a 50/50 change to score with a volley in the 57th minute and then fluffed a glorious opportunity to score with a free header in the 70th minute.

    Aside from that, Ramos had a typically industrious game.   

Barcelona: Javier Mascherano

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    Player rating: 6.5/10

    Had his hand raised up to signal offside even though he was the one at fault for not marking Cristiano Ronaldo; 1-1. 

    Javier Mascherano made two pivotal interceptions off Ronaldo, and in general the Argentinian played well enough at centre-back.   

Real Madrid: Ricardo Carvalho

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    Player rating: 4/10

    Ricardo Carvalho had an uncharacteristically off night.

    Perhaps he could blame Sergio Ramos for not moving forward in unison for the first goal, but Carvalho was at fault for the second goal. 

    He didn't follow up on Lionel Messi and Barcelona's goal just before the halftime break was a dagger straight through Real Madrid's confidence.

    Also where was Carvalho in the third goal?  

Barcelona: Gerard Piqué

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    Player rating: 6.5/10

    He and Javier Mascherano prayed for an offside flag as they raised their hands to gesture offside, even though Cristiano Ronaldo had scored in between both Barcelona defenders.

    Gerard Piqué also failed to mark Karim Benzema tightly for the second goal.  

    Though without Piqué's imaginative backheel, Barcelona would not have the same advantage going into the second half.

    With Manchester United's centre back crisis, imagine Piqué and Chris Smalling at the heart of defence. 

Real Madrid: Pepe

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    Player rating: 6/10

    It's kinda ironic that the only time Pepe has been sent off in the past seven El Clásicos was for a tackle where he didn't make any contact. 

    Was fortunate to escape a straight red for a flailing arm at Gerard Piqué.

    Pepe made a brilliant tackle on Andrés Iniesta on the edge of the box and then blocked David Villa's shot. 

    Still, I'd rather Pepe play in the midfield.

    In the three games he played in midfield: Man of the Match in 1-1 draw, Copa del Rey final triumph and only after his wrongly given red card, did Lionel Messi start to play. 

Barcelona: Éric Abidal

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    Player rating: 6/10

    Tonight, Éric Abidal had a much better game at left back than he did at centre-back in the first leg.

    Unspectacular and did what was asked of him.

    Though at 31 years of age, you do wonder when his time at Barcelona is up. 

    Gianluca Zambrotta, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Juliano Belletti were all ousted from the Nou Camp by 32 years of age. 

Real Madrid: Fábio Coentrão

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    Player rating: 4/10

    Fábio Coentrão has played most of the preseason as a centre midfielder and looked lost out at sea when he was at left-back. 

    In hindsight, probably the wrong decision from Real Madrid manager José Mourinho, but Coentrão looked a better player in the middle when Marcelo came on.

    One question for Coentrão: why did you allow Lionel Messi to drift into the box as Adriano was about to cross the ball? Supercopa de España to Barcelona. 

Barcelona: Sergio Busquets

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    Player rating: 4.5/10

    Really struggled in the first 15 minutes of the game, as Karim Benzema of all people closed Sergio Busquets down.

    Ironically a few minutes later, Barcelona score.

    Aside from being the victim of a crude challenge from Sami Khedira, Busquets wasn't heavily involved in Barcelona possession, nor did he go to the lengths he has in the past to dive around.  

    It just makes you wonder why not try Javier Mascherano in midfield?   

Real Madrid: Sami Khedira

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    Player rating: 3.5/10

    After his yellow card for fouling Sergio Busquets, Sami Khedira couldn't assert himself into the game, as Lionel Messi blew past the German time after time.

    Khedira would have been an easy candidate to be sent off not to mention was having zero impact in the game, so he was rightfully substituted at half time. 

    It's unfortunate someone of Khedira's calibre has been reduced to playing a very limited, statistics sacrificial and rugged role when he can be so much better.

    He can be a legitimate box-to-box threat yet Real Madrid manager José Mourinho only sees the German in the Claude Makélelé role. 

    If Khedira continues to play this role, Los Blancos supporters shouldn't hold their breathe in hoping Khedira plays in the same manner he did at Stuggart.     

Barcelona: Xavi

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    Player rating: 6.5/10

    Xavi wasn't as his imperious best and even laid out a strangly un-Xavi like crunching tackle on a nimble footed Fábio Coentrão, albeit an illegal tackle.

    So with this in mind, it was quite hypocritical of Xavi to come out and then lambast Marcelo for trying to hurt Cesc Fàbregas. 

    What about your own tackle Xavi? What about Andrés Iniesta's really late tackle on Ángel di María?   

Real Madrid: Xabi Alonso

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    Player rating: 6.5/10

    Xabi Alonso was his usual self, launching himself into tackles and orchestrating the Real Madrid midfield.

    Though as usual, the result wasn't the desired one. 

    The presence of Nuri Şahin in the team may prompt a different role for Alonso given Şahin plays deep like Alonso, or maybe the two can play in tandem.  

Barcelona: Andrés Iniesta

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    Player rating: 8/10

    As Xavi took a backseat, Andrés Iniesta  turned it on. 

    Cool collected composure to chip the ball over Iker Casillas. 

    Had a terrific little run in the 66th minute only to be denied by Casillas. 

    Iniesta's incisive passing and movement off the ball was a sight for sore eyes.     

Real Madrid: Ángel Di María

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    Player rating: 4/10

    Ángel Di María had a bright 10 minutes, going past Barcelona players with ease, but that was about it. 

    Aside from being the victim of extremely late  Andrés Iniesta challenge, Di María spent more time testing his acting competency than his footballing ability.

    Also I find it insincere of Real Madrid manager José Mourinho to talk about how his players are men because they dive. 

    Di María is one of the worst offenders in world football when it comes to diving. He ranks a dishonorable second behind Sergio Busquets.      

Barcelona: Pedro

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    Player rating: 7.5/10

    Pedro must thank Real Madrid manager José Mourinho for playing Fábio Coentrão at left-back, beacuse the fullback made Pedro look good especially in the early exchanges. 

    Pedro's work rate and directness is invaluable to Barcelona, but his position will always come under threat with Alexis Sánchez lurking.    

Real Madrid: Mesut Özil

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    Player rating: 5/10

    Mesut Özil didn't have the same influence on the game as he did in the first leg. 

    His fitness again comes into question, as he just fades as the game prolongs. 

    Though one couldn't help but notice one of the most tranquil and lackadaisical looking footballers in the world being restrained like a mad man. 

    What triggered Özil's anger? Find out in the David Villa slide.   

Barcelona: David Villa

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    Player rating: 5/10

    Had little or no influence on the game, which illustrates the weekly struggle David Villa faces when being played out on the flanks. 

    When Xavi, Andrés Iniesta and Lionel Messi aren't giving Villa much to work with, his performance fades. 

    He won't score the goal he did a few days ago every week, because he cannot consistently create something out of nothing on the flanks.

    At Valencia, it was different as he was given more creative freedom, whereas at Barcelona, he's stuck on the flank and forced to cut in which becomes pretty predictable.  

    You're probably wanting to know a bit more about the Mesut Özil incident. 

    Twitter has been on top of this very quickly, but keep in mind, just because they're the fastest news source doesn't make it the most accurate.

    Twitter has been inundated with tweets alleging Villa made a religious slur against Özil's Islamic background. 

    football.fr reported Özil stating, "I'm doing this because I was defending my religion because David Villa has insulted Islam."

    Another twist is Villa signed a anti-discrimination agreement with Barcelona.   

    Now, until a more reputable news source reports what has been alleged like Don Balón or Agence France-Presse, we have to give Villa the benefit of the doubt.

    If it is true, it will be interesting to see how Barcelona squirm out of this one, having being disgracefully bailed out of the Sergio Busquets mono incident.   

Real Madrid: Karim Benzema

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    Player rating: 7/10

    For a player supposedly adhering to the fasting requirements of Ramadan, Karim Benzema seemed to have an awful amount of energy early on. 

    He was forward pressing, a willing runner and looked good.

    Also scored an important equaliser which ended up not to be too important after Lionel Messi's winner.

    Benzema's form early on will ensure Gonzalo Higuaín warms the benches.   

Barcelona: Lionel Messi

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    Player rating: 10/10

    There is no doubt who the best footballer in the world is. 

    Vamos Lionel Messi! 

    It's the second time in a row that Marcelo has kicked Messi off the ball, and the Argentine has done well in keeping his emotions under check unlike Mesut Özil.

    What sublime vision and accuracy to find Andrés Iniesta, but do we need to say more? 

Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo

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    Player rating: 5/10

    Cristiano Ronaldo struggled so much against Dani Alves that he switched flanks to get away from the Brazilian. 

    Ronaldo finished nicely and would have had another goal if not for Victor Valdés' great save. 

    It was pretty lean pickings for Ronaldo as he lost possession several times to Alves and Javier Mascherano. 

    Why Ronaldo isn't better then Lionel Messi: 

    In the past seven El Clásicos

    Messi: six goals and four assists 

    Ronaldo: three goals and zero assists  

Substitutes

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    *Will rate out of five.

    Real Madrid

    Marcelo: Second time in a row he's kicked Lionel Messi off the ball. Then cynically hacked Cesc Fàbregas with a scissor like tackle. Why Fàbregas? What did he do to you? 0/5  

    Gonzalo Higuaín: Had no impact whatsoever. 1.5/5 

    Kaká: Again, no impact. Why not play José Callejón who had a exciting and energy packed cameo a few days ago? 1.5/5 

    Barcelona

    Seydou Keita: Only played five minutes. N/A

    Adriano: Should be given a 0/5 given as all he did was dive, and the first time he did have possession in the box, he didn't clear the ball which resulted in Karim Benzema scoring a goal.

    Also, Cesc Fàbregas pinpointed a brilliant cross to Adriano only for him to waste it.

    But Adriano persevered, and he provided the winner to Lionel Messi, therefore doing what manager Pep Guardiola wanted. 4/5  

    Cesc Fàbregas: Looked excellent when he came on, just distributing with ease. 5/5  

Dishonorable Mentions

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    José Mourinho: It's not in his nature to be humble, but he really should take a leaflet out of Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola's book. 

    Not just the way Mourinho conducts in his press conference, but is it normal to go up to someone and twist his ear?

    To set the record straight, Mourinho did not gouge Barcelona assistant manager Tito Vilanova in the eye. The Special One clearly twisted Vilanova's ear.

    José Manuel Pinto: No surprise that this guy was in doing his part in the fracas. From cheating Copenhagen out of a goal, to getting sent off as a unused substitute in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, to now punching and getting involved in the fracas—Pinto is a disgrace. 

    Please also read Arsenal 1-0 Udinese: Champions League player ratings

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