Barcelona 1-0 Valencia: Player Ratings
Barcelona eked out a narrow victory at Camp Nou against Valencia
FC Barcelona welcomed Valencia for their first leg of Copa del Rey semifinals. The match was a largely one-sided affair but FC Barcelona only just about managed to eke out a victory.
The first half saw Barcelona control the proceedings and dominating the possession. However, for all their mastery on the ball, they could not open up Valencia defence. The first half saw zero shots on target for both teams.
The second half was a more open affair. Valencia tried to counter on a few occasions and Barcelona also started to find spaces in behind the Valencia defence. Luis Suarez scored Barcelona's only goal with a fine header off a Messi cross.
Here, let's take a look at how the players fared for the two teams
Jasper Cillessen: 6.5/10
He was not tested much, save for a few shots that were aimed directly at him. He commanded his area well and in general looked calm under pressure and distributed the ball accurately and sensibly. He made an excellent tackle on Santi Mina late in the game when exposed one-on-one against him.
Sergi Roberto: 8.5/10
Starting at right-back, he produced an amazing performance. He did make a couple of bamboozling, penetrating runs in attack while also recycling the ball well. In defence, he was solid and never allowed the Valencia wide-men to cut in or put in a cross.
Gerard Pique: 7/10
Pique had a good game as he dominated and won everything that came his way in the air. He won tackles, made blocks and clearances and kept a calm head at the heart of the Barca defence.
Samuel Umtiti - 8/10
Umtiti put in a good performance as he was constantly in the way of Rodrigo and company, keeping them at bay for the majority of the game. He made a string of important interceptions and tackles throughout the game and was efficient at taking the ball out of defence too.
Jordi Alba: 7/10
Alba put in a good shift at the left back position for the Blaugrana. He was solid enough in defence and was always available for a pass on Baca's left flank.
Sergio Busquets: 7/10
Another typical Busquets performance. He shielded the back four, broke up play and played the role of a deep-lying playmaker. He will be looking forward to a great second half of the season.
Ivan Rakitic: 7/10
The Croatian International was influential throughout the game. He broke plays and started attacks from his own half. This was a good commanding display from him in the middle of the park.
Andres Iniesta: 7/10
The World Cup winner looked sharp and dictated things for Barcelona from midfield. His turns and touches were delightful to watch and suggest that he may have a few years worth of top-level football left in his tank.
Aleix Vidal: 6/10
He started on the right-hand side of Barcelona midfield and combined well with Sergi Roberto. He looked sharp on occasion and had a decent first half. He faded in the second half and was subsequently taken off for Coutinho.
Lionel Messi: 8/10
This was another masterclass from Messi, who was a major threat throughout. His dribbling was tremendous and his passing was just as impressive, particularly his fabulous assist for Suarez.
Luis Suarez: 8/10
The old Luisito is back. Took his goal with a fine finish into Valencia's far post. He worked hard all night and never shied away from running beyond the last man despite being crowded out and marked heavily all night long.
Phillipe Coutinho: 7/10
Brought on for Vidal, Coutinho started out on right before drifting on to the left-hand side of the midfield. He came up with a few nifty turns and touches and linked well with Messi and Suarez.
Paco Alcacer: 6/10
Starting as a substitute against his former side, he could not do much in the limited time that was afforded to him. He did hit a vicious volley from 30 yards out, but the shot was aimed straight at the keeper.
Brought on late in the game for Ivan Rakitic, in a slightly more defensive role, he did his job well without ever getting into positions to affect the outcome.