PLAYER RATINGS: Barcelona 2-1 Manchester City

After City exited the Champions League at the hands of Barcelona, Anis Bazza looks back at the game and rates the players.

Hart – 8

A superb game from Hart. He made countless great saves, marshalled his back-line well and somewhat harshly conceded two goals. Looked furious with himself because he didn’t predict Messi’s chip.

Zabaleta – 6.5

A decent defensive performance from a player whose settled well to his more defensive role of the last few months. Contained Iniesta relatively well but couldn’t really affect proceeding further forward. Sent off for rollicking at the referee when the tie was dead after Dzeko’s penalty was not awarded.

Kompany – 8.5

A great game from Kompany who held off the Barcelona onslaught led by a fully-determined Messi. Vinny tactically fouled the opposition very well, disrupting their flow while showing his usual positivity on the ball. Made some vital tackles and interceptions and scored yet another goal from a corner in the dying minutes to show something for the good display today.

Lescott – 6.5

After a peak Thuram-esque first half, Joleon’s legs caught up with him, giving away a ball that Messi should’ve scored from and comically letting the ball slip between his feet for Messi’s chip. Despite his mistakes he did OK overall and was brilliant in the first half. At least this game will provide further ammunition to the buy-a-f*cking-center-back cause in the summer.

Kolarov – 6.5

Much like Zabaleta, Kolarov was pinned back for most of the game. After being troubled by Neymar’s pace and agility in the first half, Kolarov shut up shop and contained Alves and co. reasonably well. Kolarov’s excellent crossing abilities keeps him in the team these days and he showed that today; yet you do wonder whether a new left-back will be on the cards this summer when you consider his defensive fragility and Clichy’s incompetence.

Fernandinho – 7

Got booked for a silly tackle in the early stages of the game with a foul on Iniesta which kept him on his toes for the rest of the game. Did reasonably well in shutting down space between the lines that Barca love to exploit yet there was nothing he could do about Messi’s excellent charging runs from deep.

Yaya Toure – 7

Yaya Toure usually struggles when the opposition keep the ball yet today he proved himself fairly useful, pressing really well and helping Fernandinho. Failed to really assert his control but then again I can’t think of a single midfielder who has done so at the Camp Nou in the last 5 years.

Nasri – 6.5

A more frustrated Nasri showed up today, having to dance to Barcelona’s music rather than his own. You would’ve probably betted your house on him scoring that volley in the first half after a lovely move by Silva and Toure but it flew straight at Valdes.

Milner – 7

Another great performance from Milner in a big game where he really affected proceedings. Did his usual containing job alongside Kolarov but also involved himself in many of the attacks down the left with Silva. Pellegrini would’ve probably preferred Nasri combining on the left but instead rightly opted for Milner’s work-rate and tactical nous.

Silva – 7

David strutted his usual stuff in the center-forward role, moving the ball quickly and combining with the wings. Delivered a delicious back heel for Nasri’s chance and should’ve hit the target in the first half. Unlucky to be playing alongside an un-fit Aguero who wasn’t moving at all.

Aguero – 5

Aguero has played a worryingly large amount of minutes since he pulled his hamstring for both club and country. He looked unfit and was nonexistent today which cost us the first half. It’s a real shame he hasn’t been able to play Barca in his pomp because he would’ve made a massive difference.

Subs:

Dzeko – 7

A good cameo from Edin after a series of awful performances this past month. Dropped deep and pulled wide to stretch the Barcelona defence before being scandolously denied a penalty after a lazy foul from Pique. Rose well to force an excellent save from Valdes aswell as assisting Kompany’s goal

Negredo – 5

Did nothing of note in his short cameo.

Navas – N/A

written by Anis Bazza

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