Barcelona v Atletico Madrid: La Liga decider player ratings

Barcelona v Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid fought back from a goal down to secure the draw they needed against Barcelona to win the Spanish league title.

Barcelona had to take the three points to snatch La Liga at Atletico's expense and it looked like it was going to be their day when both Diego Costa and Arda Turan went off injured for the visitors, before Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring with an incisive drive.

But Atletico hit back after the break, Diego Godin heading in to make it 1-1 and ensure it would be Diego Simeone's side smiling at the final whistle.

Here's how Spanish football writer Andy West rated the players:


Six out of 10

Jose Manuel Pinto (goalkeeper) - 6

The veteran back-up didn't look comfortable with the ball at his feet - he never does - but made a decent save from Adrian, just about dealt with a batch of dangerous crosses and had no chance with Atletico's goal.

Seven out of 10

Dani Alves (right-back) - 7

One of the few Barcelona players who looked to take the initiative and show any dynamism in the game, this would be a sad way for Pep Guardiola's first signing in 2008 to leave the Nou Camp if rumours of a summer switch to Paris St-Germain are true.

Six out of 10

Gerard Pique (centre-back) - 6

Rushed back from injury and initially looked rusty, getting booked and nearly turning a cross into his own net. He settled as the game grew and was even thrown forward as an emergency striker in the final stages, but to no avail.

Six out of 10

Javier Mascherano (centre-back) - 6

A typically committed display from the converted midfielder, whose tenacity helped to blunt the threat of David Villa. Another one who could be on his way soon, having hinted this would be his last Barca game.

Six out of 10

Adriano (left-back) - 6

Produced Barca's first shot on target in the game with a typically well-struck effort after cutting inside from the left, but was a subdued presence after that as Barca struggled to mount any left-wing attacks all game.

Five out of 10

Sergio Busquets (centre midfield) - 5

Normally so reliable in front of the back four, on this occasion he was outplayed by Atletico's swarming midfield and proved unable to provide his usual smooth link between defence and attack. Withdrawn through injury.

Six out of 10

Cesc Fabregas (centre midfield) - 6

Unfortunately, this was a performance typical of Fabregas for Barcelona in the really big games: some promising moments, plenty of desire to contribute to his team's attacks but ultimately little end product. Replaced by Xavi.

Five out of 10

Andres Iniesta (centre midfield) - 5

Just couldn't get into the game. Diego Simeone is a huge admirer of the dribbling wizard and he had clearly made great efforts to ensure his team did not allow Iniesta to shine. Unusually uninvolved and ineffective.

Seven out of 10

Alexis Sanchez (right wing) - 7

The Chilean was easily his team's most dangerous attacking player in the first half and scored a sensational goal which briefly looked like giving Barca the title. Faded after the break, as did the whole team.

Six out of 10

Lionel Messi (striker) - 6

Utterly anonymous in the first half, with his only significant contribution coming when he mis-controlled for Sanchez to score. Much better after the break and had a goal disallowed, but couldn't exert an impact in the penalty box except a goal rightly ruled out for offside.

Five out of 10

Pedro (left wing) - 5

The pacy and hard-working winger barely featured, hardly getting a kick and doing next to nothing to trouble Atletico's super-disciplined defence. Replaced by Neymar and his long-term Nou Camp future is in doubt.


Neymar - 5

Like Pique, the Brazilian star was rushed back from injury and introduced as a desperation sub in the second half, but despite wholehearted effort he couldn't create anything and - worryingly - again appeared to have no chemistry with Messi.

Alex Song - 6

Came on for the injured Sergio Busquets and ended up playing in the centre of defence as Pique pushed forward. Steady enough.

Xavi - 6

Shockingly left out of the team by Tata Martino in a decision that could be interpreted as something of a statement in the Argentine's last game in charge. Little chance to make an impact.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi: "Utterly anonymous in the first half"

Atletico Madrid

Seven out of 10

Thibaut Courtois (goalkeeper) - 7

Chelsea's on-loan keeper wasn't forced into too much action, wonderfully protected by his outstanding defence. But he made one good save from Dani Alves and provided an assured figure under crosses.

Eight out of 10

Juanfran (right-back) - 8

The Spain international was simply outstanding, brilliantly nullifying the threat of first Pedro and then Neymar, whilst also showing his trademark deceptive attacking ability to regularly create danger going forward.

Seven out of 10

Miranda (centre-back) - 7

As always, solid as a rock and utterly dependable. Miranda's unflappable partnership with Diego Godin has been a major reason for Atletico's success and many regard him as one of La Liga's best centre-backs. He showed why today.

Eight out of 10

Diego Godin (centre-back) - 8

Did everything right in defence, making umpteen clearances, blocks and tackles to snuff out Barca's increasingly hopeful attacks. And of course, he was also the goalscoring hero with an unstoppable thumping header.

Seven out of 10

Filipe Luis (left-back) - 7

Although he wasn't able to get forward as often as usual, the Brazilian was solid in defence and smart in possession. Like compatriot Miranda, he is very unlucky to have been left out of Brazil's World Cup squad.

Six out of 10

Arda Turan (right midfield) - 6

Departed the field in tears after suffering a hip injury in a strong challenge from Fabregas. Now faces a race to regain fitness for the Champions League final.

Seven out of 10

Tiago (centre midfield) - 7

Disciplined and steady in midfield, the former Chelsea man would never have dreamed that he would end up as a La Liga champion at the age of 33, but he's been a key contributor in the last few weeks.

Eight out of 10

Gabi (centre midfield) - 8

Another selfless, wholehearted and utterly determined performance from the captain, who deserves far more recognition than he receives as Diego Simeone's right-hand man on the pitch. The ultimate team player.

Seven out of 10

Koke (left midfield) - 7

Although he lined up nominally on the left flank, he spent the majority of the game in the central midfield battleground and again showed he possesses more than a hint of steel to complement his silky touch on the ball.

Six out of 10

Diego Costa (striker) - 6

Like Turan, he was left sobbing on the sidelines after suffering a recurrence of the hamstring injury which has bothered him for weeks. Now must be a major doubt for the Champions League final next Saturday.

Six out of 10

David Villa (striker) - 6

Worked hard against his former club but now lacks pace and never looked like ending his two-month goal drought. His time at the top level could be drawing to a close.


Adrian - 6

Came on for Costa and initially struggled to impose his more subtle skills on the action, but played a big part in his team's fightback. Replaced when Simeone opted for more physicality in the latter stages.

Raul Garcia - 7

Atletico's Mr Versatile replaced Turan and did a typically manful job on the right flank, working hard to support Juanfran in negating Barca's left wing threat. Also posed a danger in the box from set pieces.

Jose Sosa - 6

The hard-working Argentine came on for the final few minutes to give an added muscular edge as Atletico protected their point, and did everything that was asked of him.

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