by : Antony Melvin
On a night when Barcelona were meant to show how good they are, they looked at times second best against an efficient - but not exceptional Chelsea performance. For much of the second half Barca were grateful to hang on, but that they didn't was a fair reflection of the match.
Victor Valdes 8/10Did little wrong and made several excellent saves when Chelsea had their periods of ascendency. Porbably Barca's best player.
Gianluca Zambrotta 6/10Did little beyond the half way line and could not stop Arjen Robben when he drifted to the by-line. Had the reasonable excuse that Leo Messi was hardly tracking back beyond half-way.
Giovanni Van Bronckhorst 6/10Again, this time with Ronaldinho in front of him, van Bronckhorst did little beyond defend. His defensive work was largely good - but hardly exceptional.
Rafael Marquez 4/10The villain of the piece, at the centre of every niggly challenge - or if not at the centre, his sprinting to get to the centre was notable. His stamp onto Essien's delicates deserves a retro red.
Carles Puyol 7/10The best of the Barca defenders, Puyol was brave in the air and in every challenge. But he was needlessly beligerant in demanding greater punishment for every Chelsea foul.
Hernandez Xavi 6/10Should have scored when one-on-one with Hilario - and at 2-0 it may well have been game over. His presence faded until he was replaced.
Thiago Motta 5/10Was withdrawn when on the brink of another card - this time red. Constantly niggling and tugging and the game was a better one when he left. Edmilson immediately looked more at ease.
Anderson Deco 8/10Deco was Barcelona's best outfield player, his opening goal was a thumping drive and all evening he prompted and probed and drove his side forward.
Ronaldinho 7/10Briefly crackled into life in the second half and that was enough to create a goal. Subdued all evening - is there something wrong?
Leo Messi 7/10Played well and his tricks lead to more than one yellow card. Commendably he was not one of the players that rolled around needlessly - and he was treated as roughly as anyone.
Eidur Gudjohnsen 7/10The goal apart Gudjohnsen was hardly a factor. As ever he linked well with midfield - and perhaps he would be more comfortable there. May have damaged knee ligaments in landing awkwardly.
SubsEdmilson looked impressive with his trademark left-to-right long balls, but faded after his booking; Iniesta found the pace of the game well and nearly carved out a chance before Ballack's intervention; and Giuly looked neat and tidy as Barca ran out of gas.
31 October 2006