BARÇA PLAYER REPORT v TENERIFE 4.5.10

FCB News analyses the performance of the FC Barcelona players after every match by giving them the following awards: 'Man of the Match', 'He's on Fire' for whoever shows to be in the best form, 'The One to Watch' for a player that is performing consistently well over the last few matches and 'The Wooden Leg' for those who are struggling to make an impact.


BARÇA v TENERIFE 4.5.10

MAN OF THE MATCH: Leo Messi

He is a genius! The tiny, speedy striker from Rosario did it again. Today's match showed that Messi is virtually unstoppable when he has spaces he can run into. The Tenerife manager, Jose Oltra, was obviously watching how Inter Milan beat Barça last week: Defending and keeping a fast striker upfront. And it was sort of working for him, until Xavi and Messi started to connect: There was no way back from there. Leo showed that he just 'senses' where the ball is in the area when he scored a tricky goal to open the scoreboard after an Ibra header. Then, well into injury time, the Argentinian managed yet another brilliant finish after a Dani Alves cross. Leo Messi has now scored 31 goals in La Liga this season and an unbeliavable 44 including all competitions. The Golden Boot has to be his!

HE'S ON FIRE: Pedro Rodriguez.

Guardiola's team won 4-1 today. If you didn't watch the game, you may thnk it was an easy ride. Nothing further than the truth though. Barça were stuck, unable to get through the well-organised Tenerife defense until Pedro came out from the bench. His pace was exactly what the team needed at a crucial time: The Catalans were only drawing 1-1 at half time. He scored the third goal and could have scored another one after a magnificent 100 metres run that Usain Bolt would have been proud of - His shot went wide after that, but who cares? PR17 is a lethal weapon that Pep Guardiola is very lucky to have. And he is from La Masia, which makes him a million times better!

THE ONE TO WATCH: Maxwell.

I was unimpressed, to say the least, with Dani Alves' performance against Inter Milan and Villarreal - It has to be said that he was a bit better today, but still far from his best. I wanted a defender who could 'defend hard, play the ball to the midfielders and combine with the winger to open the oposition's defense.' Well, Maxwell seems to have all of those qualities at the moment! The Brazilian left-back has been in such good shape that the team hasn't really missed Eric Abidal that much - And those are big boots to fill.

THE WOODEN LEG: Carles Puyol.
As some Greek philosopher once said: 'Even the greatest warriors can be defeated'. Or. in the words of Will Smith: 'Shit happens'. The ever-lasting Catalan captain had a very clumsy moment when he mistakenly passed the ball to the opposing strikers... That was not a good idea Mr Carles! Tenerife's striker Kone used the unexpected present to assist Roman, who beat Valdes with an accuarate strike. Having said that, Puyol had a respectable game in terms of defending and, as always, gave it his all on the pitch.

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