Spanish La Liga
Barcelona4Valencia2

Barcelona 4-2 Valencia

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi beat Valencia keeper Diego Alves at the near post for his 25th La Liga goal of the season

Lionel Messi struck twice as Barcelona beat 10-man Valencia in a thrilling match to move two points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid.

Eliaquim Mangala headed the visitors in front from a corner, before Luis Suarez steered in an equaliser.

Messi's penalty made it 2-1 after Manchester City loanee Mangala was sent off for dragging back Suarez, but Munir El Haddadi swept Valencia level.

Messi scored his second after the break and Andre Gomes made it four late on.

Defensive madness meets attacking brilliance

Barcelona v Valencia

Barcelona desperately needed a victory after losing ground in the title race with a surprise 2-1 defeat at Deportivo last weekend.

In the end, they should have won by more goals than they did - but they were all over the place defensively for the first hour.

Luis Enrique's three-man back line was caught out too often, with Munir denied by keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen when clean through seconds before Mangala scored from the resulting corner.

Valencia were equally sloppy in defence, though. Ezequiel Garay was outpaced down their right by Suarez on more than one occasion, and the Uruguay international was quick to pounce for the equaliser when the visitors switched off at a Neymar throw-in.

Mangala, already on a yellow card, could have no complaints about his dismissal just before half-time.

Enrique, though, had plenty of reason to fume when his own defenders allowed Munir, on loan from Barcelona, all the time he wanted to turn in Jose Luis Gaya's pull-back.

Barcelona did not seem to know how to cover their right flank defensively, and Enrique eventually sent on Sergi Roberto in a move to a back four.

That settled the home side, who could have had plenty more goals - with Neymar going closest as he hit the post with a free-kick.

In the end, they settled for two in the second half; Messi - La Liga's leading scorer - caught out keeper Diego Alves with a near-post drive and substitute Gomes tapped in from Neymar's pass.

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Line-ups

Barcelona

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 14Mascherano
  • 3Piqué
  • 23Umtiti
  • 5Busquets
  • 12RafinhaSubstituted forAndré Gomesat 74'minutesBooked at 77mins
  • 8IniestaBooked at 67mins
  • 4RakiticSubstituted forSergiat 65'minutes
  • 10MessiBooked at 86mins
  • 9L Suárez
  • 11Neymar

Substitutes

  • 6D Suárez
  • 13Cillessen
  • 17Alcácer
  • 18Alba
  • 19Digne
  • 20Sergi
  • 21André Gomes

Valencia

  • 1Diego Alves
  • 21MontoyaBooked at 90mins
  • 24Garay
  • 5MangalaBooked at 44mins
  • 14Gayá
  • 18Soler
  • 8PérezBooked at 24mins
  • 10ParejoBooked at 43mins
  • 2Cavaco CanceloSubstituted forBakkaliat 84'minutes
  • 9El HaddadiSubstituted forZazaat 73'minutes
  • 15OrellanaSubstituted forAbdennourat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Siqueira
  • 11Bakkali
  • 12Zaza
  • 13Domenech
  • 20Medrán
  • 23Abdennour
  • 39Valderrama Domenech
Referee:
Alejandro José Hernández Hernández
Attendance:
77,058

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamValencia
Possession
Home72%
Away28%
Shots
Home28
Away6
Shots on Target
Home12
Away5
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home4
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Barcelona 4, Valencia 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Barcelona 4, Valencia 2.

Booking

Martín Montoya (Valencia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Neymar (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Martín Montoya (Valencia).

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 4, Valencia 2. André Gomes (Barcelona) right footed shot from very close range to the top right corner. Assisted by Neymar.

Booking

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. Neymar (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Sergi Roberto.

Substitution

Substitution, Valencia. Zakaria Bakkali replaces João Cancelo.

Offside, Barcelona. Javier Mascherano tries a through ball, but Luis Suárez is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Luis Suárez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ezequiel Garay (Valencia).

Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Simone Zaza (Valencia).

Attempt saved. Neymar (Barcelona) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Attempt blocked. Sergi Roberto (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by André Gomes.

Attempt missed. Daniel Parejo (Valencia) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right from a direct free kick.

Booking

André Gomes (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by André Gomes (Barcelona).

José Gayá (Valencia) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Neymar (Barcelona) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box from a direct free kick.

Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by João Cancelo (Valencia).

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. André Gomes replaces Rafinha.

Attempt missed. Neymar (Barcelona) right footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Andrés Iniesta.

Substitution

Substitution, Valencia. Simone Zaza replaces Munir El Haddadi.

Attempt missed. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Attempt saved. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Neymar.

Attempt saved. Sergi Roberto (Barcelona) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Neymar with a cross.

Offside, Valencia. Ezequiel Garay tries a through ball, but Daniel Parejo is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Booking

Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona).

Enzo Pérez (Valencia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Martín Montoya (Valencia).

Attempt saved. Rafinha (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Foul by Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona).

João Cancelo (Valencia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Real Madrid27205271284365
2Barcelona28196381255663
3Sevilla28176552341857
4Atl Madrid28167552232955
5Villarreal28139639201948
6Real Sociedad28153104239348
7Ath Bilbao28135103532344
8Eibar2811894439541
9Espanyol28101084039140
10Alavés28101082933-440
11Celta Vigo27115114045-538
12Las Palmas2898114445-135
13Real Betis2887133144-1331
14Valencia2886143851-1330
15Malaga2869133345-1227
16Deportivo La Coruña2869133143-1227
17Leganés2868142241-1926
18Sporting Gijón2856173157-2621
19Granada2847172558-3319
20Osasuna2818192867-3911
View full Spanish La Liga table

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