LaLiga match report FC Barcelona v Valencia 02 February 2019

LaLiga match report FC Barcelona v Valencia 02 February 2019

The hosts were 2-0 down after 32 minutes after a counter-attack goal from Kevin Gameiro and Dani Parejo's spot-kick.

Marc Andre Ter Stegen is only second to Jan Oblak in the running for clean sheets.

Barca beat Madrid 5-1 in the league earlier this season with Messi missing through injury, but he once again demonstrated his importance against Valencia.

The coach also played Sergi Roberto at left-back instead of Jordi Alba, who is having a sublime season, and Thomas Vermaelen next to Gerard Pique, resting Clement Lenglet.

The Argentine has had a big week seeing as he helped recover Barcelona's 2-0 deficit to Sevilla in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey.

Parejo doubled the advantage from the penalty spot after Roberto knocked down Wass trying to dispute a cross. The captain Lionel MESSI stepped up and made no mistake scoring to reduce the lead to one goal.

Messi pulled one back before the break and levelled the scoring with a carefully placed shot from outside the box in the second half.

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Messi claimed the equaliser a minute later, picking up the ball outside the area after good work from Suarez.

However, the dropped points leaves the door open for Atletico Madrid to close the gap on the La Liga leaders, who they trail by six ahead of their match with Real Betis on Sunday.

Marcelino's side's strategy of intense pressing and rapid counter-attacks paid off with their two goals while their organisation and discipline prevented Barca from hitting top gear, even through Sergi Roberto nearly equalised before the interval when his shot hit the post.

Barcelona's winning streak in la Liga ended at eight matches in a row.

Rodrigo tested Ter Stegen from distance 10 minutes from time, but that proved to be the striker's final piece of action as Santi Mina became Valencia's third substitute on Saturday night.

Lionel Messi is a doubt for Wednesday's Copa del Rey Clasico semi-final at home against Real Madrid after sustaining a thigh injury in the 2-2 draw with Valencia.

Luis Suarez had a shot deflected just wide of the post in the 85th minute as the champions looked for a dramatic victor, but the points were shared as Barcelona failed to win in the league for the first time since the end of November.

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