Barcelona drop points again as Valencia got the better of Catalans


Valencia got the upper hand on Barcelona as they defeat the Catalan Giants by 2-0 at their own backyard to pull out a La Liga shock.

Jordi Alba put the goal into his own post, while Maxi Gomez also found the net for Los Che at the Mestalla to slow down Barca’s momentum in the title race. It’s the first defeat for Quique Setien since he replaced Ernesto Valverde in the Barcelona dugout and it’s an early blow for him and his side.valencia-beats-barcelona-2-0

The Blaugrana will lose their top spot if nearest arch-rivals Real Madrid avoid defeat in Valladolid on Sunday night.

A first-half saw Valencia have the better of the play. The home side looked lively and were certainty hungry to take out a win.

Los Che’s reward was a penalty when Gerard Pique fouled Jose Luis Gaya in the area.

setien-barcelona-first-lossGomez stepped up to take the penalty for Valencia but it was saved by Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. It was far from the last time Barca’s outstanding goalkeeper would be called into action for his side.

Valencia also went close when former Arsenal holding midfielder Francis Coquelin tried his luck from distance; a fierce long shot. It was an ambitious effort, but Los Che created better chances whenever Carlos Soler got on the ball. It was a determinant display from the home side.

Soler teed up both Kevin Gameiro and Gomez to continue the hosts’ control of the game. Yet Ter Stegen still refused to be beaten.

leo-messi-vs-valencia-2-0Barca’s only response was to try to get Lionel Messi into shooting space, he did so but couldn’t capitalise.

The visitors’ sluggish display was suitably punished three minutes after the restart when the unfortunate Alba helped turn another effort from Gomez into his own net. A setback for Barcelona.

An equaliser seemed likely, but it was actually Valencia who doubled their lead against the run of play. The goal came in the 77th-minute mark when the lively M.Gomez finished intelligently after meeting a pass from Ferran Torres.

Ivan Rakitic was sent on late for an overwhelmed Frenkie de Jong, with Barca hoping to make better use of possession. However, despite him playing Messi in for yet another chance, the Croatian playmaker’s introduction did nothing to alter the outcome & Barcelona dropped points away from home.