Barcelona came from behind to defeat Valencia 3-2, keeping pace with the two Madrid clubs at the top of La Liga. Read more on Valencia’s 2 – 3 Barcelona match below as Lionel Messi scored twice to miss the penalty.
Ronald Koeman’s side traveled to Mestalla after seeing Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid win to keep their championship aspirations alive. After dropping behind in the second half, this was an emphatic response.
Barca dominated the first three minutes of the game and should have taken the lead when Pedri shot wide from inside the box. Ronald Araujo also had a golden chance after a Lionel Messi freekick, but he couldn’t beat Jasper Cillessen.
Despite the visitors’ supremacy, Valencia took the lead when Gabriel Paulista crawled behind Marc-Andre ter Stegen. The Barcelona defense to head into the gaping net.
Barcelona responded emphatically, easily equalizing through Messi, who bundled home from close range after Cillessen saved his penalty kick. And, with an opportunistic finish, Antoine Griezmann set Barcelona ahead.
Messi scored his second goal of the night and Barcelona’s eighth, with a signature freekick into the Valencia net. With six minutes remaining, Carlos Soler scored the game’s only goal. Thundering home a 25-yard shot to give Valencia hope, but a second comeback was not to be.
The outcome leaves Barcelona in the thick of the La Liga title chase, with just two points separating them from table-toppers Atletico Madrid.
Valencia 2 – 3 Barcelona: MAN OF THE MATCH
Griezmann and Messi may have scored to retain Barcelona in the La Liga title chase. But Frenkie de Jong was the driving force behind the victory. The Dutchman has been in excellent shape recently, and this result showcased all he has to give Barcelona. De Jong was very successful in both defending the back four and making runs into the opposition box. Koeman may not have survived without him.