Barcelona 2-3 Valencia: League leadership lost at home
Full-time: Barcelona 2-3 Valencia
Goals: Alexis SĂˇnchez (7′), Lionel Messi (54′)
Match date: February 1, 2014
Stadium: Camp Nou
Competition: La Liga
Barcelona line-up: ValdĂ©s, Jordi Alba, PiquĂ©, Mascherano, Daniel Alves, Busquets, Xavi, Fabregas, Alexis Sanchez, Lionel Messi, Pedro.
BarcelonaÂ were surprised at home by Valencia this Saturday evening, as they couldn’t avoid to get beaten by 2-3 at the Camp Nou. As an immediate consequence from this result, Atletico Madrid has gone 3 points on top of both BarĂ§a and Real Madrid, since the Merengues also dropped points this weekend, after drawing 1-1 against Athletic Bilbao, at the new San MamĂ©s stadium.
The opening goal was scored by the hosts early in the first half, around the 7th minute of the game. The assist came in from Lionel Messi, who sent a low cross from the left that Alexis SĂˇnchez seized to brilliantly lob over Valencia‘s goalkeeper, Diego Alves. The visitors’ response would arrive later in the first half, near the 44th minute. A fast break on the right side of the pitch caught Barcelona off guard and Parejo finished off a good assist from Feghouli, to score against an empty net and put things even at the Camp Nou.
If Tato Martino‘s men weren’t expecting that late first goal, they certainly couldn’t believe when they saw Valencia scoring again right after the second half started. This time the goalscorer was the “tiny” Pablo Piatti and he has done it from the less likely manner one could think of. The 1.63 meters winger rose above Daniel Alves inside Barcelona box to head the ball beyond ValdĂ©s reach, sending Valencia to their first lead in the afternoon. BarĂ§a‘s reaction came straight after though, but they needed the referee to point to the penalty spot so that Lionel Messi could end his goal drought in La Liga and equalize the game at the Camp Nou. There was still more than half an hour left to be played, so there was no reason to believe that BarĂ§a couldn’t complete the remontada.
However and against all odds once again, it would be Valencia scoring the next goal. With 59 minutes on the clock, Feghouli took advantage of an incredible passivity from BarĂ§a defenders inside their own box, found himself enough space to go all the way until the end line and assisted AlcĂˇcer for a great goalscoring opportunity. The Spanish forward finished it off in style and with his goal, he set the final score in 2-3 favorable to Valencia.
Barcelona saw Real Madrid catching them in La Liga standings, while Atletico Madrid finally took off and is now 3 points on top. Next Wednesday, Barcelona meets Real Sociedad in the Copa del Rey semi-finals first-leg, but Neymar will still beÂ sidelined due to his ankle injury.