Valencia humble leaders Barca


FC Barcelona failed to extend their lead at the top of LaLiga following a 2-0 defeat againsot Valencia on Saturday evening.

Lionel Messi returned from Wednesday’s come-from-behind win in Ibiza along with Marc Andre Ter Stegen in goal, Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba, Arthur Melo and Sergio Busquets.

Valencia missed a big chance for a tenth minute lead when Maximiliano Gomez saw his spot kick saved by Ter Stegen after Jose Gaya went down under Pique’s challenge.

Ter Stegen kept the Catalans in the game with a double save shortly before the half-hour mark as Gomez and Kevin Gameiro raided the six-yard area.

Ter Stegen remained busy a minute later when a powerful drive outside 25 yards from Francis Coquelin needed two blocks with Gameiro lurking.

Barcelona were behind two minutes in the second half when a powerful shot from Gomez wrong-footed Ter Stegen with a deflection from Alba helping the effort to goal.

Arturo Vidal, rumoured to be on his way this January, replaced Arthur ten minutes inside the second period as Barca prepared a comeback.

A free-kick from Messi right on the edge of the area flew over the top in the last 20 minutes, as frustration began to grow for the Catalan giants.

Los Che, however, grabbed a second goal seven minutes later when Gomez took advantage of a counter-attack to curl an effort around Sergi Roberto and Ter Stegen.

Barca looked for a consolation later on, but Los Che to give new manager Quique Setien his first defeat.