Barcelona slipped to their first defeat under new head coach Quique Setien as Valencia deservedly won 2-0 at Mestalla to dent the visitors' LaLiga title hopes.
A fast start it was, with both teams looking threatening on the attack and proving that training sessions ain't just about photographs.
Barcelona was made to look like this season’s Man United, as Valencia bossed the mid with Francis Coquelin and Geoffrey Kondogbia. Complete passes and beautiful football.
Their attacks were of substance and at one point, Gayá was brought down by a reckless challenge from Pique as he surged through on goal, Valencia was given a penalty but keeper Ter Stegen kept it out.
He was again called into action a few minutes later after a ball was fired into the Barcelona box but blocked at the far post.
It bounced awkwardly off Pique, forcing Ter Stegen into a scrambled save on his goal line.
- Barcelona at the top of the league but level on points with Real Madrid.
- Valencia eighth and in need of a victory.
The home team was stubborn all through the remaining of the half, but sadly, no goal to show for it.
HALF-TIME: Valencia 0-0 Barcelona
The visitors ended the half with some late pressure, forcing Valencia into a series of dramatic blocks and clearances from within their own box, but still could not find a way through.
It was a good start for Valencia as Maxi put them in the lead, just three minutes in.
A cross from the right was too deep but was put back in from the other side and Maxi Gomez got the ball and fizzed a fierce drive from an angle which deflected off Alba and wrong-footed Ter Stegen. Beaten at last!
Valencia kept the attack going, and in the 77th minute, Gomez found the back of the net again!
It was a beautiful build-up and there was nothing Ter Stegen could do.
FULL-TIME: Valencia 2-0 Barcelona
Messi and Griezmann were nowhere to be seen.
A fine performance from Valencia sees them emerge deserved victors. They got their tactics right from the opening whistle and took their chances when they arose.
Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen, Roberto, Umtiti, Pique, Jordi Alba, De Jong, Arthur, Busquets, Messi, Griezmann, Ansu Fati.
Valencia XI: Domenech, Gabriel, Kondogbia, Soler, Gameiro, Gaya, Coquelin, Wass, Ferran, Gomez, Garay.
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