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Valencia 2-3 Barcelona Match Review: Key Moments and Player Ratings

Alexandre Patanian



Photo by Bagu Blanco/Pressinphoto/Shutterstock

First half

After the disappointing loss against Granada, Barcelona had to beat Valencia at Mestalla. The Catalans were without Ronald Koeman and had a decent first half.

Alfred Schreuder’s men played the same way they would under Koeman. The ball circulation was beautiful at times, but the end product was missing. Pedri, Ronald Araujo, and Jordi Alba all missed chances to put Barça in front as Valencia kept defending with ten men.

On the other hand, Valencia proposed nothing and had one decent chance. Compared to Barcelona, their team was weaker and their game plan exposed this fact.

In the end, the visitors were unlucky not to be in front at the break. They had chances to lead, but their finishing boots were missing. They had to rectify this display in the second half.

Second half

The first half was not much of a wake-up call for the Catalans; they needed another to really get into the game.

Gabriel Paulista’s goal could have been a huge blow. First of all, it was a dubious goal to give. Other than that, it was yet another Blaugrana mistake that led to the goal. Marc-André Ter Stegen had nothing to do for the whole game and still picked out the ball from his net twice.

Fortunately for the Culés, one man led the comeback. And who else but Lionel Messi. The Barça captain, while not being at his best, kept his team afloat and even assured the victory.

However, it was a complete Barça performance, where Valencia had to fork out their goals from out of nowhere. The reaction from the visitors was everything they needed to show before hosting Atletico Madrid next week. The win also gives Barcelona more room to breathe ahead of an exhilarating title race.

Key Moments

12′ Lionel Messi crosses a free-kick near the penalty area. Ronald Araujo connects with the ball, but Jasper Cillessen saves the shot from short range.

50′ GOAL! Valencia 1-0 Barcelona: Marc-André Ter Stegen denies Gonçalo Guedes from close range. In the following corner, the German falls as Gabriel Paulista scores the opener.

56′ Messi sends a cross in the box, and Toni Lato makes his best Jasper Cillessen impression only to give a penalty.

58′ GOAL! Valencia 1-1 Barcelona: Cillessen stops Messi’s penalty. In the follow-up, Sergio Busquets passes to Pedri, who shoots. Messi gets it over the line and equalises for Barça.

62′ GOAL! Valencia 1-2 Barcelona: Alba sends a beautiful cross to Frenkie de Jong. The Dutchman’s header finds Cillessen but Antoine Griezmann scores. Advantage Barça.

68′ GOAL! Valencia 1-3 Barça: Messi gets a free-kick near Valencia’s goal. His shot hits the post and goes in. Beautiful goal.

83′ GOAL! Valencia 2-3 Barcelona: Carlos Soler scores a stunner from out of nowhere. The Spaniard, from a distance, sends a rocket in Ter Stegen’s top corner.

Key Player Ratings

Antoine Griezmann: 8/10

Antoine Griezmann has improved a lot in recent weeks. Against Valencia, the Frenchman outshined Lionel Messi in the first half, where he connected really well with the other forwards, especially Pedri. His opportunistic approach helped him get the second for his side.

Lionel Messi: 8/10

Lionel Messi’s first-half display was nothing short of disappointing. The Barcelona captain took it upon himself to show more fight in the second half. After Gabriel Paulista’s opener, the Argentine legend won a penalty, scored the leveler, won a free-kick, and scored another beautiful goal.

Jasper Cillessen: 7/10

Valencia had many men behind the ball, but their goalkeeper was the best. Jasper Cillessen denied his opponents on many occasions and was the reason his side was not behind at the break. In the second half, the Dutch keeper was unlucky to concede three goals, especially the second as his beautiful save set up Griezmann to score.

As a Lebanese teenager who never had the chance to support their local team, I fell in love with the club that was FC Barcelona at the start of the decade. I always was passionate about writing and this is exactly what I am looking for: sharing my insights and opinions on football.



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  1. Avatar


    02/05/2021 at 21:29

    One must question why we keept ter stegen over cillessen. Since the bayer cl game 2015 ter stegen didnt saved us anything. More so hes in the mental state of jordi alba when it comes to bug games. Disastrous

    • Avatar

      Imre Ford

      03/05/2021 at 01:47

      Ster Stegen one of the best keeper among the first 3. You don’t know what you’re talking about. You don’t watch the game only the results. He saved Barcelona many times.

  2. Avatar


    02/05/2021 at 23:32

    Gone are the days when fans came to watch footnall because of Ronaldhino, then Messi .
    Now a lot of fans do not watch barcelona match frequentky because the game of barca had has become ordinarFans want tp watch Dembele

    • Avatar

      Imre Ford

      03/05/2021 at 01:50

      What to watch Dembele for? His 13 injury in less than 3 years?

  3. Avatar


    03/05/2021 at 02:32

    Barcelona need a new top keeper. Stegen did many mistakes