Would you believe that Barcelona are actually two points better off compared to their results in the same fixtures last season? Last night's win at the Mestalla was Barcelona's first at the famous stadium in over two years, when a late Lionel Messi goal was enough to secure a 1-0 victory. This time, Messi struck early, completing a phenomenal first-half hat-trick to put the Blaugrana in the driving seat with a comfortable 3-0 lead, before a quick-fire double by Helder Postiga cut Barca's advantage on the stroke of half-time.
Each team had it's chances in the second half -- Messi alone could have registered another hat-trick if not for some fine work between the posts from Diego Alves -- while Valencia substitute Jonas forced a finger-tip save from Victor Valdes with a dangerous long-range effort. On another night, maybe Barcelona wouldn't have escaped with the three points, but it's important that they did; yesterday's win keeps the Blaugrana on top spot in La Liga headed into the international break.
The world-record signing of Gareth Bale by Real Madrid seems to suggest that this season's title race is going to be as tough as ever, even if Los Blancos end up selling Mesut Ozil after all. It's a long, difficult road to glory; any and every mistake could prove fatal to a team's chances of lifting the title -- and thankfully, with three games down, FC Barcelona are yet to put a foot wrong.
More from Barca Blaugranes:
- From The Mind of Xoel: Valencia 2-3 Barça
- La Liga: Valencia CF 2-3 FC Barcelona: Match Review
- FC Barcelona News: 1 September 2013: Martino "Barca Need To Improve", Villarreal Move Top Of La Liga
- Segunda División: FC Barcelona B 1-0 Real Zaragoza: Match Review
- FC Barcelona News: 31 August 2013; Xavi and Alexis Rested Against Valencia, 12 Players Called Up by National Teams