Barcelona remain unbeaten in La Liga and are back to the winning ways following the tragedy in Rome thanks to a 2-1 win over Valencia at Camp Nou. The Blaugrana played a really poor match, but scored two goals in key moments and somehow found a way to get a win against a really good Valencia side.
The effects from the AS Roma loss were evident here as Barça struggled to play with any confidence and creativity, but they managed to put together one nice sequence of possession that ended with a Philippe Coutinho assist and a Luis Suárez goal after 15 minutes.
That was it in terms of Barça’s attack. They had to defend for the rest of the half, and their defense was just not good. Valencia found plenty of spaces to create chances, especially on the left flank where Gonçalo Guedes simply destroyed Sergi Roberto, but a brilliant half of goalkeeping from Marc-André ter Stegen, who made at least three fantastic saves, made sure that Barça somehow had a clean sheet at halftime.
Valencia looked set to get at least one goal in the second half, so could Barça find some offense to secure the win?
The first 5 minutes started with a heart attack and a smile for Barça fans: first Samuel Umtiti slipped in midfield and Valencia nearly scored off his mistake, but just two minutes later Umtiti himself headed home a Coutinho corner and doubled Barça’s lead.
The next 40 minutes featured Valencia trying desperately to get back in the game, but they just couldn’t find a way to get past Ter Stegen. Until they got a late penalty and Dani Parejo found a way to squeeze the ball under the Barça keeper. Los Che had about 5 minutes to equalize, but Barça managed to hold on to what is an important win for the league table but just another bad game on a long recent streak of bad games.
Something has to change.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto (Semedo), Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Coutinho (Dembélé), Paulinho, Busquets, Iniesta (Denis); Messi, Suárez
Goals: Suárez (15’), Umtiti (51’)
Valencia: Neto; Vezo, Garay, Gabriel, Gayà; Soler, Kondogbia, Parejo, Guedes (Pereira); Rodrigo (Zaza), Santi Mina (Vietto)
Goal: Parejo (87’)