Pique leads the way on his 300th La Liga appearance
Gerard Pique continue his superb form with another excellent performance against Valladolid on his 300th La Liga outing.
Writing his name in the history books! ❤@3gerardpique is playing his 300th game with @FCBarcelona in #LaLiga! pic.twitter.com/P2QmTABH72— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) February 16, 2019
Against Valladolid he was partnered with Thomas Vermaelen, and the duo put in a strong performance in the heart of the Barcelona defence.
Pique also caused a few problems going forward and indeed won the first penalty after going to ground under contact from Michel.
It looked a touch soft but Pique explained how he saw it after the match: “I was clipped from behind and it destabilised me - it’s a penalty,”
Pique was easily Barca’s standout player, with Carles Alena also shining, and remains the only La Liga man to have featured in every minute this season.
Masip steals the show against his former team
Jordi Masip returned to the Camp Nou with Real Valladolid and enjoyed a warm welcome from Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
The 'keepers club!— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) February 16, 2019
Masip & @mterstegen1 #BarçaRealValladolid pic.twitter.com/XB1yLTKKzF
The Valladolid stopper then proceeded to put on a brilliant performance against Barcelona with a string of first-class saves,
He could do very little about Messi’s penalty but then went on to deny the captain again from the spot.
He also made a hat-trick of saves from Luis Suarez and ensured it was a frustrating night for the hosts.
Masip may have had to leave Barcelona in search of regular football, but he certainly put in a man of the match performance at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona must be more clinical against Lyon
Lyon boss Bruno Genesio was watching Barcelona in the stands ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash and won’t be too unhappy with what he saw.
While Masip produced a masterclass in the Valladolid goal, Barcelona will have to be far more clinical in attack against the Ligue 1 side next week.
Messi was guilty of missing chances, Kevin-Prince Boateng offered little threat and Luis Suarez was really wasteful when he arrived as a substitute.
12 - @FCBarcelona’s Lionel Messi attempted 12 shots against Valladolid, the most by a player in a game in Europe’s top five leagues this season. Tireless. pic.twitter.com/yEF3pdvSe0— OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 16, 2019
Meanwhile, Ousmane Dembele produced some exciting moments but is still coming back from injury and not quite at the level he was before his recent lay-off
Lyon have injury problems of their own ahead of match, concerning Tanguy Ndombele and Jason Denayer, while Nabil Fekir is suspended.
Yet Barca will have to play a whole lot better than this if they are to get the result we all want in France on Tuesday.