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3 winners and 1 loser from Barcelona’s 1-0 La Liga win against Valencia

The best and the worst from an important win at Camp Nou

FC Barcelona v Valencia CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona returned to winning ways and maintained their comfortable lead at the top of the La Liga table thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Valencia at Camp Nou. Barça weren’t at their best and had to play the final half-hour with 10 men, but picked up three crucial points in the title race.

Here are the winners and losers from Sunday’s action.

Note: Applying the labels “winners” and “losers” is not intended to be a judgment on the talent or character of any of these players. It’s just a simple way to grade their performance in a single game. No disrespect is intended.


FC Barcelona v Valencia CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Raphinha: The Brazilian scored the only goal of the match with what might very well be his trademark goal with a quick run into the box and a looping header over the rushing goalkeeper, something he’s done multiple times for club and country over the last year or so. He also created two huge chances for Ansu Fati, one on each half, and provided crucial defensive cover when the team went down to 10 men.

Andreas Christensen: The Dane clearly wasn’t moving well and was feeling the effects of the ankle injury that kept him out of El Clásico, but once again proved why he’s such a crucial piece of the league’s stingiest defense. Christensen didn’t put a foot wrong, was once again on point with his anticipations and dominated in the air. Hopefully the full week of rest ahead will make him 100% healthy for the trip to San Mamés, and his presence will be even more important without the suspended Ronald Araujo.

Sergio Busquets: The captain had the beautiful assist to Raphinha’s goal and was involved in the (very few) good things Barça did offensively in the first half, and he was a calming presence during the chaotic moments after the red card in the second half. He also had a couple of very important tackles and headers inside the box in the dying moments when Valencia sent cross after cross into the area, and his experience and poise helped Barça to hold on in the end.


FC Barcelona v Valencia CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Ferran Torres: A very tough afternoon for Ferran, who missed a penalty that would have doubled Barça’s lead before Araujo’s red card and created at least two dangerous chances for Valencia with bad passes into his own defensive line that put his teammates in tough positions. He moved well as a false nine and was involved in a couple of nice attacks, but he wasn’t reliable in the most important moments. Barça really need Robert Lewandowski back so Ferran can return to the wing, where he was playing very well in recent weeks.

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