Valencia beat Barcelona in a game marked by Valencia´s success forward and Barcelona´s lack of ideas to find the way to get through Valencia´s tough defensive system. Barcelona, as usual, had the ball most of the time, but they were barely able to shoot during the first half.
Meanwhile Valencia, whose approach was to hold off from Barcelona and look for counterattacks, looked in Barcelona completely, without even Messi being able to find the way to create chances on the opponent´s box. Furthermore, Barça players static position to receive the ball, without making any runs on top, made it impossible to overcome Valencia´s defense. Valencia´s forward Maxi Gómez missed a penalty in the first half.
With no goals until halftime, Barcelona came from the locker room with the intention to speed up their ball circulation in order to find space to create chances, but Valencia did not allow them to do so.
Despite Ansu Fati clear chance to score, Valencia was the one to take the lead early in the second half thanks to a shot from Maxi Gómez that Jordi Alba deflected into his goal. Messi tried to lift Barcelona to come back, but his team couldn´t get over Valencia´s central defender Gabriel Paulista, who had an outstanding performance on stopping Messi.
Valencia ended up finding the way to secure the win through a good run by Carlos Soler, who dragged Barcelona defenders and allowed Ferrán Torres to assist to Maxi Gómez to score the final goal.
Albert Celades gets a prestigious victory as Barcelona will depend on Real Madrid result tomorrow to keep the first position.