It has been almost a month since Barcelona suffered a humiliating defeat to Real Madrid which seems to have kick started a poor run of form for the Catalans, their first leg triumph over Atletico Madrid could have been seen as a ray of sunshine which was quickly covered up by defeats to Real Soceidad and Atletico Madrid, which also saw them get knocked out of the Champions League.
Coming into Sunday’s fixture with Valencia the fans could not have asked for a more unpredictable game not knowing which Valencia side would turn up, but full credit should be given to Valencia as they took full advantage of Barcelona’s shaky defence and the poor form the team is experiencing.
Barcelona as usual had the Lion’s share of possession with Valencia comfortable with just defending deep and countering when they could, Barcelona looked very predictable in the first half and even though Valencia was doing a lot of defending it was not that difficult for them, Valencia passed the ball around well and with confidence whenever they got possession and finally got their break through after Ivan Rakitic deflected an attempted cross past his own goal keeper, Valencia continued to defend and counter with purpose and eventually got their second of the night through the illustrious Santi Mina, a clever through ball by Dani Parejo left makeshift rightback Sergi Roberto confused and Santi Mina placed the ball beyond Bravo’s reach.
Barcelona finally got their breakthrough in the 63rd minute Messi ending his goal drought and scoring his milestone 500th goal but that was not enough to help Barcelona mount a comeback. This result blows the title race wide open with Atletico level on points with Barcelona after their 3-0 win over Granada and Real a point behind after demolishing Getafe in the Madrid derby 5-1.