|Messi celebrates goal against Valencia|
It was a tough evening at the Mestalla, a very tough one, but Lionel Messi is built for occasions like it and the Argentine showed his class by scoring a brace to give FC Barcelona all three points with a 3-2 win against a determined Valencia.
Messi opened the scoring for the visitors with a cracking goal but Munir El Haddadi broke the hearts of Barça fans, scoring against his former club to make it 1-1. Rodrigo made it 2-1 before Luis Suárez equalized for Barça with around 30 minutes left to play. It all looked like it was going to end in a draw but then Messi scored from the spot to give Barça the win.
Barcelona started the game in controlling fashion but then Captain Andres Iniesta picked up an injury after 14 minutes after a clash with Enzo Pérez, the midfielder was replaced by Ivan Rakitic who Gomes started ahead of and Barça later confirmed that their captain picked up a knee ligament injury.
Lionel Messi gave Barça the lead on 22 minutes with a fine left-footed strike to beat Diego Alves, although Luis Suárez looked to have blocked his sight in an offside position. Alves was on top form and had two magnificent saves especially the one to deny Messi from close range.
Valencia felt they should have had a penalty after Samuel Umtiti looked to have pushed Rodrigo in the box, Undiano Mallenco waved it off. They grew angrier when Busquets escaped a second yellow. Diego Alves saved a Suarez one-on-one and Ter Stegen did the same to Dani Parejo.
Alves also did well to parry a great shot from Neymar but presented Ivan Rakitic with all the time and space to win it, however, the midfielder fired onto the bar when he should have scored.
Cesare Prandelli brought Munir El Haddadi at half-time to replace Martin Montoya, and the youngster currently on loan from Barça made it 1-1 for Valencia with a beautiful finish, a side-footed shot that left Ter Stegen stranded. Rodrigo made it 2-0 for the hosts four minutes letter, capitalising on a poor Barça defence to score past Ter Stegen with 34 minutes left.
Luis Suárez who missed two great chances early on gave Barça the equaliser on 62 minutes. Diego Alves brilliantly parried a beautiful header from Rakitic but Suarez was on hard to fire in a left-footed bullet to beat the inspired Brazilian goalkeeper.
2-2 didn’t look a desirable result for both sides as they kept on pushing for the winner. Nani had the chance to seal it but saw his shot only hit the side netting in a one-on-one situation with Ter Stegen while Suárez had a free header over the bar.
The officials surprisingly added just two minutes and with the last chance of the game, Messi and Neymar combined well to find Suárez in the box who won a penalty, Messi slotted it past Diego Alves to win it for Barça with the last kick of the game.