Very demanded in the Cup, the Barça gave a break in LaLiga and discounted two points for luck of Atletico and Madrid. The comebacks occur very occasionally, hardly chained, and more when the rivals have the packaging of Sevilla and the rebellion of Valencia, the destabilizing opponent by definition at the Camp Nou. At 6-1 against the squad of Machín, after the 2-0 of Nervión, followed the tie to two in front of the revitalized girl of Marcelino, who at half an hour sent by 0-2. To the rescue came Messi, who burst after scoring two goals and put the 2-2, a bittersweet result, less worrying even than the fall of 10. The doubts about Messi's injury are the same as the moment of Barça, busy now on many fronts with a limited roster and with very defined roles: Jordi Alba has no substitute, better play Lenglet, Arthur and, if possible Busquets, and Dembélé is more destabilizing than Coutinho. It is not easy to find the ideal formation in each match and less when the corner awaits Madrid.
Thus the things, the Valencia enfiló of exit to the Barça. Up to two arrivals counted the boys of Marcelino before Messi stumbled with the ball at the entrance of the Neto area. After 10, Barcelona seemed to recover from the insult of the team of Marcelino and deployed towards the goal of Valencia. Absent Alba, Semedo tried to load the attack of the right wing, aware that there was no exit on the left flank, an imbalance that helped Valencia understand the game.
The team of Marcelino aspired to the centrifugal football of Barcelona. There was no other alternative to face the funnel of Valencia that fluff the field, open the sides and rely on the outside shot, a luck in which Coutinho percutía, more present in the absence of the sanctioned Busquets and Arthur. The game was apparently focused on the frame of Neto when Messi was badly damaged in a Parejo entrance and the leather was shot in a counter managed by Rodrigo and culminated by Gameiro. The deployment of Valencia was as fast as slow the withdrawal of Barca.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo (Alba, m.46), Piqué, Vermaelen, Sergi Roberto; Vidal, Rakitic, Aleñá (Arthur, m.66); Coutinho (Malcom, 84), Suárez and Messi. Not used: Peña; Lenglet, Murillo and Boateng.
Valencia: Net; Piccini, Paulista, Garay, Gayà; Cheryshev, Coquelin (Kondogbia, m.73), Parejo, Wass; Gameiro (Ferran, m.41) and Rodrigo (Mina, m.79). Not used: Domenech; Roncaglia, Soler and Lee Kang-In.
Goals: 0-1. M. 25. Gameiro. 0-2. Even (p) 1-2. M. 39. Messi (p). 2-2. M. 64. Messi.
Referee: Undiano Mallenco. He admonished Sergi Roberto, Rakitic, Alba. VAR: Gil Manzano.
Camp Nou: 76,789 spectators.
It did not attack Barcelona well and instead it was selective and accurate in its transitions Valencia. The luck of the match was simplified in the wings: Sergi Roberto committed a penalty on Wass in the 0-2, after a lateral center from the left side, the weak point of Barcelona, and Lato knocked down Semedo in the 1-2. The definition of Parejo was as accurate as that of Messi. Strong in its area, Valencia surprised by its effectiveness on the contrary, even before a goalkeeper like Ter Stegen. In return, Barça was not successful when he had clear situations in attack: Sergi Roberto finished off the post and Messi did not adjust his shot in an optimal situation against Neto before Alba replaced Semedo.
Needed the Barca to broaden the field, activate Messi and Luis Suarez and improve control in the midfield, occupied by interiors and not by midfielders, more compulsive than calm or orientative, ready to embed Valencia. Rakitic and Aleñá insisted, Alba offered herself and Vermaelen closed well. The ball did not leave the field of Valencia and, from the possession, it imposed the depth and accuracy of the tips of Barcelona. The Valverde boys lacked only speed and foresight in the last pass, and when it came in the final shot, while not stopping counter-Valencia, settled with Parejo and very well stretched by Rodrigo.
The contest was opened from goal to goal and the game was at the mercy of a play, or if you want an individuality, the ingenuity and surprise of players like Messi. In the absence of spaces, repeated the Barça players in the pass, the 10th took an impossible kick from outside the area after a touch of Arturo Vidal, always present in the rebounds and divided plays, and fell the tie: 2-2. Neto was as paralyzed as the spectators before the auction of Messi, attended after by his annoyance, resentful of an entry of Lato. The stop of the 10 encouraged Valencia and relaxed the Barcelona, increasingly disgusted and despondent, confined to Ter Stegen.
Valverde, however, preferred to keep Messi after putting Arthur. There was no way to lift the match and the Barça streak was cut after eight consecutive victories, time to recap and rethink the difficulty of mixing the League and the Cup and managing Messi. The 10 is today as sore as the Barca waiting to receive on Wednesday to Madrid in the Cup.