La Liga 2016/17: Valencia 2-3 Barcelona - 5 Talking Points
Matchday 9 of the La Liga had Barcelona taking on Cesare Prandelli’s Valencia who came into the game with nine points to their name in eight games. After a poor start to the season, that saw them lose their first three games, the Los Che have quickly stepped up picking up three important wins taking them to nine points.
On the other hand, Luis Enrique’s men have had a shaky start to the season and found themselves coming into the game placed 4th on the table.
In what was a very tight and entertaining encounter in Mestalla, the Catalans came out on top, winning the game 2-3, thanks to a last-minute penalty from Lionel Messi. After taking the lead from a Messi goal, Barcelona conceded in the second half when Munir El Haddadi, a player on loan from the Catalans, netted Valencia’s first.
Rodrigo doubled Valencia’s tally before Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi ensure Barcelona don’t slip yet again.
Here are five talking points from the game:
#1 Barcelona’s injury list is a big worry
In the summer window, Luis Enrique splashed money in acquiring young players in various positions on the pitch to improve the squad depth, a move, in hindsight, is a relief for Barcelona fans, considering the injuries to their squad.
Their current injury list includes Gerrard Pique, Jordi Alba, Jasper Cillessen, Arda Turan and Rafinha. Today’s game saw their captain Andres Iniesta pick up an injury, adding him to the long list of injuries.
Iniesta went down after a rash challenge from Enzo Perez. The World Cup winner landed awkwardly on his knees and it immediately looked like something to do with a knee ligament. However, according to sources, it is not a Grade III tear of the ligament but a Grade II tear of the LCL (Lateral Collateral Ligament) which means that Iniesta will be out for four months.
Iniesta will miss important games against Manchester City, Real Madrid, Villareal and Real Sociedad, and Barca will miss their captain’s presence in midfield. But does the growing injury list mean Barcelona will find it tough to win trophies this season? Only time will tell.