Valencia 1-1 Barcelona: 5 talking points
Scorers: Ezequiel Garay 2’ and Lionel Messi 23’
After the intense midweek UEFA Champions League action, LaLiga returned with Valencia hosting Barcelona at the Mestalla. The Catalan giants started the game in the third place in the league, having played a game less. On the other hand, Valencia started in the bottom half of the table with just eight points from seven games.
Ernesto Valverde made four changes to the side that drew with Athletic Bilbao last week. Thomas Vermaelen started alongside Pique in defence and Arthur started in midfield. Marcelino made four changes of his own as Guedes and Garay returned to the starting lineup in place of Cheryshev and Diakhaby respectively.
Lionel Messi equalized after Ezequiel Garay’s opener and the game finished 1-1 at the Estadio Mestalla. Barcelona currently sits in the second place, a point behind the table toppers, Sevilla.
On that note, let’s take a look at the key talking points from the game.
#1 Guedes early departure took the steam off Valencia’s attack
Valencia started the game brilliantly, attacking on the counter with Guedes and Soler on either flank. They opened the scoring in the second minute from a corner through Ezequiel Garay’s tap in. Valencia went close again in the fifth minute with Batshuayi and Kondogbia. Guedes looked sharp and troubled Semedo with his stunning pace.
Barcelona struggled early in the game but everything changed after 11 minutes. Guedes left the field because of an injury and was replaced by Russia’s 2018 World Cup hero, Dennis Cheryshev.
Barcelona got back into the game and started creating chances of their own. Valencia’s attack lacked steam after Guedes’ departure and it was all up to defence for the rest of the game.