La Liga 2016/17: Valencia CF 2-3 FC Barcelona - Player Ratings
A late Messi goal saw Barcelona overcome a resurgent Valencia team.
Barcelona took the spoils in the ding dong battle against a rejuvenated Valencia side. A five-goal thriller at Mestalla saw both teams go toe-to-toe in this exciting La Liga battle.
Lionel Messi scored a brace as he rallied Barca from 2-1 down to clinch the game 3-2, scoring the winner from the spot in the dying seconds of the game. Munir's valiant cameo went down the drain as the hosts crumbled in the last moments of the game.
Here are the player ratings from this exciting game.
Diego Alves: 7/10
Valencia's keeper did exceedingly well in the first half to keep Barca's score in check with his crucial saves. He was decisive in giving his team a chance against the vastly superior Barcelona side. He could've been better at organising his defence during set-pieces.
Martin Montoya: 6/10
The former Barcelona man was patchy during his 45 minutes on the pitch. Montoya did well at times against the Neymar-Iniesta axis down Barcelona’s left side channel but was brutally exposed when he dealt with Neymar in one-on-one situations. It was a performance which wasn't bad but was miles off from being good as well.
Ezequiel Garay: 7/10
The veteran defender marshalled a nervy Valencia defence gallantly for most of the game. His presence in the box kept Suarez in check. He did well to cover whenever his defence was left reeling.
Eliaquim Mangala: 6/10
The Manchester City loanee surprisingly had a decent game against the likes of Messi, Neymar, and Suarez. He was his usual edgy self, but gave a glimpse of a quintessential Prandelli centre-half.
Jose Luis Gayá: 6/10
He managed to hold his own against Messi down the left flank before being hauled off due to injury. Although he could've done a bit more to assist Nani in his attacking adventures, nonetheless it was a disciplined performance from the Valencia prodigy.
Enzo Pérez: 8/10
The Argentine was simply ballistic in midfield for the hosts. He led not only his midfield but also his team from the front. Throwing himself in the line of fire and steadying the ship with his calm demeanour, Perez gave a captain's performance at Mestalla.
Mario Suárez: 7/10
If Enzo Perez was Batman then Mario Suarez was a more than able Robin to him. He complimented his captain and midfield partner brilliantly, especially with his distribution and the way he repurposed the second ball won by him.
João Cancelo: 7/10
The young right back terrified Digne for most of the first half with his raw pace and slick skills. And in second, he played his role with some panache as he kept a slippery Neymar fairly in control.
Daniel Parejo: 7/10
It was all grit and hard work in the first half for him when Valencia lacked any direction in attacking department. He sprung to life in the second half after Munir's arrival and was a steely performance by Parejo.
Luis Nani: 8/10
The Portuguese winger turned the clock back today with his brilliant performance. The amount of respect shown to him by Barca defenders while facing him spoke a lot about his personality on the pitch. It was a vintage display from Valencia's talisman.
Rodrigo couldn't get into his stride for most of the game as he struggled to shrug off Mascherano. But he showed a true centre forward's instincts when he dabbed the ball past Ter Stegen to put Valencia in lead. He needs to work a lot on his off the ball movement if he wants to hold onto his place as the attacking focal point of his team.
Aymen Abdennour: 6/10
The former Monaco man was at his no-nonsense best down the left side. He tried to nip every Barcelona offence right in the bud, with some success. It was a performance which impressed the Mestalla's faithful. But he undid all his good work by conceding a cheap penalty deep into stoppage time.
Munir El Haddadi: 9/10
The La Masia graduate gave Barca a rude reminder of his capabilities when he singlehandedly turned the game for Los Che. He played a key role in both the goals and was the home team's best player by some margin.
Santi Mina: 5/10
Mina must be kicking himself now for wasting two promising counter attacks in a space of 5 minutes. It was his callous and sloppy attitude which pegged Valencia back in a resurgent second half.