No day escapes from the diabolical script of the League. The games are a carousel of emotions, because they are agitated and changing, and also because they are uncertain, more typical of the Cup. Emotional control is impossible for temperamental clubs like Barça. Sometimes it is a self-absorbed team, that does not stop turning on itself, unable to find the rival goal, exposed to any adversity; and sometimes he is vertical and irrepressible, also a scorer, a contender for the title, ready to discuss the leadership of Atlético on Saturday, no matter how good it suits Madrid.
The Catalans solved at one point an encounter that seemed hopeless against Valencia at the Mestalla. The hypotensive team that said goodbye to the League for a goal by Paulista found in a missed penalty and then finished off by Messi the fuse to ignite their committed candidacy since the defeat with Granada. Barça is not a reliable team and, nevertheless, they refuse to give in but rather overcomes defeat, more comfortable as a pursuer than as head of the League.
Affirmed soccer around his midfielder line, Pedri-Busquets-De Jong, Barça’s luck depends on his forcefulness in the areas, too erratic in his and on the contrary delivered to Messi, accompanied by Griezmann. It does not solve his doubts in his defense of three – Araujo played for Mingueza – and in the right-back demarcation: Dest or Sergi Roberto. The uncertainty feeds the expectations of the adversaries, especially of the interventionist technicians like Javi Gracia, specialist in complicating the games of the Catalans in Pamplona, Malaga and now with Valencia. Gracia also bet on two lanes and a rear with Paulista-Guillamón-Lato to close on the inside and deny the inside game generated by Messi.
Valencia’s unprecedented armor, however, was exposed shortly after Messi removed from the center. Pedri’s goal was opened and his shot did not even demand Cillessen. The canary did not hit an easy shot caused by the control and pressure of Barcelona. The Catalans pressed and Valencia did not leave their court, supported by their goalkeeper, excellent in a rejection of Araujo’s shot.
The Barcelona blunder, lacking hands and feet to complete his good waist, as patient as dynamic, encouraged Valencia. Barça does not retreat well, very exposed when it does not have the ball, and grants chances in each rival’s outing, especially on the flanks and especially on Dest’s, overwhelmed by Gayá. Koeman’s equipment was not attached to it.
Valencia gained confidence with Barça’s candor, which was getting shallower and flatter, without spice or shot, without a single striker to blow the ball as it passed Cillessen’s goal line. The feeling of danger was as manifest as the lack of opportunities for Barça. Pedri came out flipped in every play, even in the area, headed by Soler.
The game had the same look at halftime as many of those who have already played Barça. He does not stop fluttering with the ball until he gets tired of himself, luckily for an opponent who awaits his chance as it happened against Granada and also at the Mestalla. Ter Stegen splendidly reduced a Guedes arrival in the action prior to Paulista’s goal. The center-back headed alone, freed from Lenglet’s mark, the corner kick caused by the intervention of the Barça goalkeeper. Correia, the same one who had blocked Ter Stegen in the 1-0, forgave the 2-0. Messi came to the Barça rescue. On the 10th he struck a ball for De Jong that was intercepted by Lato’s hand. Although he missed the penalty due to the intervention of Cillessen, a good connoisseur of the Argentine repertoire, the captain clinched the ball after the intervention of Busquets, Pedri and Alba.
The lift came due to the opportunism of Griezmann, who pushed a rejection of Cillessen to an imposing header from De Jong after a center from Alba. In favor of the scoreboard, even Messi found the goal in a free kick, 21 fouls later, excellent in the hit that he hit Cillessen’s left post. A goal from Soler, however, returned the suspense to the meeting due to the lack of courage and personality of a Barça in any case a candidate for the title because the League seems delighted with passionate teams such as Barça and Atlético, next rivals to the satisfaction of the sane Madrid.