Valencia 1-1 FC Barcelona: Held at Mestalla

Valencia 1-1 FC Barcelona: Held at Mestalla

Although João Félix strikes first, a Hugo Guillamón equaliser means just one of the three points that the Catalans really needed

Under normal circumstances, a draw at Mestalla would generally be viewed as a decent result. But these are not normal circumstances. In recent years, Valencia have not been the force they usually are, while given the widened gap between Barça and the top pair in la Liga, anything other than three points from this fixture could only be regarded as a disappointment.

And a frustrating draw it was. Although this was far from Barça at their best, they did more than enough to win the game and looked on course to do so when they finally found the net on 55 minutes.

But Valencia managed to muster an equaliser and Barça’s valiant efforts to get back into the lead were ultimately in vain.


The result leaves Barça six points short of Liga leaders Girona and four behind Real Madrid. The bad news is that both those two sides have yet to play this weekend. Madrid are at home to Villarreal tomorrow and Girona entertain Alavés on Monday.

Joao Felix breaks deadlock

There hadn’t been too much to pick between the sides before Barça finally took the lead on 55 minutes, but generally speaking, they were probably the side that most deserved to score.

Frenkie de Jong launched a cross from the right and Raphinha tapped it on for an unmarked João Félix to guide over the line.

João's reaction after scoring was curiously restrained. After the game, he explained that he had the feeling that he was offside and that the goal wouldn't stand. Fortunately he was wrong. Nothing wrong with the goal at all. 

Until then, it had been a frustrating struggle. Although Valencia had started brightly and Roman Yaremchuk would have put them into the lead had it not been for a brilliant low save from Iñaki Peña, Giorgi Mamardashvili was very much the busier of the two goalkeepers throughout the first hour of play, with Robert Lewandowski coming closest on a couple of occasions.

Those two were merely the pick of the moments when Barça worked their way into goalscoring positions. There were plenty of others, but once again turning chances into goals was proving to be a problem for the Catalans.

But once they’d found the net at last, they started to look a lot more comfortable. And Valencia a lot less so. Things were looking good.

Valencia equalise

Hence, it came as a gut-wrenching shock when Hugo Guillamón wiggled his way into space on the edge of the Barça area and sent his near-perfect shot right towards the top corner. Peña had no hope of reaching it and against the run of play, Valencia were back level.

Mestalla sensed the momentum had swung back in favour of the home team, but the home crowd were very nearly silenced when Raphinha was through on goal, only to have his initial shot saved and the rebound blocked on the goal-line.

That wouldn’t be the only time that Barça very nearly snatched the second goal they so desperately needed. Raphinha would get another chance, and Pedri almost had it right at the very end...

But no. It all ended 1-1 and all Barça can do now is hope that other results go their way between now and the next game, against Almeria back at the Estadi Olimpic on Wednesday at 7pm CET.

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