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Suárez once again opened the scoring for FC Barcelona

Suárez once again opened the scoring for FC Barcelona | MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Barça have beaten Valencia 2-1, but Saturday is not so much about this result alone but also the 38 league games that came before it. Because after equalling Real Sociedad’s almost four-decades old record for games without defeat in the competition, the Catalans have now gone one better … and still counting!

If they can keep this run going for just six more games, they’ll become the first team to ever get through a whole 38-match Liga season without losing once. And just seven points from those fixtures would be enough to clinch the Spanish championship for the 25th time (view the latest league table here)

Suárez opener

A fascinating contest was quarter of an hour old when the deadlock was broken. Philippe Coutinho threaded the ball through to another former Liverpool man, Luis Suárez and the Uruguayan calmly stroked home with his first touch.

Jordi Alba was playing a blinder both in defence and attack, but Valencia were by no means just here for the ride.

As the game progressed, the visitors were getting more and more of the ball. Ter Stegen’s end of the pitch was the stage for a series of face-offs between the German keeper and Rodrigo, with the former coming out tops each time.

Gonçalo Guedes was also getting involved, and by the break Valencia had actually had more than twice as many attempts on goal as the blaugrana.

Umtiti heads home

But despite the Valencia pressure, with Gerard Piqué clearing off the line just moments after the restart, Barça would soon be extending their lead. Samuel Umtiti claimed his first goal of the season as he nodded in a Coutinho corner.

Cue show-time at Camp Nou! The three points and the all-time record now looking more than secure, Barça could start having fun. Some dazzling football saw Andrés Iniesta frustrated by a fine Neto save, Leo Messi narrowly to fail to top a zigzagging run with a goal…

Late penalty

...But although the fans were warming up to celebrate another goal, much to their alarm, it came at the other end. A penalty was awarded against Umtiti, and although Ter Stegen managed get to Dani Parejo’s spot kick, the ball somehow crawled through his body and over the line.

There was plenty of late drama. Denis Suárez could have sealed it at one end while Valencia used up everything they had left in the tank at the other in search of an equaliser.

But 2-1 was how it ended and Barça could celebrate a historic achievement that goes a long way towards dispelling the ghosts of Tuesday night.

Get all the stats from a gripping games between FC Barcelona and Valencia at the Camp Nou.
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