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Spanish La Liga

Barca's Poor Run Continues Despite 500th Messi Strike

La Liga
 
Result: Barcelona 1-2 Valencia
 
Date: 17 April 2016
 
Venue: Camp Nou
 
Barcelona saw their lead at the top of La Liga shrink further on Sunday after a 2-1 defeat against Valencia at home.
 
The Catalans started the game strongly as they applied pressure on the visitors. A shot was blocked in the first five minutes and Dani Alves made a save shortly thereafter as Lionel Messi attempted a shot.
 
Dani Alves was called upon again in the 13th minute when a clever free kick from Andres Iniesta found Neymar who tried to clip the ball over the goalkeeper, who palmed it away.
 
Barca came close to opening the scoring when a corner kick was whipped in to Javier Mascherano who flicked it on towards Luis Suarez but his attempt went just over the bar.
 
Alves made another terrific save when Neymar teed up Messi. The Argentine curled an effort at goal but the goalkeeper parried it away to keep the scoreline goalless.
 
However, moments later the visitors were in front. Gomes fed the ball to Siqueira and his pass into the danger area took a big deflection off of Ivan Rakitic to find the back of the net for an own goal.
 
The Valencia goalkeeper kept his side ahead just before the break with another great save from Messi, and the visitors were two goals clear in first-half stoppage time as some fantastic build-up play resulted in a ball coming to Mina who produced a fine finish for a 2-0 lead.
 
Barcelona got themselves back into the game in the 63rd minute as Messi netted his 500th senior goal. The Barca talisman got the ball in the middle and sent it out wide to Alba who drove it into the danger zone where Messi was on hand to finish with great composure.
 
Alves was on top of his game between the sticks again in the 76th minute when Rakitic made room for a left-footed shot. The strike looked set to find the bottom corner of the net but the Valencia gloveman made a sensational stop.
 
Luis Enrique's men continued piling on the pressure in the last 10 minutes as they went in search of an equaliser and Gerard Pique had a superb chance to score from only eight yards out but he somehow managed to miss the target as Valencia survived to earn a famous victory.
 
Barca are now level on points with Atletico Madrid, who are second due to their head-to-head record.
 

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