Barca Net Late To Maintain Unbeaten Run
Spanish La Liga
Result: Valencia 1-1 FC Barcelona
Date: 26 November 2017
Venue: Estadio de Mestalla
FC Barcelona maintained their unbeaten start to the La Liga season after drawing 1-1 with high-flying Valencia in a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday evening.
There was a surprise inclusion in the Barca line up as Thomas Vermaelen started his first game for the club since 2016.
The Catalan giants dominated in the opening exchanges although they could only manage two efforts on target from Paulinho and Ivan Rakitic in the opening 20 minutes.
Barca were unlucky not have gone ahead in the 29th minute as replays showed Lionel Messi's shot crossed the line, although the referee did not allow the goal.
Valencia, meanwhile, were quite content to sit back and attack Barca on the counter although they failed to test Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.
The visitors did carve out a chance four minutes before the break when Luis Suarez broke into the box, however the striker failed to beat Neto from a tight angle.
Valencia started the second half on a stronger note and looked more lively in the final third of the pitch.
The hosts took a deserved lead on the hour mark as Jose Gaya broke into the box and picked out Rodrigo, who got ahead of Vermaelen to poke home at the near post, 1-0.
Ernesto Valverde responded by introducing Gerard Deulofeu for Rakitic in the 68th minute as Barca pushed for an equaliser.
Neto came to Valencia's rescue with 15 minutes remaining as the shot-stopper produced a fine save to keep out Luis Suarez's volley.
Barca were not to be denied in the 83rd minute as Messi superbly picked out Jordi Alba, who fired home with an acrobatic effort from close range, 1-1.
However, that proved to be the final goal of the encounter as the two sides settled for share of the spoils.