Mar 19, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at ​Camp Nou
Barcelona
4-2
Valencia
Suarez (35'), Messi (45' pen., 52'), Gomes (89')
Iniesta (67'), Gomes (77'), Messi (86')
FT(HT: 2-2)
Mangala (29'), El-Haddadi (45')
Perez (24'), Mangala (38'), Parejo (43'), Garay (82'), Montoya (91')
Mangala (44')

Live Commentary: Barcelona 4-2 Valencia - as it happened

Gerard Pique in action for Barcelona on October 19, 2016
© SilverHub
Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the La Liga clash between Barcelona and Valencia from Camp Nou.

Barcelona welcomed Valencia to Camp Nou on Sunday night looking to move within two points of La Liga leaders Real Madrid.

A spectacular first 45 minutes produced four goals and one red card, with the two teams entering the half-time break level at 2-2, and Valencia down to 10 men after Eliaquim Mangala was sent off for pulling Luis Suarez to the deck inside the away side's penalty box.

Lionel Messi's second of the night saw Barcelona take a 3-2 lead in the 52nd minute, before Andre Gomes made it 4-2 late on as the Spanish champions returned to winning ways in the league.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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6.46pmEvening all! Sports Mole's live La Liga coverage continues from Camp Nou as the Spanish champions Barcelona welcome Valencia. The home side need to win as they bid to stay in touch with Real Madrid at the summit, but Valencia would love nothing more than to get one over on the Catalan giants tonight. Stay tuned for what should be an open and entertaining match-up from Camp Nou!

6.49pmIf tonight's match is anything like the reverse fixture earlier this season, then we will be in for a real treat. Indeed, a 94th-minute penalty from Lionel Messi saw Barcelona secure a 3-2 victory at the Mestalla back in October. Valencia, however, recorded a 2-1 win when they travelled to Camp Nou last season, and Los Che might well fancy causing another upset tonight. It should be an open game.

6.52pmGary Neville will remember a 7-0 defeat for his Valencia team at Camp Nou during the 2015-16 Copa del Rey, but the former Spanish champions have actually won on two of their last three visits to Barcelona in the league. Unlike the majority of clubs across Europe, Valencia know what it takes to win in this stadium and have done so six times in the league since 1998.

6.55pmRight, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from Camp Nou. Both managers have had a free week to prepare for this match so tiredness should not be an issue. Any changes from their respective league games last weekend? Let's run through the two XIs...

Neymar in action for Barcelona during their La Liga clash with Granada at the Camp Nou on October 29, 2016© SilverHub


6.58pmTEAMS!

BARCA: Ter Stegen; Pique, Umtiti, Mascherano; Rafinha, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Neymar, Suarez, Messi

VALENCIA: Alves; Montoya, Garay, Mangala, Gaya; Parejo, Perez, Soler; Orellana, Munir, Cancelo


7.02pmBarcelona boss Luis Enrique has made five changes to the team that started last weekend's 2-1 defeat at Deportivo La Coruna. Samuel Umtiti returns to the back three alongside Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano, while Rafinha, Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta return to the midfield. There is also one change in attack as Neymar overcomes a slight injury to replace Arda Turan in the XI.

7.05pmAs for Valencia, head coach Voro has made just one change to the side that drew at home to Sporting Gijon last time out as club captain Enzo Perez returns from suspension. Simone Zaza is the player to drop out for Los Che, with Munir El-Haddadi handed the striking position against his parent club. Nani, however, is still not fit as a hamstring problem keeps the Portuguese on the sidelines.

Munir El Haddadi of FC Barcelona in action during the pre-season friendly match between FC Barcelona and SSC Napoli on August 6, 2014© Getty Images


7.08pmThe two teams are in and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff on this mild evening in Barcelona. I shall speak about Valencia a little bit later, but let's start with the hosts, who are in desperate need of all three points tonight as they chase down leaders Real Madrid. Indeed, Los Blancos moved five points clear at the summit with a 2-1 win at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday afternoon.

7.12pmReal Madrid's victory over Bilbao at San Mames means that Zinedine Zidane's side are now five points clear at the top of La Liga, having played the same number of matches as Barcelona. The reigning champions would have entered this weekend top of the table if they had beaten Deportivo La Coruna last weekend, but Enrique's side suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at the Riazor.

7.15pmBarcelona created Champions League history on March 8 when they thumped Paris Saint-Germain 6-1 in the second leg of their last-16 clash to advance into the quarter-finals 6-5 on aggregate. However, the Spanish champions suffered a hangover from that incredible win as they suffered a 2-1 defeat at Deportivo in La Liga last weekend. Luis Suarez cancelled out a Joselu effort to leave the teams level at the start of the second period, but Alex Bergantinos headed a winner for Pepe Mel's side in the 74th minute.

Sexy Luis Suarez in action for Barcelona during their La Liga clash with Granada at the Camp Nou on October 29, 2016© SilverHub


7.18pmThe defeat at Deportivo was actually Barcelona's first loss in the league since the start of October, but they cannot afford many more as they look to close the gap on Real Madrid. The Catalan giants are the overwhelming favourites to beat Alaves in the final of the Copa del Rey later this season, but they have a serious fight on their hands in order to retain the Spanish title.

7.22pmIn terms of what is ahead for Barcelona, they will travel to Granada in their next league game after the international break, before welcoming Sevilla to Camp Nou on April 5. Enrique's side will also have a two-legged Champions League quarter-final against Juventus in April, which is a month that also sees them travel to Real Madrid in the league. One way or another, April will be decisive for Barcelona.

7.25pmValencia, meanwhile, are currently on their third manager of the season, with Pako Ayestaran and Cesare Prandelli both leaving following issues with the board. Voro, 53, has been handed the reigns until at least the end of the campaign, and while there have been signs of improvement under the former Spain international, it has largely been a season to forget for Los Che.

Valencia players celebrate taking the lead during the La Liga game between Barcelona and Valencia on April 17, 2016© AFP


7.28pmEight wins, six draws and 13 defeats have brought Valencia 30 La Liga points from 27 matches, leaving them in 14th position. They are nine points clear of the relegation zone, but 10 points off the top of the table and their inconsistent form suggests that a bottom-half finish will occur this season.

7.32pmLos Che finished third in three successive La Liga seasons between 2009 and 2012, but they have gradually slipped down the table in recent campaigns. Indeed, they finished down in 12th spot last season and it does appear that they are heading for a similar position this term, which is simply not good enough for a team that has won the title on two separate occasions since the turn of the century.

7.35pmValencia recorded an impressive 2-1 victory over Real Madrid last month, but they have only won one of their last four in the league and that was a narrow 1-0 success over struggling Leganes. They lost 3-0 at Atletico Madrid in their last away match and could only share the points in a 1-1 draw at home to Sporting Gijon last weekend. Consistency has been a real problem for Valencia.

7.38pm

7.42pmHere we go then - both sets of players have joined us on the pitch ahead of the first period of action. The home supporters will be expecting a response from their team following the defeat at Deportivo, but Valencia might well fancy another Camp Nou win. Stay tuned for all the action!

0 minKICKOFF! Barcelona kick things off on home soil...

2 min... as expected, Barcelona have taken control of the possession in the early moments as they look to force Valencia into a defensive shape. You just get the feeling that the first goal tonight - if there indeed is one - could be vital. Valencia will fancy their chances on the counter-attack here.

3 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Barcelona to take the lead as Iniesta releases Luis Suarez inside the Valencia box and the striker looks to deliver into Messi, but Gaya is on hand to make a brilliant clearance. Some very nervy defending from Valencia in the early exchanges!

5 minCHANCE! Chance for Valencia this time as Cancelo breaks through on the Barcelona goal and has Orellana in yards of space inside the home side's box, but the full-back cannot pick out his teammate for what would have been a tap-in. Really needed to lift his head!

8 minSAVE! Luis Suarez beats the offside trap with a clever run and frees himself from Garay before having a shot on goal, but Diego Alves is on hand to make a smart save.

9 minMascherano puts a volley wide of the post as this game continues to produce chances.

11 minGood spell for Valencia in the last couple of minutes as they pass and probe in the final third of the field. I would be astounded if this match did not produce goals for both teams because neither defence looks too secure. It has been a very lively opening 11 minutes to this La Liga clash.

13 minIniesta's form this season has been hit and miss, but the Spaniard has played some wonderful passes in the opening 13 minutes of this match, with Neymar and Luis Suarez both benefitting. There is quite a strange atmosphere inside the stadium at the moment, not much noise at all.

15 minOFF-THE-LINE! Barcelona have another wonderful chance to take the lead as Luis Suarez puts the ball on a plate for Messi inside the Valencia box, but Gaya is on hand to clear off the line! The away side have had to ride their luck to keep the score goalless thus far tonight.

16 minMessi curls just wide of the far post after breaking into the Valencia box once again.

18 minLuis Suarez is being afforded far too much time in the final third for Barcelona, and you sense that a goal is coming for the Spanish champions. That said, Valencia are still very dangerous on the counter-attack as Cancelo and Orellana continue to stretch the pitch with their pace.

19 minSAVE! Ter Stegen does well to keep out Soler's powerful strike after poor defending from Pique had presented the midfielder with a shooting chance. So many opportunities!

22 minMessi looks to dance into the Valencia box once again after a slip from Gaya had opened up space for the Argentine, but Gaya recovers well to make the challenge. Still goalless with 22 played.

24 minThis match has been as open and entertaining as expected, and the only surprise is that we have not seen the deadlock broken. Barcelona continue to enjoy possession in the final third of the field, but Valencia are so dangerous when they have the chance to open their legs on the counter-attack.

24 minBOOKING! Perez (Valencia) is booked for a foul on Neymar.

26 minPENALTY SHOUT! Neymar goes down inside the Valencia box under a challenge from Cancelo, but the referee is not interested. I have certainly seen penalties given for those!

28 minValencia are being hunted down each time they receive possession at the moment, with Barcelona determined to keep the tempo high. We could have had three or four goals in the opening 28 minutes of this match, but we are somehow still level. I would not back a 0-0 full-time though!

29 minCHANCE! Munir runs free of the Barcelona defence after a long ball catches out the home side, but the striker's final touch is too strong and Ter Stegen is out to deny the Spaniard!

29 minGOAL! Barcelona 0-1 Valencia (Mangala)

30 minWow! Valencia make the breakthrough at Camp Nou as Mangala rises inside the Barcelona box to head a brilliant corner into the back of the net. It was a sensational header from the centre-back!

32 minI still expect Barcelona to win this match, but a goal for Valencia is the perfect thing that could have happened for the neutral supporter. The visitors have been so dangerous on the counter-attack.

34 minLittle over 10 minutes of the first period remaining at Camp Nou, and Barcelona are in control of the possession as they pass and probe in the final third of the field. The Spanish champions really cannot afford to lose this match as they already trail Real Madrid by five points in the table.

35 minGOAL! Barcelona 1-1 Valencia (Luis Suarez)

36 minHorrible defending from Valencia! A long throw from Neymar releases Luis Suarez inside the Valencia box and the striker slots the ball past Alves. What on earth were they thinking?!

38 minThis has been a brilliant opening 38 minutes. It could be 4-4, but it is 1-1 with Luis Suarez cancelling out a header from Mangala. Neither defence looks capable of dealing with the forward players on the field and therefore I am expecting more goals to arrive at Camp Nou.

38 minBOOKING! Mangala (Valencia) chops Messi to the ground just outside the Valencia box and the home side have a free kick in a very dangerous area of the field...

40 min... Messi just misses the crossbar with a swerving free kick.

42 minNeymar again finds space down the left and delivers a low cross into Messi, but Garay is on the scene to make the challenge. Valencia just cannot seem to keep possession, however, and Luis Suarez just over-runs the ball after driving into the away side's penalty area once again.

43 minBOOKING! Parejo (Valencia) is booked for a foul on Iniesta.

44 minPENALTY BARCELONA, RED CARD MANGALA!

45 minOh my word! Straight red card for Mangala as the Valencia centre-back pulls Luis Suarez to the ground inside the penalty area. He leaves the field and Barcelona have the chance to take the lead!

45 minGOAL! Barcelona 2-1 Valencia (Messi, pen)

45 min+1Messi goes down the middle to send Barcelona ahead.

45 min+1GOAL! Valencia 2-2 Barcelona (Munir)

45 min+2Oh my goodness me! Valencia level the scores as Gaya races clear down the left before squaring the ball into Munir, who slots home against his parent club. What an amazing first period here!

45 min+3HALF-TIME: Barcelona 2-2 Valencia

8.33pmWhat an incredible first half of football at Camp Nou! We enter the half-time break at 2-2, but it could have been anything in that first period. Both teams have had chance after chance and it has been the story of two poor defences. Messi looked to have sent Barcelona into a first-half lead from the penalty spot, but Munir netted against his parent club once again in the half's final attack!

8.38pmSTATISTICS! Barcelona have dominated the possession with 73%, while they have had nine attempts - four of which were on target. Valencia, meanwhile, hit the target with all four of their first-half attempts, and two of those found the back of the net. Three Valencia players were booked in the first period, and the visitors are down to 10 men after Mangala picked up a straight red card.

8.43pmBENCH WATCH! It would not be a surprise to see Valencia make a defensive change at the break after losing Mangala, and Abdennour would be the most likely to enter the field for the second period. As for Barcelona, Luis Enrique has options in the shape of Gomes, Alcacer and Denis Suarez.

46 minRESTART! Valencia resume the action at Camp Nou...

46 min... VALENCIA SUB! Abdennour has replaced Orellana at the break.

48 minIt is very much a 4-4-1 formation for Valencia in this second period, which is not much of a surprise. The away side have something to defend, but they are going to find it very difficult to keep out Barcelona for the next 45 minutes or so. That task is hard enough with 11 men.

50 minIt does seem strange that Barcelona are persisting with this 3-4-3 formation considering the amount of goals that they are conceding. Social media has been full of criticism for that formation tonight, although Luis Enrique clearly feels that this is the right line-up at this point of the season.

52 minHalf-chance for the away side as Soler breaks into a shooting position before having a pop at goal, but it was always comfortable for Ter Stegen. Another breakaway from Valencia there.

52 minSAVE! Stunning save from Alves as the Valencia goalkeeper keeps out a close-range effort from Neymar, who just had to score after Messi released the Brazilian inside the box!

52 minGOAL! Barcelona 3-2 Valencia (Messi)

53 minBarcelona regain the lead at Camp Nou as Messi finds some space in a crowded box before smashing the ball past Alves at his near post. Not too sure about the goalkeeper there!

55 minI would be surprised if we had seen the last of the goals in this match as Barcelona continue to pass and probe in the final third of the field. Valencia, meanwhile, remain a threat on the counter-attack and will fancy their chances of threatening Barcelona's back three as time progresses here.

57 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Valencia as Munir again races clear and drives into the Barcelona box, but the Spaniard just cannot evade the capture of Pique and chance is gone!

58 minMessi goes down inside the Valencia box under pressure from Montoya, but the referee says no.

61 minLittle under 30 minutes of the second period remaining at Camp Nou and Valencia are still very much in the argument tonight. You sense that the drama is far from finished in this match.

63 minHalf-chance for Barcelona as Messi finds Luis Suarez with a brilliant pass, but the striker can only hit the side-netting as Valencia survive another dangerous moment inside their own box.

64 minCHANCE! Neymar smashes a low cross into the Valencia box, and Messi looks favourite to find the back of the net, but the ball just evades the Argentine at the final moment.

65 minBARCELONA SUB! Roberto replaces Rakitic for the home side.

66 minSAVE! Rafinha fires straight at Alves after Messi had found the Brazilian in a dangerous position just outside the Valencia box. Surely there are more goals to come tonight.

67 minBOOKING! Iniesta (Barcelona) is booked for a trip on Perez.

69 minLuis Suarez misses the crossbar with a curling effort from outside the Valencia box.

72 minBarcelona continue to pass and probe in the final third of the field, but Valencia are staying in this match approaching the final 15 minutes of action. All it takes is one counter-attack for the away side and they could be level once again. It has been much better from Los Che tonight.

73 minCHANCE! Incredible chance for Barcelona as Messi's low strike is saved by Alves straight into the path of Luis Suarez, but the striker's effort is wide of the post!

73 minVALENCIA SUB! Zaza replaces on-loan Barcelona forward Munir for Valencia.

75 minNeymar is next to have a go for Barcelona, but his effort was always rising over the crossbar. Valencia are just about staying in this match, but a fourth for the home side would end the contest.

75 minBARCELONA SUB! Andre Gomes replaces Rafinha for the home side.

76 minBarcelona have a free kick in a dangerous area as Cancelo pulls Iniesta to the deck...

76 min... CROSSBAR Neymar hits the crossbar with a special free kick!

77 minBOOKING! Gomes (Barcelona) is booked for a foul on Gaya.

79 minParejo strikes the resulting free kick, but he slipped and Ter Stegen can collect.

79 minSAVE! Alves saves from Neymar as Barcelona threaten once again.

82 minLittle under 10 minutes of football remaining at Camp Nou and Barcelona still lead 3-2. As it stands, they are closing the gap on league leaders Real Madrid to just two points entering the international break.

82 minBOOKING! Garay (Valencia) is booked for a foul on Luis Suarez.

84 minLuis Suarez takes over free-kick duties and smashes the ball straight into the Valencia wall. Neymar was also in attendance, but the Brazilian allowed his teammate to have a pop on goal.

85 minVALENCIA SUB! Bakkali replaces Cancelo for the away side.

86 minBOOKING! Messi (Barcelona) is booked for dissent.

89 minMessi is again chopped to the ground outside the Valencia box, but the referee turns a blind eye on this occasion and play continues with the away side looking to counter-attack. Still time for a leveller, although Los Che are struggling to get players forward at this stage of the match.

89 minGOAL! Barcelona 4-2 Valencia (Gomes)

90 minNeymar dances into the Valencia box before delivering a super cross into Gomes, who fires home against his former club. That is game, set and match for the Spanish champions tonight.

90 min+1BOOKING! Montoya (Valencia) is booked for a foul on Neymar.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Barcelona 4-2 Valencia

9.36pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Barcelona running out 4-2 winners over 10-man Valencia at Camp Nou. The result has seen Barcelona move to within two points of league leaders Real Madrid, while Valencia remain down in 14th position in the table. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for another night of European action. Until next time!

Lionel Messi celebrates with Luis Suarez after getting on the scoresheet for the sixth during the La Liga game between Deportivo La Coruna and Barcelona on April 20, 2016
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