Good evening and welcome to Sports Mole's live commentary of the La Liga clash between Barcelona and Valencia from Camp Nou. A win for Barcelona tonight would see the reigning champions move eight points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid at the top of the table. Valencia have only won six of their 21 league matches this season, but have suffered just four defeats, with a total of 29 points leaving them in eighth position as things stand. Stay tuned for live updates from Camp Nou!
BARCA: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Vermaelen, Semedo; Alena, Vidal, Rakitic; Coutinho, L Suarez, Messi
VALENCIA: Neto; Piccini, Garay, Paulista, Lato; Wass, Coquelin, Parejo, Cheryshev; Gameiro, Rodrigo
Sergio Busquets misses out for Barcelona tonight through suspension, while Jordi Alba, Arthur and Clement Lenglet are left on the bench by head coach Ernesto Valverde. As a result, there are starts for Nelson Semedo, Thomas Vermaelen, Carles Alena and Arturo Vidal, but it is the expected front three as Philippe Coutinho joins Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. Ousmane Dembele again misses out for the hosts with an ankle problem that he sustained last month.
As for Valencia, Jose Gaya and Goncalo Guedes are both on the treatment table. Geoffrey Kondogbia and Santi Mina are both left on the bench, meanwhile, with Kevin Gameiro joining Rodrigo Moreno in attack and Francis Coquelin starting in central midfield. Daniel Wass and Denis Cheryshev will feature in the wide positions for the former Spanish champions.
Here we go then; both sets of players are on the pitch and kickoff is just moments away. Can Valencia do the likes of Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid a favour tonight? Stay tuned to find out.
KICKOFF: Valencia kick things off at Camp Nou...
... Valencia have come to play tonight, there is no question about that. Indeed, Rodrigo and Gameiro start as the front two, while Cheryshev is not exactly the most defensive of wingers. As for Barcelona, it is the expected 4-3-3, with Sergi Roberto starting at left-back.
SAVE! Ter Stegen has to gather a long-range effort from Parejo.
CHANCE! Oh my word! Huge moment! Valencia have a wonderful chance on the break as Wass feeds Parejo, but the midfielder's effort is saved by Ter Stegen. The ball falls for Cheryshev and his effort smashes off the post! Huge let-off for Barcelona, the home side should be behind here.
Plenty happening at the moment, with Barcelona responding well. Messi and Coutinho have both driven into the Valencia box and only been denied by last-ditch challenges.
All Barcelona in terms of possession at the moment, with Messi seeing more and more of the ball. Coutinho and Alena have also been heavily involved in the last few minutes here.
Barcelona have a free kick in a dangerous area as Cheryshev fells Alena...
SAVE! ... Neto keep out Messi's free kick.
SHOT! Wass finds Parejo just inside the Barcelona box, but the midfielder scoops his effort over the crossbar. Valencia are enjoying some very good moments early on here.
PENALTY APPEAL! Gabriel appears to save a Semedo strike. Penalty? Doesn't seem to be!
No penalty. To be honest it would have been very harsh.
Well, still goalless with 13 minutes on the clock but there is plenty happening at the moment as Barcelona dominate the ball while Valencia wait for their chance to counter-attack.
SHOT! Messi curls a low effort just wide of the Valencia post.
Pass, pass, pass from Barcelona as they work the ball into dangerous positions. Semedo has the chance to cross from a dangerous area, but Cheryshev is back to make the challenge.
SAVE! Smart save from Neto to keep out a long-range Coutinho strike.
SAVE! Neto has to palm a Roberto cross just over the crossbar!
I would be astounded if there were not goals tonight as both teams continue to force the issue. Barcelona are very much on the front foot at the moment though and Neto has been busy in the last few minutes. It has been a very good first 19 minutes of football here.
Just a reminder that a win for Barcelona tonight would move them eight points clear at the top of the table. Valencia have only lost four league matches this term, however, and have already shown that they will cause issues tonight. Barcelona remain on the front foot at the moment.
GOAL! BARCELONA 0-1 VALENCIA (GAMEIRO)
Breakthrough! Valencia take the lead in the 24th minute as they break clear on the counter before Rodrigo feeds Gameiro and the striker smashes into the bottom corner!
Pass, pass, pass from Barcelona since they fell behind here.
SAVE! Wonderful save from Neto to prevent Garay turning a Coutinho cross into the back of his own net! Excellent goalkeeping from the number 13 there!
Pique has a problem for Barcelona following an aerial challenge with Gameiro.
Little under 15 minutes of the first period remaining and Pique should be fine to continue, although he might have to change his shirt as there is some blood present. Barcelona continue to dominate the ball, but they just cannot unlock the Valencia defence at the moment.
PENALTY! Valencia have a penalty as Roberto brings Wass to the ground!
YELLOW CARD! Roberto (Barcelona) is booked for bundling into the back of Wass!
GOAL! BARCELONA 0-2 VALENCIA (PAREJO, PEN)
Parejo sends the ball past Ter Stegen for 2-0 Valencia!
Atletico Madrid will be loving this result at the moment. Indeed, if Barcelona lose and Atletico win their league game this weekend then the gap will be down to two points at the top.
Valencia have drawn too many league games this season, but have only lost four times. Barcelona have a real task on their hands to turn this one around. That said, Valencia might lose Gameiro as the striker looks to be struggling with a head injury here.
Gameiro clashed with Pique, which required both players to have treatment, and the Frenchman does not look too happy. A change will surely have to be made here.
PENALTY! Barcelona have a penalty as Semedo goes down under a challenge from Latorre!
It looked very, very soft. Barcelona actually had the ball in the back of the net through Messi moments later, but the whistle had already been blown. Messi will take the spot kick.
PENALTY! BARCELONA 1-2 VALENCIA (MESSI, PEN)
Messi sends the ball past Neto to make it a 2-1 game!
VALENCIA SUB! Torres replaces Gameiro for the away side.
Possession football from Barcelona at the moment as they look to work the ball into a shooting position. This has been an excellent first 43 minutes of football at Camp Nou.
OFF THE POST! Roberto hits the post from inside the Valencia box!
CHANCE! Messi somehow misses a close-range volley from a Rakitic pass!
We are into the first of three added minutes at the end of the first period.
YELLOW CARD! Rakitic (Barcelona) is booked for a foul on Parejo.
Wass and Cheryshev collide inside the Barcelona box as the home side survive another dangerous moment. Barcelona then break but the away side have players back.
SHOT! Rakitic fires harmlessly wide of the Valencia post.
HALF TIME: BARCELONA 1-2 VALENCIA
So there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Valencia leading Barcelona 2-1 at the break. It has been an incredible half of football. Goals from Gameiro and Parejo sent Valencia two goals ahead, but Messi struck from the penalty spot to make it a 2-1 match ahead of the second half. More of the same in the second 45 minutes of action please.
STATISTICS! Barcelona had 69% of the ball in the first period, managing three shots on target from eight attempts. Valencia, meanwhile, hit the target with four of their seven attempts. Two yellow cards to report, with Roberto and Rakitic both in the book for the hosts Barcelona.
BENCH WATCH! Boateng, Alba, Arthur and Malcom are among those on the Barcelona bench tonight. Valencia, meanwhile, have already been forced into a change with Torres taking the place of Gameiro, who picked up a head injury. That said, Kondogbia, Mina and Soler are still in reserve.
KICKOFF: Barcelona resume the action here...
... BARCELONA SUB! Alba has replaced Semedo at the break.
I would be very, very surprised if we had seen the last of the goals tonight. The onus is on Barcelona to force the issue, which will give Valencia some counter-attacking chances.
SAVE! Excellent save from Neto to keep out a curling Messi effort!
Pass, pass, pass from Barcelona as they look to work a shooting position. Not an awful lot from Valencia in the early stages of the second period. Los Che are very deep here.
SAVE! Another super save from Neto to keep out a long-range Alena strike!
Valencia are very, very deep at the moment as Barcelona continue to force the issue. Nothing from the away side going forward in the second half and there is still a long time to go.
OFF THE POST! Alena sees his cross deflected onto the post!
SAVE! It is attack versus defence at the moment. But Rakitic's strike from distance is easily gathered by Neto, who has been excellent but very busy in the first 58 minutes here.
I suspect that we will see Arthur at some point in this match. Coutinho has not performed too well thus far and Malcom is another option, although he has not done too much this season.
Rodrigo is ahead of the ball for Valencia, but that is about it. The away side are defending well, but surely they will need to score again to stand a chance of winning this match.
CHANCE! Rodrigo manages to dart into the Barcelona box following a quick break, but the striker cannot find a route past Ter Stegen. That is more like it from the away side here.
CHANCE! Gabriel heads a Parejo cross just over the Barcelona crossbar!
CLOSE! Messi and Luis Suarez combine in a dangerous position, but the former heads wide of the post. Not sure that the Argentine should be winning a header inside the box!
CHANCE! Rodrigo turns a Cheryshev cross just wide of the post!
GOAL! BARCELONA 2-2 VALENCIA (MESSI)
All square! Barcelona level the scores as Messi finds the bottom corner with a wonderful effort from the edge of the box. It is another sensational strike from the Argentine here.
BARCELONA SUB! Arthur replaces Alena for the home side.
Anyone for the Messi hat-trick? It is almost as if you know that it is coming. Valencia are against the ropes at the moment as Barcelona continue to force the issue.
A point would not be the worst result in the world for Barcelona considering the circumstances, but they have the best part of 20 minutes to find a potential winner here.
Messi is just having some treatment on his groin here.
Messi continues to receive treatment on the touchline.
VALENCIA SUB! Kondogbia replaces Coquelin for the away side.
SHOT! Coutinho misses the post with a free kick from distance. Meanwhile, Messi has returned to the field and seems to be moving okay, for the moment. One to keep an eye on.
Little over 15 minutes of the second period remaining and you have to think that the next goal would be the winner. Valencia continue to come under serious pressure here.
Valencia are preparing to make their third change and it will be Santi Mina.
Valencia break and have the chance to work something into the Barcelona box, but the space eventually closes and Los Che are just happy to keep the ball outside of their own half.
SAVE! Rodrigo makes Ter Stegen do some work with a long-range strike.
VALENCIA SUB! Mina replaces Rodrigo for the away side.
SAVE! Comfortable save for Ter Stegen to deny Mina.
Valencia have a free kick in a dangerous area as Pique fells Mina...
... Parejo's free kick is straight into the wall. Disappointing.
BARCELONA SUB! Malcom replaces Coutinho for Barcelona.
CLOSE! Luis Suarez has a close-range shot deflected wide of the Valencia post.
Malcom has been heavily involved since entering the field, but Valencia are defending well at the moment as they hold strong. Little over two minutes of normal time remaining at Camp Nou.
Alba finds space in a dangerous area and looks to strike towards goal, but Garay is across to make the challenge. The pass from Messi to set up the opportunity was just excellent.
YELLOW CARD! Alba (Barcelona) is booked for a foul on Mina.
We are into the second of two additional minutes. It looks to be a draw here.
Valencia are running the clock down with possession inside Barcelona's half here.
FULL TIME: BARCELONA 2-2 VALENCIA
So there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with the spoils being shared. Valencia led 2-0 at Camp Nou, but Barcelona hit back with a double from Messi. What a brilliant game of football in Spain's top flight. Thanks for joining our live coverage once again!