First Division - Day 16

Valencia 0 - Barcelona 3

Valencia: Cañizares; Miguel, Marchena, Iván Helguera, Moretti (Lombán 72'); Joaquín (Mata 66'), Albelda, Montoro; Arizmendi, Morientes (Vicente 42'), David Silva. 4-3-3.
Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Puyol, Márquez, Milito, Abidal; Xavi, Touré Yayá (Deco 65'), Gudjohnsen; Messi (Giovani 44'), Eto'o (Bojan 68'), Iniesta. 4-3-3.

Team changes: Valencia: Joaquín, Albelda, Montoro, Morientes for Raúl Albiol, Sunny, Vicente, David Villa / Barça: Abidal, Touré Yayá, Gudjohnsen for Zambrotta, Sylvinho, Ronaldinho.

0-1. 13. Eto'o. Picked up Messi pass and beat Marchena and Helguera to score.
0-2. 27. Eto'o. Collected return pass from Messi and shot low past Cañizares.
0-3. 61. Gudjohnsen. Turned ball past keeper after Giovani squared in from right.

Barcelona moved to within a point of leaders Real Madrid pending their game on Sunday after beating Valencia 0-3. Eto'o scored twice in the first half hour, the first after leaving defenders Marchena and Helguera for dead before shooting wide of Cañizares, and the second after a long passing move involving most of the team. In between Albelda did go close with a shot over the bar, but otherwise it was plain sailing for the visitors, who could have had more before the break.

Both sides suffered injury blows close to half time though, Morientes limping off to add to an ever growing injury list for the locals and Messi doing likewise a couple of minutes later. The young forward will miss next week's big derby game with Real Madrid, and is expected to be out for a month.

Rijkaard had left Ronaldinho on the bench, but he preferred to bring on Giovani to replace Messi. It proved to be a good move, as the young Mexican midfielder tested Cañizares with a long shot soon after the restart, and then set up Gudjohnsen for him to score Barça's third.

Valdés somehow managed to fumble a long free kick over the bar a few minutes later, but Giovani missed two golden chances later on to extend the lead even further. But after Valdés saved a Vicente free kick it was all over, and the Catalans had their first win against the Chés in three years. It was also their first league away win in over two months, and Valencia's fifth defeat at home this season. The few fans who stayed to the end booed their players off the park, many not able to remember the last time they scored a goal. Koeman needs a near miracle to turn this one around.