First Division - Day 33

Valencia 2 - Barcelona 2

Valencia: César; Miguel (Moretti 76'), Raúl Albiol, Maduro, Alexis; Marchena, Baraja (Michel 67'); Pablo Hernández, David Silva, Mata (Vicente 82'); David Villa. 4-2-3-1.
Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Daniel Alves, Puyol, Piqué, Abidal; Xavi (Gudjjohnsen 76'), Busquets, Keita (Henry 62'); Messi, Eto'o, Iniesta. 4-3-3.

Team changes: Valencia: Miguel, Baraja for Del Horno, Edu / Barcelona: Puyol, Busquets, Messi for Márquez, Touré Yaya, Henry.

0-1. 23. Messi. Connected with Iniesta return pass and fired shot past César.
1-1. 43. Maduro. Turned David Silva corner past Víctor Valdés on far post.
2-1. 45. Pablo. Ran on to Mata return pass and beat keeper with angled shot.
2-2. 85. Henry. Lobbed ball back in to net after César pushed out Iniesta free kick.

Yellow cards: Silva 21', Valdés 40', Iniesta 41', Maduro 53', Baraja 56', Marchena 64', Alexis 84'.

A ding-dong battle between Valencia and Barcelona ended with the points being shared in a 2-2 draw. Valencia's recent revival meant that this was always going to be a difficult match for the league leaders, but they went ahead midway through the first half when Messi finished off a quick passing move with Iniesta.

The locals needed points though in their push for a return to the Champions League, and Villa thought he should have had a penalty when Puyol held him back. A few minutes later Valdés tipped a shot over for a corner, and as Puyol and Valdés clashed going for Silva's kick, the ball hit Maduro on the leg and entered the net, the first goal the keeper had let in in eight league games.

Eto'o had a chance to restore the lead almost immediately, but play went up the other end and Pablo Hernández worked a one-two with Mata and ran through to put the home side in front. With half time a minute later it was a psychological blow, and it was the first time the Blaugrana had been losing in nine matches.

Guardiola had been resting Henry for Tuesday's Champions League game with Chelsea, but he brought him on to strengthen the attack. Within a few minutes the ex Arsenal striker tested César a couple of times, and with five minutes to go he scored the equaliser after the keeper could only push out Iniesta's free kick under a challenge from Busquets, lobbing the ball off the leg of a defender in to the net. An important goal, and it now remains to see how Real Madrid respond tomorrow.