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First Division - Day 22

Valencia 1 - Barcelona 1

Valencia: Guaita; Joao Pereira, Ricardo Costa, Rami, Cissokho; Tino Costa, Víctor Ruíz; Bernat (Piatti 69'), Banega (Canales 63'), Guardado (Jonas 85'); Soldado. 4-2-3-1.
Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Dani Alves, Piqué, Mascherano (Puyol 54'), Jordi Alba; Xavi (Thiago 90'), Busquets, Fàbregas (David Villa 71'); Pedro, Messi, Iniesta. 4-3-3.

1-0. 33. Banega. Fired shot past Valdés after Piqué headed clear Soldado cross.
1-1. 39. Messi (penalty). After Joao Pereira barged in to Pedro inside penalty area.

Yellow cards: Mascherano 22', Cissokho 39', Soldado 46', Guardado 75'.

The hard-fought midweek cup-tie between Real Madrid and Barcelona appears to have taken a big toll on both clubs, with Madrid losing at Granada on Saturday, and Barcelona being held to a 1-1 draw by Valencia on Sunday. The Catalans had only won two of their last seven visits to the Mestalla stadium, and once again Banega gave the locals the lead with just over half an hour gone after Piqué could only head Soldado's cross in to his path. Messi equalised before the break from the penalty spot after Pereira tripped Pedro in the area, a record twelfth consecutive league game that he has scored in, and Fàbregas fired a shot just wide of the post soon after the restart. However Soldado headed just wide before that, and Valdés had to make a string of saves from Tino Costa, Canales, and in particular Soldado late on to keep the scoreline level. Substitue David Villa could have won it for for the visitors in the end against his old side when he turned a Dani Alves cross wide of the post, but in the end a draw was a fair result.