First Division - Day 14

Valencia 1 - Barcelona 1

Valencia: Jaume Domenech; Rubén Vezo, Aderlan Santos, Abdennour, Gayà; Enzo Pérez (Bakkali 73‘), Danilo Barbosa, Dani Parejo; Santi Mina (Tropi 88’), Paco Alcácer, De Paul (Piatti 83’). 4-3-3.
Barcelona: Claudio Bravo; Dani Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Jordi Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Luis Suárez, Neymar. 4-3-3.

0-1. 59. Luis Suárez. Ran on to return Messi pass and fired shot inside near post.
1-1. 86. Santi Mina. Struck shot wide of Bravo after Alcácer laid ball across to him.

Yellow cards: Mascherano 16’, Dani Parejo 70’, Danilo Barbosa 77’, Gayà 87’.

Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw by Valencia on Saturday evening, and with the two Madrid teams winning, their lead at the top has been cut back. Luis Enrique’s side let their hosts off the hook in the first half, Neymar and Luis Suárez wasting easy chances, and Messi coming up against Jaume Domenech. The local keeper saved from Suárez again soon after the restart, but a few minutes later the Uruguayan striker ran on to Messi’s return pass to drive a shot past the keeper into the near top corner of the net. The Ches had hardly troubled Bravo up to then, but with ten minutes to go the visiting keeper had to be at his best to stop De Paul, and Bakkali fired another chance wide before Alcácer controlled a long pass and laid the ball across for Santi Mina to fire home the equalizer. Domenech still had to keep out a well struck Messi free kick in the dying minutes, but when the referee’s whistle went the local players celebrated as if they had won the cup final. New coach Gary Neville watched it all from the stands before he officially takes over from Nuno next week (his brother Phil was in charge for this match together with B team manager Voro), and he will be happy at least with result.