Barcelona keeps their hopes of a La Liga football title alive after falling behind to beat Valencia 3–2 with two goals from Lionel Messi. The Argentine missed a penalty but scored twice including a refined free-kick Barcelona preached a five-goal thriller with Valencia on Sunday to stay within easy reach of La Liga.
After Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid won on Saturday, there was no margin for error at Mestalla, where Barca’s 3–2 win narrowed the double-digit gap behind Atletico, now to play four games were the rest.
Gabriel Paulista led Valencia at the start of the second half, before Messi missed a penalty, only to miss the result. Messi scored in the 57th and 69th minutes for Barcelona, while Antoine Griezmann scored in the 63rd minute.
A superb free kick by Griezmann and Messi showed that they won, but Carlos Soler’s superb shot allowed Barcelona to win in a nervous panic at the end of Sunday’s La Liga match, meaning they could overtake Atlético Madrid over the weekend at Camp Nou. Valencia’s goals were scored by Gabriel Paulista (50th minute) and Carlos Soler (83rd minute).
Barcelona had more chances in the first half, but Valencia could have been encouraged by a clear opening in the break. Barcelona’s strengths and weaknesses were clearly demonstrated against Valencia, where they once again proved to be the most creative team in the division while showing their weaknesses in the back.
The win puts Barcelona at 74 points from 34 matches and the team is two points behind top-ranked Atletico Madrid. If Barcelona’s team defeats Atlético in the match next weekend, it can reach the top for the first time in the current season.
In other matches, Villarreal has beaten Getafe 1-0 at home, finishing sixth, while seventh-seeded Real Betis was held 1–1 by Valladolid. Granada, who defeated Barcelona, however, suffered a 0–1 defeat against Cadiz.
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