Barcelona ended their win streak in La Liga with a 2-2 draw against Valencia on Saturday. The home side was coming off a midweek 2-1 win against Real Sociedad ahead of Saturday’s game against Valencia, but could only manage a disappointing draw at home despite Messi scoring a record breaking goal.
It was a fairly even match in the first half between the two sides in terms of overall shots and dangerous opportunities in front of goal with Valencia outshooting Barcelona 9 to 6. The Blaugrana would keep possession, but couldn’t keep the opposition off the board, as Valencia struck first to open to goal scoring.
Mouctar Diakhaby would be left unmarked in the box, capitalizing on good service for the opening goal from Valencia in the 29th minute, and the visiting side would do well to stay active to keep the lead ahead of halftime before some poor defending would eventually send Messi to the penalty spot for a possible equalizer.
The chaos in the box came from a push by Jose Luis Gaya on Antoine Griezmann, and the Valencia defender was nearly sent off on a red for direct contact, but a VAR review reversed the red to a yellow. Messi’s penalty attempt went wide, and a failed clearance led to a header from Messi in first half stoppage time. It was a historic goal for the Argentinian striker, as his 643 goals now makes him level with Pele for all-time goals with a single club.
Barcelona would pull ahead early in the second half on a brilliant 52nd minute volley from Barca defender Ronald Araujo after another failed clearance from Valencia, with the service into the box coming from Griezmann. The lead would be short lived for Barcelona, as Valencia would score an equalizer of their own in the 69th minute.
Maxi Gomez provided the heroics in front of goal when Gaya sent a blistering cross into the box, with Gomez able to redirect the shot past the keeper into the bottom right corner. It was another defensive lapse for the home side who was missing their start center back Pique in another match.
The draw should be disappointing for Barcelona. In a match against a struggling club, where they saw more dangerous looks on goal, with 9 shots on target compared to Valencia’s 6. Greizmann was once again active in front of goal, and earned the penalty, but failed once again to get on the scoresheet for the Blaugrana.
The draw does little for Barcelona in the way of La Liga’s standings. They entered the matchday in fifth place and remain there with 21 points. Nine points separate them with Atlético Madrid for the top spot in the league. The Blaugrana will have a chance to add to their league standing as they get set to face off against 17th place Valladolid on Tuesday.