Defeat against Valencia in Camp Nou. Valencia that had taken 7 last time they came to the stadium, not knowing what had hit them. Tonight they went out victorious against an unlucky Barça that gave the feeling to ask on every play why things are going like that. One more proof of the team's mental state, having retrieved their game, but not their efficiency.
The return of the game
Great start from Barça against Valencia. High pace in the ball movement, looking for depth in the back of the defence at any time and generating danger on Diego Alves' goal. After being quiet in the last several games, Luis Enrique's men have retrieved the game, against a Valencian side with a slightly higher defence, letting space that Messi, Neymar and Sergi Roberto made the most of.
But not of the efficiency
Barça: 9 shots in the first half. 5 on target. 0 goals.
València: 3 shots in the first half. 1 on target. 3 on the post. 2 goals
Despite the Blaugrana's offensive potential, goals haven't come. Diego Alves made the big saves on Messi and Neymar's shots, who still haven't retrieved their confidence from a few months ago to finish with authority. The lack of efficiency in shooting led to the unfortunate play of the 0-1 that put, once again, Barça's ability to react to the test. As if it was not enough, in the last play of the first half, Valencia made it 0-2, to complicate even more the situation and obligate the Blaugranas to make an epic second half.
There was only one way. Well thought attack, pressuring the opponent, protected by the score. Barça intented it in the second half with more heart than success. Through insisting, Messi made the goal of the 1-2. It was hard to find the balance between precipitation and passiveness in front of a hunched Valencia, waiting to hit on the break and wasting time. The defensive duo Mascherano - Piqué supported the team bravely and tried to transmit the heat of the moment to the rest of their teammates. Time and luck ran out although they were constantly in the opponent's half. Costly Barça defeat which deserved more. Piqué had the chance to equalise, but even that didn't work. The moment Barça is living is a phenomenon worth studying. The merciless team of the first half of the season has just taken 1 points out of 12 in the last 4 La Liga games. They are still first in the table, levelled on points with Atlético, with a goal difference in favour against Simeone's men.