Barcelona defeated Valencia 3: 2 in a dramatic and fun match on Sunday, remaining on track in the fight for the title in La Liga.
Lionel Messi scored twice and Antoine Griezmann once to give Barcelona three full points at Mestalla against a stubborn Valencia whose goals from Gabriel Paulista and Carlos Soler were not enough.
This is the first victory of Ronald Koeman’s team after the shocking defeat against Granada in midweek and brings Barca just two points away from the top of the table in La Liga.
Today’s triumph was particularly important for the Catalans because it comes on the eve of meeting the leader, Atletico Madrid, next week, who can finally decide the title race three games before the end of the 2020/21 season.
The first half at Mestalla ended goalless and without many good scoring chances, with visitors controlling the ball keeping most of the time in possession.
But it was Valencia who broke the ice when Gabriel scored with his header after a rebound from the corner in the 50th minute.
Messi equalized the score by scoring from close range in a fuss created in the home defense, after previously Cillesen missed the penalty in the 57th minute.
Griezmann put Barca ahead for the first time in the 63rd minute, before Messi doubled it with a stunning free-kick just six minutes later.
Soler gave the locals a glimmer of hope when he scored an impressive goal from distance, but Barcelona managed to maintain the lead until the end and left Mestalla with full points.
Valencia remain in the middle of the table with 36 points, six away from relegation zone four games until the end of the season.