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Marcador del partit

  • Date: Sunday, 24 Sep
  • Competition: ???label.competicio0???
  • Stadium: Camp Nou, Barcelona


  • FC Barcelona: 1
  • Valencia CF: 1

Match report

Match Report


0-1, Villa (min. 16)
1-1, Iniesta (min. 48)

New leaders draw (1-1)

FC Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw by Valencia in Camp Nou despite a strong second half performance. David Villa put the visitors in front before Andrés Iniesta levelled after the break, but the point saw the Blaugrana go top of the table

Frank Rijkaard's side had 18 shots at goal and deserved to take all three points, but a slow start to the first period meant that Los Ché escaped with a share of the spoils. Before the game the Barça coach warned that if Valencia scored first then they would make life difficult and so it proved after they netted the opening goal with 18 minutes on the clock.

The half time team talk sparked the home team into life and the introduction of Andrés Iniesta proved crucial as he drew Barça level in the 49th minute. Despite creating numerous more chances before the end, the point gained saw the Catalan giants go top on goal difference from Real Madrid and Valencia.

Hit on the break

As usual Barcelona attempted to stamp their authority on the encounter from the start, but they found that space was at a premium as Valencia had set their stall out to defend in numbers and close down the midfield. Edmílson, Xavi and Deco were employed int he three central positions but struggled to find the normal rhythm and when looking for the final pass into the forwards they were often foiled by the sheer weight of numbers as the visitors put a wall of players up on the edge of the penalty area.

Quique Sánchez Flores' counter-attacking system saw Valencia release the ball to the wingers, Joaquín and Vicente at every opportunity as they attempted to catch Barça on the break. The trick worked in the 18th minute when Joaquín drew Gio Van Bronckhorst out of position and Miguel slipped down the right wing to deliver a first-time cross to the far post where Villa slid into clip the ball past Víctor Valdés and into the net from close range.

All the possession

Moments later Valencia threatened again as Vicente fired a shot that Valdés stopped. Barcelona continued to build as they enjoyed the majority of possession, but with the lead in their hands the away team was prepared to sit back and defend.

Leo Messi was enjoying the most success of any of Barça's front men as he continuously one his personal battle with Emiliano Morretti. With space so limited through the middle, moving down the flanks appeared to the best option.

In the opening period Barcelona's clearest chances came from long range efforts. Ronaldinho saw a fantastic free-kick superbly tipped away by Santiago Cañizares in the 27th minute, while Deco sent two shots wide of the target from outside the area. Valencia still posed a real danger at the other and just before half time Villa slipped away from his marker before slamming the ball against Valdés' near post from six yards out.

Iniesta for Edmílson

Rijkaard recognised that changes were needed at the break and introduced Iniesta in place of Edmílson in midfield. The result was almost immediate as the substitute scored four minutes after coming on. Ronaldinho lifted the ball into the area from the left where Samuel Eto'o headed down and Iniesta drove the ball into the right-hand corner of the goal.

A matter of time

After drawing level, Barça raised their game and pressured the Valencia goal throughout the remainder of the half. The trio of Xavi, Deco and Iniesta proved to be a real handful for the visitors as they created several chances to clinch all three points. Messi went close before Deco had two more opportunities and a second goal looked to be only a matter of time.

Saviola returns

Ronaldinho took centre stage as he was involved in nearly every attacking move by Barça. The Brazilian tried everything in his bag of tricks to find a way through the wall of Valencia defenders, but was unable to create an opening. Xavi found some room, however, and he sent a shot inches wide before Van Bronckhorst connected with a clearance to send Cañizares flying across goal, but the ball fizzed past the far post.

In the 85th minute Javier Saviola came on to replace Messi as the Argentinian striker made his first appearance for Barça in over two years. With two minutes of entering the fray, the former River Plater forward had a clear chance to become the hero when he connected with a low cross but his side-footed flick was gathered up by the keeper. In the closing moments Eto'o had a fantastic call for a penalty waved away by the referee, despite the Cameroon striker clearly being kicked from behind the area by Miguel.



Role reversal
Over the past seasons, Barça and Valencia have seen their dominance in La Liga change a little. Over the last Five years Valencia have not lost at Camp Nou, however, the 'Mestalla' has been a ground that has proved somewhat favourable to the Blaugrana as well, whereby in the last four visits, Barça have won three times.

One of the main rivals

With Quique Sánchez Flores at the helm for the second season, Valencia are forming a solid line up which is dangerous in attack. Their start to the season, like Barça's, has been brilliant.

The first three games of the season have provided an insight into who the title contenders may be this year. Valencia are to be one of the biggest hurdles if Barça want to achieve their third consecutive Liga title. Valencia have won their opening three games in La Liga and the game against Olympiakos in the Champions league. The only drawbacks being the injuries to Del Horno, Marchena and Baraja, who are having to sit out for a few months.

A solid back line

Due to injuries, Quique Sanchez Flores has paired up Ayala and Albiol as centre backs; the experienced Argentinean combining with the young Valencian. Ayala, who in pre season had a few problems with the club, has already announced that this will be his last season. Albiol on the other hand is adamant his future lies with Valencia. The two full backs are made up of the well known faces of the Italian Moretti on the left and the Portuguese Miguel on the right.

Physical and strong

The midfield line up of Albeld, Hugi Viana, Baraja and Edu work hard and play a physical game. Their Brazilian Edu, who missed last season due to a serious knee injury, has come back this season ready to prove his worth. Edu is so far proving to be a key player - his technical ability and strength helping to command the game in midfield.

A Dangerous attack

The attacking line up boasted by Valencia is one area they have reinforced well for this season; Fernando Morientes, Joaquin and the Italian revelation, Francesco Tavano. Morientes is finding his form again after an unsuccessful stint at Liverpool. Joaquin, who cost 24 million Euros and had a brief run against Getafe, is still waiting for his chance, as is Tavano. However, Valencia are more than adequately covered in this area as they also have Vicente and the ever present goal scorer David Villa, who was the only player to push Samuel Eto'o for the 'Pichichi'.  

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