- Barcelona 4 Valencia 2
- Mangala gives Los Che the lead
- Suarez pulls Barca level
- Mangala sent off before half-time
- Messi penalty cancelled out by Munir
- Messi and Gomes score after break
An action-packed first half saw Eliaquim Mangala go from hero to villain as he opened the scoring on 29 minutes before receiving his marching orders in the 44th minute, not long after Luis Suarez had restored parity.
Lionel Messi put the hosts in front from the penalty spot moments later, but they were pegged back instantly by Munir’s equaliser in stoppage time. However, Barca made the extra man count in the second half as they retook the lead through Messi before Andre Gomes sealed the win at the death.
Luis Enrique’s side had dominated proceedings long before Mangala’s dismissal, and Messi had two chances around the quarter-hour mark, although his scuffed effort allowed Fabian Orellana to clear off the line and the Argentine’s next shot moments later curled over the crossbar.
The visitors then enjoyed a rare spell of possession which led to an opening for Carlos Soler, who sent his volley straight at Marc-Andre ter Stegen after Gerard Pique had deflected a cross into his path.
They broke the deadlock from their next attack in the 29th minute as Munir’s persistence paid off, after he chased a long ball to earn a corner, which was headed home by Mangala.
However, Los Che’s joy lasted just six minutes as Suarez equalised from Neymar’s quick throw-in, the Uruguayan striker firing past Diego Alves with a first-time shot.
The contest swung even more in the Catalans’ favour when Mangala brought down Suarez inside the box to pick up his second caution of the game to be shown red. Messi sent his penalty down the middle to give his team the lead, but they were caught napping soon after as Jose Gaya squared for Munir to restore parity from close range.
Valencia had been given hope, but that faded early in the second half when Messi beat Alves at his near post after being played in by Andres Iniesta on 52 minutes.
Neymar almost extended Barca’s lead from a free-kick that struck the post, but the Brazilian turned provider to cross for Gomes to slot home in the final minute.
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