Valencia defeated Barcelona today in La Liga’s derby of the round. The Bats were better at their Mestalla stadium with 2-0, complicating Barca’s already turbulent situation. This was Valencia’s first win over Barcelona in 12 years.
Setien not Starting Well
Blaugrana’s new coach Quique Setien who came to Camp Nou as a savior experienced what is like to work under huge pressure in one major club. After escaping death against Ibiza in the Spanish Cup during midweek, he suffered a loss today, and may we add, a lesson from Valencia.
Barca didn’t have the slightest chance to win this contest, and although they had far more of ball possession and kinda pressured the hosts, the Catalonian squad didn’t have a single opportunity to score a goal today. Furthermore, even though they controlled the ball 26% of the time, Valencia had more chances to strike, and if the home team’s players kept their composure in those situations, the result would be even more disappointing for the visitors.
Both goals were scored in the second half. The first one was an own goal, when Jordi Alba placed the ball into his own net three minutes after the break. Maxi Gomes set the final score with a goal in the 77th minute, after a wonderful assist made by Ferran Tores.
Gomes could have hit the back of the net even earlier, as he missed a penalty after 12 minutes of play. It was Gerard Pique who made a reckless tackle in his box, bringing down one of the rival’s players. Gomes took the responsibility, and sadly for him hit the bar.
But everything ended well for the Bats and the Uruguayan player, and three points stayed at Mestalla.
Besides these goals, hosts had a few more solid situations from which they should have scored. Kevin Gameiro struck the bar in the 29th minute, Francis Coquelin forced Ter Stegen to put a lot of effort into stopping his shot two minutes later,
Barca’s Woes Continue
Even though they lacked several players in the Cup game against Ibiza, Barca disappointed with its performance. A few days earlier, against Granada, they also looked very bad, winning just 1-0. Some shared the opinion that all this is because of a new coach, but after this match, that definitely isn’t the case.
Barca’s chemistry on the court is gone, and the team is not looking good at all. The most challenging part of the season is in front of them, yet their form dropped. Setien will need to come up with something to stop this freefall; otherwise, he too will find himself under heavy criticism like his predecessor Ernesto Valverde.
Meanwhile, the rumors appeared that Lionel Messi, in fact, runs the team, and the Setien has limited power in the locker room. His appointment is only a cover mask for the media, with the Argentinian superstar pulling all the strings on and off the field.
Barca is now tied in the first place in the standings with the same number of points, 43 as Real Madrid but with the game more. Valencia is fifth with 35.