La Liga—Sunday, November 26, 2017
Score: Valencia 1—1 Barcelona
Half-time: Valencia 0—0 Barcelona
Goals: Valencia—Rodrigo 60, Barcelona—Alba 82.
Possession: Barcelona 70%, Valencia 30%
Shots at/on Goal: Barcelona 12/8, Valencia 9/1
Sound bite: Valencia pays price of losing track of Messi in final 8 minutes of close match.
Turning Point: Messi’s sublime assist on Alba’s tying goal.
Formations: Barcelona—4-3-3, Valencia—4-4-2
Rosters: Barcelona: ter Stegen, Semedo (Vidal 80), Umtiti, Vermaelen, Alba, Rakitic (Deulofeu 68), Busquets, Paulinho, Iniesta (D. Suarez 72), Messi, L. Suarez. Subs not used: Cillessen, Alcacer, Digne, Costas. Players Booked: none! Valencia—Murara Neto, Montoya, Garay (Nunes Vezo 86), Gabriel, Gaya, Soer (Mina Lorenzo 89), Parejo, Kondogbia, Guedes, Zaza, Rodrigo (Pereira 82). Subs not used: Gil de Pareja, Latore Grueso, Vidal Miralles, Domenech. Players Booked: Gabriel, Kondogbia, Rodrigo, and Pereira.
FP La Liga ranking: Barca—10, Valencia—6
Form: Barca—undefeated, Valencia—undefeated
Head-to-head: Barcelona—18W-7L-12D (in LL & Copa del Rey, since 2003)
FP CRI: Toral—3, Valverde—3. Toral posited a brilliant match. Messi eclipsed it.
Venue: Mestalla, Valencia, Spain
Weather: 10C/50F/63% humidity
Pitch: Smooth and well kept
Referee Team: Referee— Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva, assistant referees: Alfonso Costova Rodriguez, Enrique Jose Ramos Ferreiros. Fourth official:Ricardo Escudero Marin.
Fouls Committed: Barca 31—24 Valencia
Fouls Called: Barca 11—12 Valencia
Yellow Cards: Barca 0—4 Valencia
Red Cards: Barca 0—0 Valencia
FP-HRI/Match: 4/4—leaned Barca entire game, but he and assistants missed a fair, scored goal.
Toral comes up with a semi rope-a-dope, absorb Barca attacking frenzy first half and then unleash own second half. It worked and where it not for the best player in the world being left alone in the offensive third of the pitch, in the latter minutes of a key game, Valencia would have gone home with three points. Instead the teams split them. Given Umtiti’s foul on Guedes, Messi’s uncalled goal was cancelled out and a tie was the fair result. The ref was mostly pro-Barca but missed a big play.