In a bout between the top two current teams in Spain, Barcelona and Valencia gave us an enthralling match to watch. In the end, the two would share a 1-1 draw, a scoreline that rightly reflected how even the game was. However, the match will be remembered for the officials not spotting a blatant Lionel Messi goal. The error in judgement from the linesman especially has seemingly cost Barcelona a valuable three points.
Here are the player ratings from Valencia’s 1-1 draw with Barcelona.
The 28-year-old was kept very busy by Messi and co. but perhaps his greatest contribution of the night was concealing Barcelona’s clear goal that wasn’t given.
Martin Montoya: 5/10
Montoya struggled to join the attack but at the one time he was called upon defensively, he allowed Jordi Alba to run in behind him.
Ezequiel Garay: 6.5/10
Ezequiel Garay was the rock that mobilised the Valencia troops. His leadership ensured his teammates kept to their positioning, suffocating Messi & Suárez of space to work in.
The former Arsenal man looked like a new creation against the best attack in the world. He stayed compact with his partner Garay as they took it in turns to mark Luis Suárez.
José Gayà: 7/10
The highly-rated left-back showed the world why nearly every top club was chasing his signature at one point. His positioning was fantastic as he continually anticipated the possibilities of 2v1 overloads. In the 59th minute, he did another one of his bursting runs into the box and set up Rodrigo for a tap-in.
Carlos Soler: 6/10
The right winger was more defensive than attacking against Barcelona, he restored balance for Los Che, ensuring they didn’t get counter-attacked.
Geoffrey Kondogbia: 6.5/10
As the box-to-box midfielder of the system, the Frenchman had inclinations to surge forward even in times of defending. Kondogbia kept pressing, thus forcing his teammates to follow suit. He led Valencia’s press and helped disrupt Barca’s passing game.
Daniel Parejo: 6.5/10
In the middle of the park, Parejo had the tiresome job of tracking the runs of Andres Iniesta and pressing Sergio Busquets. In the first half he did that impeccably well, but in the second half, gaps began to appear.
Gonçalo Guedes: 7.5/10
The 20-year-old was a constant danger on the counter-attack, regularly running into the space Nelson Semedo had left behind him. He literally terrorised the Barcelona defence all game, as his trickery and pace were impossible to second-guess.
Rodrigo Moreno: 7/10
The 26-year-old did his best all game to press Barcelona’s centre-backs. This, in turn, disrupted Barca’s build up from the back. In attack, he was void of service, but when he was finally supplied with a chance, he took it and put Los Che in the lead.
Simone Zaza: 6.5/10
The ex-West Ham man has been in fine form this season, scoring 9 goals in 10 appearances. But against Barcelona, he couldn’t find his shooting boots as he was clearly carrying a knock.
Andres Pereira: N/A
The Manchester United loanee was brought on to help Valencia sure up the midfield and retain possession better.
Ruben Vezo: N/A
The 23-year-old pressed Barcelona hard for the last quarter of the game.
Santi Mina: N/A
Mina was brought on just to add fresh legs for Los Che.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 6/10
The German didn’t have much to do in the first half, but as Valencia became more aggressive after the break, he was called into action repeatedly.
Nelson Semedo: 6.5/10
The right-back gave us a lesson in expert attacking play from a full-back. He found himself in Valencia’s half more than his own. However, that offensive mindset cost Barca dearly, as Guedes and Gayà targeted that right channel in every attack, often finding ample amounts of space.
Samuel Umtiti: 6/10
The Frenchman often found himself out of position as he had to cover for Nelson Semedo regularly. This left him looking unconformable and vulnerable to having players run off him.
Thomas Vermaelen: 4.5/10
The Belgian made only his 2nd appearance of the season against Valencia, and he reminded fans why he’d been an afterthought at the Camp Nou. He looked nervous on the ball, loose in marking and slow in his closing down.
Jordi Alba: 6.5/10
The Spaniard struggled to influence the game in attack, but in defence, he didn’t have much to do either. However, the one time he ventured into the box, he scored a crucial goal for the Catalonians.
Ivan Rakitić: 5/10
There have been growing cries for Barcelona to replace the Croatian midfielder in the summer, as fans feel his influence has become minimal. And he proved that theory right at the Mestalla. In his 67 minutes on the pitch, Rakitić misplaced 7 passes and only created 1 chance.
Sergio Busquets: 5.5/10
Surprisingly, the Spaniard didn’t have his regular influence on the game. In defence, he was overrun, and in possession, he was slow to spot a pass.
The non-stop working midfielder ran all game tirelessly without really doing anything. He made 3 tackles and intercepted 2 passes.
Andres Iniesta: 6/10
The greatest midfielder to ever grace the game did his best to link up with his teammates, but Valencia’s organisation was so tight that it was hard for Iniesta to influence the game.
Luis Suárez: 6.5/10
Suárez tried his best to destabilise Valencia’s defence, constantly running in behind them and at them. The Uruguayan had 2 shots on goal and created 1 chance.
Lionel Messi: 6.5/10
It’s rare that we say the 2nd best player in the world had an off game, but against Valencia, he did. Whenever Lionel Messi picked up the ball in a dangerous position, he was instantly crowded out by 2 or 3 players. This happened all game, and even Messi couldn’t defeat those odds. But the one time he did get some space, he produced a magical ball to set up Jordi Alba for the equaliser.
Gerard Deulofeu: 5/10
The winger didn’t have much luck at all against the solid José Gayà.
Denis Suárez: N/A
Suárez had little time to influence the game as he usually would.
Alex Vidal: N/A
The full-back was brought on to ensure Valencia stopped getting joy down the right-hand side.