Barca 2-1 Valencia: Catalans bounce back to end Los Che run

La Liga By: Ambrose Udeme | 14/04/2018

Luis Suarez, FC Barcelona

Barcelona bounced back from a disappointing continental display to beat Champions League spot chasers Valencia 2-1 at Camp Nou in a La Liga week 32 fixture on Saturday and end Los Che's five-game winning streak.

Roma pulled off a sensational second-leg comeback to beat Barcelona 3-0 and reach the Champions League semi-finals on away goals. The Catalans were heavy favourites to progress after a 4-1 first-leg win but fell apart to Roma's brilliant showing.

GOALS

Barcelona led Valencia 1-0 at half-time thanks to Luis Suarez's 23rd League goal, but Los Che were unlucky to be trailing having created a few real chances before the break.

Samuel Umtiti extended Barcelona's lead, five minutes into the second period when he rose highest from the centre of the box head Philippe Coutinho's cross from a corner into the bottom right corner.

The home side saw their lead halved after substitute Ousmane Dembele hacked down Andreas Pereira in the area just after the winger put a cross in. Valencia captain Dani Parejo stepped up and took the penalty. Marc-Andre ter Stegen guessed right but somehow the ball squirmed under him and into the net.

SETTING THE SCENE

Coutinho returned to Barcelona's XI for this fixture, replacing the injured Ivan Rakitic and while Ousmane Dembele was named on the substitutes bench.

Nelson Semedo made way for Paulinho as Barca scrapped the 4-4-2 for a 4-3-3 in their first game since throwing away a 4-1 lead against Roma in the Champions League quarter-finals.

However, Dembele still could get a look-in, despite the big-money winger being fully fit for this afternoon's eastern Spanish encounter.

Valencia, meanwhile were flying high in fourth, with five straight wins in the bag, although they had only beaten the Catalans twice since 2008.

Curiously, this was a repeat of only two seasons ago, when the Blaugrana were knocked out by Atletico Madrid and went on to lose 2-1 at home to Los Che.

More to follow...
1