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Played
September 21, 2011 9:00 PM BST
Estadio de Mestalla — Valencia
Referee:‬ Carlos Velasco‎
Attendance:‬ 52250‎
 
12′ (OG) Éric Abidal
Pedro 14′
Top of the Match
Ever Banega
Ever Banega
Valencia
Flop of the Match
Daniel Alves
Daniel Alves
Barcelona

Valencia 2-2 Barcelona: Fabregas nets late leveller as champions twice come from behind

Honours even at the Mestalla as the Catalan giants played out an entertaining clash with the Andalucian side, who remain top of the table with Barca settling for third place

By Martin Macdonald

Liga BBVA: Valencia-Barcelona: Pedro Rodríguez
Getty

Valencia proved that they can mix it the big guns in La Liga after playing out a 2-2 draw against Barcelona at the Mestalla this evening.

The hosts went into half time with a 2-1 advantage after an own goal from Eric Abidal and a Pablo Hernandez strike. However, a Pedro effort in the first half and a Cesc Fabregas strike late in the second period gave Pep Guardiola's men a share of the points, in what was an enthralling, end-to-end encounter.

The home side took the lead over the champions in the 12th minute when Jeremy Mathieu made a strong run down the left hand side and fizzed a ball into the Barcelona penalty area where Eric Abidal accidentally glanced the ball into his own net.

This lead was short lived, however, as the visitors equalised just two minutes later when Lionel Messi slipped a pass down the left of the Valencia box for Pedro who managed to squeeze the ball past Guaita at his near post with a left footed shot.

Barcelona grew into the game from this moment, and perhaps should have had a penalty when Rami brought down Messi in the penalty area.

Valencia regained the lead half way through the first half, when Mathieu, again, drove to the byline and whipped in a cross, and this time it was Pablo who came in totally unmarked at the back post and finished expertly with a first time shot into the bottom right corner.

In front of a vibrant Mestalla crowd, the hosts took the game to the champions in the first half, constantly stifling Barcelona's attacks with intense pressing and brilliant anticipation. They were always a threat on the counter attack and should have took a two goal lead when Roberto Soldado got on the end of another Mathieu cross but agonizingly missed from a yard.

The second half was a tighter affair than the first period, with both sides involves in a midfield battle. However it was Barcelona who looked most likely to score and they eventually grabbed the equaliser when Lionel Messi clipped a pass over the Valencia defence to Cesc Fabregas who coolly passed the ball into the bottom left corner.

Pep Guardiola's side probed for a winner in the last few but Unai Emery's men remained solid to hold out for an impressive victory.

This result leaves Barcelona fourth place in La Liga whereas Valencia find themselves proudly top of the table with an unbeaten record so far.



Valencia

13
Guaita
Goalkeeper
3.00
4
Adil Rami
Defender
16′
3.00
18
Jordi Alba
Midfielder
91′
3.00
5
Víctor Ruiz
Defender
3.00
22
3.50
23
Miguel Brito
Defender
2.50
-
Albelda
Midfielder
46′
3.50
-
Ever Banega
Midfielder
4.00
11
Pablo Hernández
Midfielder
23′
3.50
9
2.50
16
Canales
Midfielder
53′ 69′
3.00

Barcelona

3.00
1
2.50
5
2.00
22
2.50
22
2.50
14
3.00
16
Busquets
Midfielder
2.50
-
Seydou Keita
Midfielder
58′
2.50
6
Xavi
Midfielder
3.50
4
Cesc Fàbregas
Midfielder
77′
3.50
10
3.00
7
Pedro
Striker
14′ 57′

Substitutes

1
Diego Alves
Goalkeeper
0.00
2
Bruno
Defender
0.00
12
0.00
24
Tino Costa
Midfielder
46′
3.00
7
Jonas
Striker
69′ 87′
2.50
20
0.00
17
0.00

Substitutes

0.00
13
0.00
17
Maxwell
Defender
3.00
21
Adriano
Midfielder
58′
0.00
3
2.50
6
0.00
19
2.50
9

Coach/Manager

-
0.00

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
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Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atlético Madrid
26 4
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
25 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0