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Full Time: Barcelona 2-1 Valencia-second half

La liga

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Full Time: Barcelona 2-1 Valencia-second half

La liga

14 April 2018 Saturday 17:21
Full Time: Barcelona 2-1 Valencia-second half

FULL TIME: Barcelona 2-1 Valencia

It's over! Job well done for Barcelona despite the late scare from Parejo. 

Record breakers now as they go 39 games unbeaten in La Liga, surpassing Real Sociedad's record from 1979-80. 

Valencia had the chances but you cannot afford to waste at the Nou Camp. 

91min: Pique sticks a leg out and turns the ball behind for a corner. Last chance saloon. 

89min: Valencia need to throw the kitchen sink at it now - they have nothing to lose. Awaiting news of added time at the Nou Camp. 

GOAL! So unlucky for Ter Stegen as he dives the right way by Parejo's penalty goes underneath his arms and trickles in...can they level it?

86min: Late, late drama! Dembele gets nothing of the ball as he slides in - a real forward's tackle - and Valencia have a penalty...

The captain is applauded off the pitch after another sublime performance. At the centre of everything that the Catalans did right on the day and is replaced by Denis Suarez. 

82min: Procession now. Barcelona just coasting through to the final whistle with Valencia's attack well and truly blunted. 

79min: Huge cheers from the crowd as Dembele is introduced in place of Coutinho. Productive afternoon for the Brazilian who boasts two assists. 

77min: Plenty of celebrations in the stand as Barcelona continue to toy with a tiring Valencia side. They put up a good fight for 45 minutes but it has been a really tough second half. 

Valencia make a change up top

71min: Luciano Vietto replaces Santi Mina. Need a goal it's that simple. 

70min: Valencia are all over the place and Messi is steering the ship now. He dances around the befuddled defenders and his dinked cross is met by Iniesta on a bicycle kick. 

I said he looked tired but it is sublime technique which draws a stunning save from Neto. 

65min: Barcelona showing off now. Busquets is dazzling down the left and his cross to the edge of the box is met by Messi audaciously on the volley. For once, he blazes it into the stands rather than the back of the net. 

62min: Iniesta starting to show some fatigue now and his side can ill-afford to gift Valencia a route back into the game. Crowd desperate to see Dembele introduced but will the pragmatic Valverde bow to their demands? 

Sportsmail's Pete Jenson at the Nou Camp: Applause as Ousmane Dembele starts to warm-up. Seems the supporters want to see him on the pitch more than Valverde. 

59min: Coutinho faces the wrath of his team-mates as he looks to grab himself a goal, eyeing the target and firing narrowly wide from outside the area. Confidence oozing out of the La Liga leaders now. 

UMTITI MAKES IT TWO!

51min: Umtiti makes it 2-0! A real hero at both ends the Frenchman. Big ask now for Valencia.

He rises highest from a corner but Neto will be disappointed he was unable to get a stronger hand to it. 50min: Samuel Umtiti ensures Barcelona keep the lead as he clears off the line as Rodrigo is left to wonder how he didn't level the score...

Could easily have had a hat-trick so far this afternoon.

49min: Coutinho finding far too much space in the pockets. Messi looks reinvigorated already in this half as he drops deeper to get a foothold on the ball. 

46min: No changes from either side at the break. Surprised Marcelino has kept faith in Kondogbia after his erratic first half. 

Entertaining first 45 minutes where Luis Suarez's cool low finish is the difference between the two sides. There has been plenty of aggression and plenty of flair. 

44min: Not long left now and after some flying challenges it might do both managers good to get their sides in at half-time. Kondogbia and Gerard Pique lucky to both be on the pitch

Will that prove to be a pivotal moment?

38min: Both sides have a player down as Coutinho and Gabriel fully commit to a 50/50 ball. Studs up from both but the aggression results in no cards for either. One to get the crowd from their seats. 

Penalty or no penalty?

36min: Messi falls to the ground but appeals are muted from team-mates as the referee waves play on. Looks soft on the replay. 

34min: Barcelona content to sit off Valencia when the visitors are in possession and then break with pace on the counter. Much like a finely poised chess match, this one is tough to call.  

32min: Messi escapes his marker and rises to win a header but he can't get great contact and it glances wide of Neto's goal. Been a quiet half from the Argentine. 

Sportsmail's Pete Jenson at the Nou Camp: Around 60,000 inside Camp Nou. The season that Barcelona have had in La Liga they deserve a 90,000 full-house as they move towards title. Very flat atmosphere despite the 1-0

Barcelona went ahead through a sublime attacking move but Valencia are unlucky not to have levelled. 

Convinced both sides will score again before the fans head to the exit's later on. 

22min: Valencia definitely not overwhelmed by the occassion as they show signs of life with plenty of possession. Limited to efforts from range and Ter Stegen has rarely been troubled, though.

Suarez loves playing Valencia it seems

Can we play you every week - that what Luis Suarez must be thinking?

BARCELONA ARE AHEAD!

15min: Barcelona at their best. Clinical finish from Suarez after Coutinho picks the lock with a delightful through ball. Valencia's backline motionless as the Barca attackers are simply thinking far much quicker than their opponents.

12min: Far too heavy a challenge from Kondogbia. A crunching challenge on Paulinho means he will miss the club's next match. Walking a tight-rope for the rest of the game now. 

10min: Iniesta produces a sublime pass from deep inside his own half but it narrowly escapes Philippe Coutinho. If Valencia looked impressive in the first five minutes, Barcelona have stemmed the onslaught. 6min: Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta looking to gain some control of the ball and the hosts almost profit. Luis Suarez meets a cutback from the byeline but fluffs his shot. Let off. 

4min: CHANCE! Guedes finds himself free on the edge of the area, shifts the ball to his right foot and curls an effort which is well saved by Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. 

Strong start by the visitors

3min: Valencia started lively here with Rodrigo, who is in a rich vein of form, cleverly turns his man 30-yards from goal. A concerned Valverde parades the technical area. 

Valencia have not lost for two months in the league. The last team that beat them was Barcelona in Mestalla. They have three players who have played in England in their starting line-up: Rodrigo (Bolton), Parejo (QPR) and Gabriel (Arsenal)

MATCH IS UNDERWAY

Here we go!

Stay tuned for the next 90 minutes of action as Valencia get the game started.

Stopped raining for the first time today in Barcelona. Most striking thing about the team-news is that Dembele is left out again. It seems Ernesto Valverde has very little faith in a player who could end up costing as much as 145m euros.

He played just five minutes in the two legs against Roma and he is on the bench again. Maybe Barça would cut their losses this summer if they had a buyer. 

Barcelona have released stunning new images of the redevelopment of the Nou Camp.

The Spanish giants may have been knocked out of the Champions League but they have a bright future on the horizon, not least because of the redevelopment project they are undergoing.

Barca are planning to expand their already colossal stadium, which currently seats 90,000, to around 105,000 seats and improve the area around the ground.


 

Updated: 14.04.2018 19:12
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