Three talking points from Barcelona 4-2 Valencia


Barcelona moved back up to second place in the La Liga table on Monday evening after a rollercoaster, but comical, victory over Valencia.

The game was a treat to the eyes of those who were purely looking for entertainment as it produced awkward moments throughout the first half without end. This stabilized in the second half and Barcelona eventually secured a 4-2 victory.

The result is nice for Xavi who deserved neither the victory nor the score of the evening given his performance. A hat-trick from Robert Lewandowski coupled with good contributions from Ilkay Gundogan, Lamine Yamal and Fermin Lopez helped seal the result.

Barça Universal presents three talking points from Barcelona 4-2 Valencia.

A story of blunders

Barcelona's improved performance in recent months, directly or indirectly, is linked to Xavi's announcement of his departure from the club. After all, the renewed sense of responsibility or guilt caused players to step up their efforts.

Now out of this zone, after the coach announced his continuity, there was an element of fear before last night's clash. After all, this factor, coupled with no real chance of winning silverware, could lead to Barcelona letting their guard down.

As expected, the Blaugrana were far from their best last night. Although they didn't dominate the match as expected, glaring individual errors dominated the contest.

Fermin Lopez gave the team an early lead at Montjuic with a well-worked header. However, it took Valencia just five minutes and a horrible mistake from Marc-Andre ter Stegen to equalize.

As Valencia launched a counter-attack, the German shooter chose to come out of their area and return the ball to midfield.

Terrible footwork, however, saw the ball go straight through the air and into the feet of Hugo Duro who then had an empty goal to slot the ball in. Comical, but embarrassing.

Less than ten minutes later, a second unforgivable blunder came from the feet of a Barcelona star, this time Ronald Araujo.

Just a week after a hasty red card against PSG, the Uruguayan launched into another questionable challenge on Peter Gonzalez to bring down the winger. Surprisingly, he was not booked, but the resulting penalty gave Valencia the lead.

The pivotal moment

The key moment. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

With Valencia leading 2-1 and Barcelona producing errors all over the pitch, the match looked to be an uphill battle for the Blaugrana.

Incredibly, the errors proved contagious as they then spread to the Valencia camp. 27 minutes after Ter Stegen's screamer, Le Che Goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili created his own moment of embarrassment at the other end of the pitch.

Yarek Gasiorowski's back pass to the goalkeeper found Lamine Yamal in good space and the Barcelona winger immediately hit the break. Mamardashvili came out of his area and stopped the youngster's attempt with his hand.

The deliberate handball outside his box earned the Georgian a red card and reduced the visitors to ten men, virtually changing the course of the match ahead. With 45 minutes left with an extra man, Barcelona were in control again.

The Catalans actually won the match, but one wonders if the result would have been as simple if Valencia had kept 11 men on the pitch. A chance for Xavi's team.

Hat-trick hero

As Barcelona returned to the field after the halftime whistle, they faced a 2-1 deficit. They certainly had a numerical advantage, but the job was not yet done.

Four minutes into the restart, the team's talisman in attack, Robert Lewandowski, helped level the scores with a well-worked set-piece routine. Ilkay Gundogan's delivery from the corner found Lewy in good space and the Pole headed the ball past a helpless Jaume Domenech.

The following period saw Barcelona experience frustration after frustration as the Blaugrana struggled to create an opening in front of goal. The winner finally arrived 30 minutes after the equalizer.

In the 82nd minute, Lewandowski was again vigilant on Gundogan's corner to seize his opportunity.

This time, Ronald Araujo rose highest and touched the ball which headed towards the Polish striker. Lewy made no mistake, following up the defender's header with a second and giving his team the lead.

With the result sealed and set in stone, Lewandowski completed his hat-trick in stunning fashion by placing a direct free kick beyond Domenech's reach in the 93rd minute.

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