Lionel Messi struck twice as Barcelona beat 10-man Valencia in a thrilling match to move two points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid.

Eliaquim Mangala headed the visitors in front from a corner, before Luis Suarez steered in an equaliser.

Messi’s penalty made it 2-1 after Manchester City loanee Mangala was sent off for dragging back Suarez, but Munir El Haddadi swept Valencia level.

Messi scored his second after the break and Andre Gomes made it four late on.

Here are the Barcelona player ratings against Valencia:

Ter Stegen 8

Although he conceded two goals, he did well. Made a fine save from Carlos Soler and from Munir El Haddadi too.

Javier Mascherano 7

The speed of the Jefecito in the 3-4-3 is important when he has to cover, shown by him cutting out Cancelo in the nick of time before he set up the open Orellana.

Gerard Pique 7

Made a mistake which Carlos Soler nearly took advantage of, but was good with the ball at his feet and otherwise at his usual high level. Great defending to deny Munir in the second half.

Samuel Umtiti 8

Defended very well and set up Suarez with a nice pass from the back. When it came to bringing the ball out did very well, making no errors.

Sergio Busquets 7

Although the Valencia midfielders tried to shut him down he was very precise in the opposition half. Assisted Suarez and Messi for two chances. Should perhaps have done more when Valencia were down to 10.

Ivan Rakitic 7

The Croatian will be annoyed he didn’t stop Mangala for the first goal. Then for the second, Munir escaped him too easily. In his favour he did well covering for Mascherano.

Andres Iniesta 7

The Manchebo showed that he’s back to his best physically and came up with fresh ideas to set up Barcelona attacks.

Leo Messi 9

The Argentine crack didn’t appear throughout the game but when he did he got the Camp Nou on their feet. A couple of amazing dribbles, two goals and some fine passes to set up various other chances.

Neymar 9

The Brazilian started out of the game but soon took over, turning into a machine that kept overloading Valencia down the right. Could have won a penalty, got Perez booked and showed he’s in spectacular form, even if the goal resisted him.

Rafinha 6

The Celta Vigo player went unnoticed a lot, and wasted two good chances. He needs to offer a lot more.

Luis Suarez 10

The Uruguayan was insatiable and as well as scoring he also earned the penalty for No 2. Alert and fighting from the off, notching Barcelona’s equaliser with a cool finish past Alves. He also toasted Mangala, provoking the foul from the defender that led to the red card and Messi’s spot-kick.


Sergi Roberto 7 

Given an ovation when he came on for his heroics against PSG.

Andre Gomes 7

Grabbed a late goal after a fine run by Neymar.



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