Messi claws Barcelona back in Valencia

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    A late Jordi Alba goal helped Barcelona earn a controversial 1-1 draw against Valencia on Sunday evening at the Estadio Mestalla in Valencia.A Rodrigo goal an hour in gave Los Che the lead, but Lionel Messi connected late with Alba to give Barcelona the valuable away point that maintains their four-point lead in the LaLiga table.It was an intense, thrilling match of football, but also one laced with controversy as Barcelona had a clear goal disallowed in the first-half when a Messi shot crossed the line. Nevertheless, there was class all over the pitch for all to enjoy; whether it was the combinations played between Messi and Andres Iniesta in the first-half, or the Valencia attacks kickstarted by Dani Parejo and Goncalo Guedes in the second-half, the fans inside the Mestalla were treated to 90 minutes of some of LaLiga's best.The suspension of Gerard Pique and the injury to Javier Mascherano forced Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde into handing a start to Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen, who had not played a single minute of league action until Sunday night. Otherwise, each team presented their strongest starting XIs.The match was a close, cagey affair in the first half-hour but then was completely turned on its head by unbridled controversy. A long-range shot from Messi was fumbled by Neto and spun right through the Valencia goalkeeper's legs and across the goal-line, or so Barcelona thought. Messi took off for the corner to celebrate but Valencia continued playing after Neto had cleared the ball away. With half their team celebrating what they thought was a score, Barcelona สโบเบท were outnumbered as Los Che counterattacked, which ended with Simone Zaza shooting just wide. Outraged, the Barcelona players surrounded referee Iglesias Villanueva, and replays backed up their claim: Messi's shot had clearly crossed the line, but the officials saw it differently and things remained scoreless.The goal/no-goal only ratcheted สโบเบท up the intensity and Neto had to be alert to block a Luis Suarez shot from a narrow angle toward the end of the half. Valencia were much improved to start the second-half, using high pressure to try to stifle Barcelona in their own half while targeting right-back Semedo. It almost led to a Zaza goal, only for the Italian's low-driven shot to skip wide after making its way through a sea of legs. Guedes was next with a look at goal on a Valencia counter, but he couldn't find a way past an onrushing Ter Stegen.The momentum had clearly shifted to the home side, and they made good on it right at the hour mark, as Rodrigo squeezed himself in between Vermaelen and Ter Stegen to touch home Gaya's cross from the left to earn Valencia a 1-0 lead.The Mestalla was rocking, but that soon turned to howls of anger and disbelief when a Guedes collision with Samuel Umtiti in the Barcelona area was not whistled for a penalty.Valverde sought to wrestle back control and brought on Gerard Deulofeu for Ivan Rakitic midway through the half and then Denis Suarez for Iniesta. But Valencia were well set up in defence. Any time Messi was on the ball, there were at least two Valencia shirts in front of him. There was no support in attack and Barcelona's chances all died once they reached [url=][color=#C9892F]สโบเบท[/color][/url] the final third.Finally, someone stepped forward and a perfectly crafted pass floated in by Messi was met by the streaking Alba, who clubbed a left-footed volley past Neto to draw Barcelona level 1-1.Each team fancied a winner in the final minutes making for a nerve-wracking stoppage time for both fan bases, but missed chances from Paulinho and Zaza resulted in a point for both sides.Barcelona return to action on Wednesday with their Copa del Rey second leg versus Murcia.

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