Valencia vs. Barcelona – Football Match Report – October 29, 2022

Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski scored a 93rd-minute winner to beat Valencia 1-0 on Saturday to move provisionally level at the top of the table with Real Madrid in LaLiga.

With the match heading for what looked like a goal draw, Barca’s Raphinha curled a cross into the box which acrobatically headed home Lewandowski for the Polish striker’s 13th league goal of the season.

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The result means Xavi Hernandez’s side, who were kicked out of the Champions League in the week, have 31 points after 12 games – the same as Real, who host second-bottom Girona on Sunday.

“It was an important thing to win, especially when it came in the last second,” Xavi said. “We never stopped believing. When we played with some concern, the Champions League hit us hard by eliminating them.

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“We tried to disconnect, but it’s difficult. We didn’t have good plans. When we had to pass, we were shot. And when we were going to shoot, we passed. We went down to worry.”

Barcelona created many chances in the first half, but Valencia’s last line was blocked, with goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili denying Ansu Fati, while Lewandowski also saw a header come in.

The home side suffered a major blow with 18 minutes on the clock when top scorer Edinson Cavani, who had netted four of the club’s goals in his last three league matches, went off with an ankle injury.

Valencia’s Samuel Lino thought he had opened the scoring four minutes into the half, and the Mestalla crowd erupted, but the referee checked it following VAR as Marcos Andre touched down a cross with his hand.

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Barca’s Ferran Torres had an excellent chance to score against his former club, but failed to make good contact with the ball from a few meters out. However, Lewandowski’s goal kept Xavi’s side with all three points.

“The goal is about quality,” Xavi said. “Robert is there to make the difference. I thought he could be disqualified for offside when we are running in time. But we have to improve. We have to make better decisions.

“It could have dragged on and it would have been a drama. It shouldn’t be like that. We have improved a lot, we are on the right path, but there is still more. [to improve].

The Catalan club had a scare when France defender Jules Kounde left with an apparent injury in the 74th minute and was replaced by Gerard Pique, but Xavi said after the match that it was nothing serious.

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“Kounde made a huge effort to come back quickly from injury, we needed it,” Xavi added. “He felt it, but I didn’t speak seriously. We’ll see tomorrow.”

Valencia manager Gennaro Gattuso pointed out the team’s mistakes as a result, but said they are still on the right track.

“When you play against teams like Barcelona, ​​you can’t go wrong,” Gattuso said. “You have to go until the 96th minute. The team was strong. We only had two players to play in midfield. I congratulate the team for their attitude and mentality.

“The team lives. We have to keep working, not just talk, and really work.”

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