Saturday, 25 January 2020 20:58

Barcelona were denied the chance to open up a three-point lead at the top of La Liga after Valencia won 2-0.

Jordi Alba scored an own goal, while Maxi Gomez also found the net for Valencia at the Mestalla to slow down Barca's momentum in the title race. 

It's a first defeat for Quique Setien since he replaced Ernesto Valverde in the Barcelona dugout.

He won his first game 1-0 but then almost stumbled in the cup against a third tier side and saw Barcelona's terrible defensive record continue here.

Antoine Griezmann was ineffective and appeared to be on a leave of absence for the second half,while Lionel Messi huffed and puffed, and came close a number of times but this was one of those rare days where even his finishing appeared to be off.

There was a lot of optimism and positivity after Setièn’s first match in charge last weekend, but the honeymoon period will well and truly be over after this showing.

However the stats tell a story of Barcelona dominance but the La Liga champions were never really in this game,with over 75% possession and nearly 900 passes completed.
 
Valencia deserved their win and the result leaves Real Madrid with the chance to go top tomorrow against Real Valladolid.