Robert Lewandowski struck late in the second half as FC Barcelona moved top of LaLiga with a 1-0 win victory over Valencia on Saturday evening.
Result: Valencia 0-1 FC Barcelona
Date: 29 October 2022
Barca made three changes from their defeat against Bayern in the UEFA Champions League, as Jordi Alba, Eric Garcia and Anssumane Fati were all recalled.
Blaugrana had an early scare after Samuel Lino was setup by Edinson Cavani from a bad clearance by Jules Kounde but his strike at the near post was smothered by goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
As the game became evenly matched, with Barca also threatening, Los Che had an injury blow on 19 minutes as Cavani could not continue and he was replaced by Marcos de Sousa upfront.
Xavi's charges seized the momentum with prolonged spells of possession but they were not clinical in front of goal and were also forced into a change just before the break after Marcos Alonso replaced Garcia.
However, in a one-way traffic, the Catalan side were unfortunate not to be ahead on the stroke of half-time after the lurking Robert Lewandowski saw his glancing header come off the base of the post from a cross by Alba.
Los Che settled the better of the sides in the second stanza as Lino found the back of the net within five minutes with a strike at the back post from a cross by Thierry Correia.
However, the Valencia goal was disallowed by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for a handball by De Sousa, who touched the cross with his fingers.
Needing a response, Xavi made a triple change just before the hour-mark, as Ferran Torres, Gavi and Raphinha all entered the park for fresh legs.
However, Blaugrana could not get going, as Valencia looked more threatening and the visitors had to make another change at centre-back with 15 minutes remaining after Kounde picked up an injury and he was replaced by Gerard Pique.
The game opened from end to end in the dying minutes and Barca had a glorious chance to get the winner with four minutes left after a cut-back by Pedri caught Valencia square but Torres miscued his shot in front of goal and Raphinha latched onto a rebound but he ballooned his volley over the crossbar.
Barca remained persistent and Lewandowski finally snatched the winner in stoppage time with poked effort in the box after a dink over the defence by Raphinha.
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