Valencia fight back to hold Barcelona to a 1-1 draw

Valencia fought back to snatch a 1-1 draw at home against Barcelona in their LaLiga clash on Saturday - a result that will do nothing to ease the pressure on Xavi Hernandez's side, winless in their last three games in all competitions.

Publication: 17.12.2023 - 13:21
Valencia fight back to hold Barcelona to a 1-1 draw
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Barcelona looked nervy and erratic despite dominating the ball, having travelled to Valencia in the wake of two defeats in four days - a 4-2 home loss to LaLiga leaders and local rivals Girona on Sunday followed by Wednesday's 3-2 Champions League defeat at Group H bottom side Antwerp.

But Barca hit an all but impenetrable wall in Valencia goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili, who made a string of outstanding saves to keep the visitors at bay.

Striker Robert Lewandowski was often frustrated up front, sometimes by Mamardashvili, who made two brilliant reflex saves point-blank to deny the Polish striker, but also by his own play, misfiring three times from close range in the first half.

Valencia held out as well as they could with Barcelona on top after the break, with the Georgian goalkeeper making another incredible save one-on-one against substitute Ferran Torres.

Joao Felix finally broke the deadlock in the 55th minute with a close-range strike, tapping in from a Raphinha cross.

However, Valencia made the most of the chance that came their way and equalised 15 minutes later with a brilliant curling shot from the edge of the box by Hugo Guillamon into the top left corner.

Barca tried to make a late press for a winner but Mamardashvili made two more saves as the locals held on for a valuable point.

"In football, when you waste so many opportunities, these things happen. We deserved to win. We played very well and did what we needed to do to win the game," a frustrated Xavi told Movistar Plus.

"We have to be much more convincing in the opponent's area. I think we gave away two points. We took a point that leaves us very unsatisfied."

Barca are third in the LaLiga standings on 35 points, four behind second-placed Real Madrid and six from leaders Girona, both with a game in hand.

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