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FC Barcelona vs Valencia: Brilliant Messi leads fight back (5-1)

Barça came back from an early goal by Piatti for the visitors to bury Valencia with four goals from Messi and a fifth from Xavi to round off a fantastic performance that showed FC Barcelona are still up for the fight for the Spanish League title.

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20 February 2012 01:05 PM

by

Roger Bogunyà

Barcelona (FCB).- Messi put in an extraordinary game to destroy the third placed team in La Liga and reiterate Barça\u2019s faith in their chances of fighting for the Spanish League title. FC Barcelona showed immense character and commitment when they came back from a sticky looking situation \u201313 points behind the leaders, Real Madrid, trailing 0-1 to a Piatti goal on 9 minutes\u2013  to blow away Valencia. Led by the four goal hero Messi and with Xavi putting the icing on the cake with the fifth, Barça could have won by an even wider margin, such was their superiority on the night. The win leaves Barça 10 points behind Real Madrid in second place and will be a real boost ahead of a difficult game at Atlético de Madrid\u2019s Vicente Calderón next Sunday.


Piatti puts Valencia ahead

A goal within the first 9 minutes from Piatti, who met a Feghouli cross from the right and took advantage of a mix up between Valdes and his defence, put the visitors one up before Barça really knew what had happened. Their response, however, was devastating with Pedro and Alexis opening up the flanks and Abidal and Montoya pushing forward from the full back positions, FC Barcelona were soon creating plenty of danger.

Messi brace leads fightback

After a somewhat cold start, Barça\u2019s stars soon began to fire on all cylinders. Alexis, Cesc, Iniesta and Pedro were all at the top of their game and Messi was playing at his very best. The equaliser came after a Pedro cross from the left which Rami mis-cleared and Messi put away. Five minutes later, a great cross from Abidal allowed Messi to calmly make it 2-1 and as the Catalans began to play some of their best football, Alexis and Cesc, with a spectacular bicycle kick that hit the bar, both came close to making it three before the break.

Domination without reward

The second half was all Barça, as the Catalans made chance after chance, with Valencia keeper Diego Alves forced to make some excellent saves to keep Guardiola\u2019s men out, but despite two great chances for Alexis and Cesc and a Messi header against the post, the score unbelievably stayed 2-1 as the game entered the last 15 minutes.

Four from Messi\u2026 and triumphal return for Xavi


Finally though, Valencia\u2019s resistance broke, when Messi pounced on a parry from a Tello shot after the youngster had come on for Pedro, to claim his hat trick. Not content with that however, the world number one made it four with a brilliant chip over the keeper following a great through ball by Busquets.

Guardiola brought on Xavi, who has been struggling with a foot injury, and the Catalan midfielder responded with the fifth of the night to make the score a more realistic reflection of Barça\u2019s domination on the night.

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  • Leo Messi scored four goals against Valencia (by FC Barcelona)

  • Leo Messi scored four goals against Valencia (by FC Barcelona)