Barcelona needed a stoppage-time penalty, tucked home by Lionel Messi, to secure a 3-2 win over Valencia at Mestalla on Saturday.
- Valencia 2 Barcelona 3
- Iniesta stretchered off
- Messi opens the scoring
- Munir equalises
- Rodrigo puts Valencia ahead
- Suarez puts Barca level again
- Abdennour gives away stoppage-time penalty
- Messi wins it from the spot
Andres Iniesta picked up a nasty injury in the opening stages, but his replacement, Ivan Rakitic, picked out Lionel Messi to open the scoring after 22 minutes.
Valencia struck back early in the second half with goals from Munir El Haddadi and Rodrigo, with the former on loan and striking against his parent club.
Luis Suárez pulled Barca level with a thunderous finish in the 62nd minute, and at the stroke of 90 minutes the match looked likely to end in stalemate until the Uruguayan drew a foul in the box from Aymen Abdennour in stoppage time, and Messi tucked the resulting penalty into the bottom corner.
The first event of note was bad news for Barcelona, as influential midfielder Andres Iniesta clashed painfully with Enzo Perez, and was stretchered off as early as the 14th minute, replaced by Ivan Rakitic.
The Croatian passmaster got into the action quickly enough and assisted the opening goal in the 22nd minute by finding Lionel Messi on the right edge of the box, and the Argentine fired Barca into the lead.
Messi forced a save from Diego Alves in the 31st minute when his effort had to be pushed away from the bottom corner after some great link up play between him, Neymar, and Luis Suárez, before André Gomes fired wildly off-target from the rebound.
In the 37th minute it was Messi's turn to play in Suárez, who was clean through on goal but denied by a stunning block from Alves. The Uruguayan got a clean run through because José Luis Gayà innjured his hamstring in the build-up, and was soon replaced by Aymen Abdennour.
Alves was at it again in the 40th minute to deny Suarez after he got on the end of Neymar's cross, and his opposite number, Marc-André ter Stegen, was involved soon afterwards.
Los Che had a great chance to equalise just before halftime when Rodrigo picked out Dani Parejo in the Barca box. The Spaniard took the ball in his stride, but ter Stegen was quick off his line and closed down the danger, making a crucial block at close-range just before the break.
Valencia didn't have to wait long after the restart to get their equaliser, with Parejo released into space down the left flank in the 52nd minute, and he set up Munir El Haddadi, on loan from Barca, to tuck it into the bottom corner.
Los Che then took the lead soon afterwards in the 56th minute, with Rodrigo getting on the end of Nani's assist and firing it into the far bottom corner.
However, Barca would soon hit back in the 62nd minute. Rakitic got on the end of Neymar's cross to force a save out of Alves with a header, but Suarez was there to rifle it across goal and into the bottom corner.
The match fell into a bit of a lull until the 82nd minute, when Nani fired a difficult chance wide before Suarez headed just over the bar at the other end. Two minutes later and Valencia threatened again, but this time Munir's effort was held by ter Stegen.
The match looked to be heading for a draw until the second and final minute of added time, when Suarez was tripped up in the box by Abdennour. Messi took it and Alves almost got there, but the Argentine found the bottom corner and Barca claimed all three point.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 22, 2016
Espanyol in astounding comeback against Eibar
Elsewhere in Spain, Espanyol earned a glorious point in coming from three goals down to draw 3-3 with Eibar at the RCDE Stadium.
Sergi Enrich opened the scoring for the visitors after 23 minutes, and that lead was doubled via an own-goal from Diego Antonio Reyes just four minutes later, and Kike made it three just before halftime.
Hernán Pérez pulled one back in the 64th minute and Pablo Piatti reignited the contest after 73 minute, and the hosts kept pushing until the second minute of added time, when Léo Baptistão salvaged a hard-earned point for Los Periquitos.