Barcelona returned to winning ways with a 2-1 defeat of Valencia at the Nou Camp on Saturday afternoon.
- Barcelona 2 Valencia 1
- Suarez on target on 15′
- Umtiti adds a second on 51′
- Coutinho with both assists
- Parejo scores from the spot on 87′
Luis Suarez netted first with a cool finish from a Philippe Coutinho delivery before Samuel Umtiti headed home from another good ball from the Brazilian. Dani Parejo netted a late consolation from the penalty mark.
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) April 14, 2018
Valencia was bossing possession early on and was first with an effort on target from Goncalo Guedes that Marc-Andre Ter Stegen tipped wide of his goal.
Luis Suarez completely mis-hit an Andres Iniesta delivery into the box before Barcelona began to take control of the tie.
Jordi Alba had an effort blocked by goalkeeper Neto from a tight angle when Suarez was free in the box waiting for the cut-back.
But Barca was ahead with just 15 minutes played when Philippe Coutinho opted to feed Suarez, who fired passed Neto into the bottom right corner of the net.
Ter Stegen kept out Guedes from range at the second attempt as Valencia looked to respond, while the Portuguese winger was close to a goal again from a poor Gerard Pique clearance that fell into his path but went wide off the knee of Alba.
Ter Stegen made up for giving the ball directly to Rodrigo by keeping out his half-volley, as Lionel Messi headed a Suarez cross over the bar with 33 minutes on the clock.
Coutinho was impressing on a rare start for him while the first half ended with Ter Stegen saving another shot from Guedes.
There was some shaky defending from Barca in the opening minutes of the second half as Samuel Umtiti lost his footing to allow Santi Mina to pick up the ball and feed Rodrigo. He beat a busy Ter Stegen, but not Pique, who cleared off the line.
Umtiti though was quick to make up for his error with Barcelona’s second goal, with 51 minutes on the clock, with a header from Coutinho’s corner past a despairing Neto.
Coutinho was well wide with an effort from distance ahead of a scorcher on the volley from Messi that was teed up by Sergio Busquets.
Iniesta then saw his 71st-minute scissor-kick well kept out by the visiting stopper ahead of a spell of pressure from the away side.
But while Messi came close after beating a number of defenders, it was Valencia who was to score next, with Dani Parejo just about squeezing the ball under Ter Stegen from an 87th-minute penalty, after the recently introduced Ousmane Dembele took out Jose Gaya as he whipped in a cross.
Denis Suarez saw his point-blank range shot beaten away by Neto as Barca raced to the other end to force the result that ended with late Valencia substitute glancing a cross from Parejo just off target.