Barcelona suffer shock defeat to Valencia

January 25, 2020

Barcelona have lost for the first time under Quique Setièn.

Jordi Alba’s own-goal was followed up by an exquisite finish from Maxi Gomez to give Valencia a fantastic 2-0 win over the La Liga champions.

The Mestalla is usually a happy hunting ground for Barça. They hadn’t lost there since February 2007.

However, Valencia haven’t lost at home in the league since April and never looked like losing once they took the lead. This was Los Ches’ first win over Barcelona in La Liga since 2016.

The stats tell a story of Barcelona dominance but the La Liga champions were never really in this game.

Over 75% possession. Nearly 900 passes completed. And yet they very rarely tested Jaume Doménech in the Valencia goal.

If it wasn’t for Marc-André ter Stegen then Barça could have been 3-0 down. Valencia should have been out of sight.

Setién’s side owned the ball for the majority of this game and merely sub-letted it to Valencia, but they just didn’t create enough clear-cut openings to win the game.

Antoine Griezmann was ineffective and appeared to be on a leave of absence for the second half.

Lionel Messi huffed and puffed, and came close a number of times but this was one of those rare days where even his finishing appeared to be off.

There was a lot of optimism and positivity after Setièn’s first match in charge last weekend, but the honeymoon period will well and truly be over after this showing.

Barça were slow and ponderous, lacking any true conviction going forward.

Led by Samuel Umtiti, they were a shambles at the back and the former Real Betis manager knows he has his work cut out.