Dec. 16 ┬áValencia, who had lost their previous three games across all competitions, rallied to steal a 1-1 draw against Barcelona at home on Saturday in their La Liga encounter. Xavi Hernandez’s team will not be deterred by the result, though.

Barcelona arrived in Valencia fresh off two straight losses: a 3-2 Champions League loss at home to Group H’s bottom team Antwerp on Wednesday, and a 4-2 home loss to La Liga leaders and local rivals Girona on Sunday. Despite dominating the ball, Barcelona appeared nervous and erratic.

However, Valencia goalie Giorgi Mamardashvili proved to be an almost unbreakable barrier for Barca, making a series of superb stops to keep the visitors at bay.

Up front, Robert Lewandowski was frequently frustrated by both Mamardashvili, who denied the Polish striker twice with outstanding reflex saves, and his own play, as he missed three close-range shots in the first half.

After the break, Valencia managed to hold out as long as they could, but Barcelona was victorious thanks to another outstanding one-on-one save from the Georgian goalkeeper against substitute Ferran Torres.

In the 55th minute, Joao Felix finally broke the scoreless draw with a close-range goal, tapping in from a cross by Raphinha.

But Valencia capitalized on the opportunity and equalized fifteen minutes later through an incredible Hugo Guillamon curling shot into the upper left corner from the edge of the box.

Mamardashvili made two more saves as the locals held on for a crucial point despite Barca’s late push for a winner.

“In football, these things happen when you miss so many opportunities. We were worthy winners. We performed admirably and took the necessary steps to win the game,” a displeased Xavi told Movistar Plus.

“We must exert much greater persuasiveness in the opponent’s domain. We probably gave up two points. We took a stance that doesn’t satisfy us at all.”

With a game remaining, Barca is four points behind Real Madrid in second place and six behind Girona in first place in the La Liga standings.


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