Valencia vs. Barcelona – Football Match Report – October 29, 2022

Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski scored a 93rd-minute winner as they beat Valencia 1-0 on Saturday to temporarily move level on points with Real Madrid in LaLiga.

With the match heading for a goalless draw, Barca’s Rafinha volleyed a cross into the area which was acrobatically stabbed home by Lewandowski for the Polish striker’s 13th league goal of the season.

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The result means Xavi Hernandez’s side, who were knocked out of the Champions League in midweek, have 31 points from 12 games – the same as Real, who host second-placed Girona on Sunday.

“It was a really important win, especially with how it came in the last second,” Xavi said. “We never stopped believing. We played with some anxiety, the elimination from the Champions League hit us hard.

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“We tried to disconnect, but it’s hard. We didn’t make good decisions. When we had to pass, we shot. And when we had to shoot, we passed. It was under stress.”

Barcelona created plenty of chances in the first half, but Valencia’s rearguard stood firm, with goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili denying Ansu Fati, while Lewandowski also saw a header hit the post.

The hosts were dealt a major blow on 18 minutes when top scorer Edinson Cavani, who had scored four of the club’s goals in their last three matches, was ruled out with an ankle injury.

Valencia’s Samuel Lino thought he had opened the scoring four minutes into the second half and the Mestalla crowd erupted, but the referee ruled it out after a VAR review as Marcos Andre had touched the cross with his hand.

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Barca’s Ferran Torres had a glorious chance to score against his former club but failed to get a good touch on the ball from a few yards out. However, Lewandowski’s goal minutes later ensured Xavi’s side would come away with all three points.

“The goal is quality,” Xavi said. “Robert is there to make the difference. I thought it might be disallowed for offside with the way we’re going at the moment. But we’ve got to improve. We’ve got to make better decisions.

“It could have been a draw and it would have been a drama. It shouldn’t have been like that. We’ve improved a lot, we’re on the right track, but there’s still more [to improve].”

The Catalan club had a scare when French defender Jules Conte went off with an apparent injury in the 74th minute and was replaced by Gerard Pique, but Xavi said after the game it was nothing serious.

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“Kunde made a huge effort to come back quickly from injury, we needed him,” added Xavi. “He felt it, but I’m told it’s not serious. We’ll see tomorrow.”

Valencia coach Gennaro Gattuso pointed to his side’s mistakes as their undoing but said they are still on the right track.

“When you play against teams like Barcelona, ​​you can’t make mistakes,” Gattuso said. “You have to keep going until the 96th minute. The team was brave. We only had two players to play in midfield. I have to congratulate the team for their attitude and mentality.

“The team is alive. We have to keep working, not talk so much and work very hard.”

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