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Wednesday, April 8
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Dec 5, 2015 at 7.30pm UK
Valencia
1-1
Barcelona
Mina (86')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Suarez (59')
/esi/1339/6_G_1_48890/index.html?art_id=260849&game_id=48890&sport_id=1&ESI

Result: Valencia strike late to hold Barcelona

:Headline: Result: Valencia strike late to hold Barcelona:
Gary Neville watches from the stands as Santi Mina scores a late equaliser to earn Valencia a 1-1 draw against La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Gary Neville watched from the stands as Valencia produced an impressive back-foot display to claim a 1-1 draw against Barcelona at the Mestalla.

A comfortable Barcelona win looked on the cards when Luis Suarez opened the scoring early in the second half, but Valencia fought back well to secure a point when Santi Mina fired home an 86th-minute equaliser.

Interim boss Voro and Phil Neville took charge of the team following the latter's brother, who will officially begin his reign on Sunday, and the home side enjoyed plenty of luck on a night when Barcelona wasted good opportunities.

Barcelona dominated the opening exchanges and should have claimed an early lead as Lionel Messi volleyed over from a Suarez cross, before Neymar cleared the crossbar after he was released by the Uruguayan's clever through ball.

It was a sign of what was to come in the first half as the visitors asked regular questions of the Valencia defence, but another good chance passed the champions by when Messi could only send his effort straight at Jaume Domenech from Neymar's inviting cross.

Despite rarely causing problems for Barcelona, the hosts felt they should of had a penalty when Gerard Pique put his hands on Enzo Perez, whose eagerness to go down in the box encouraged the referee to ignore the protests.

Valencia enjoyed extended spells in possession, but it was the away side who continued to create opportunities as Suarez volleyed over after being picked out at the back post by Neymar.

Messi started the second half by seeing Domenech hold his low effort from outside the box, before the long spells of pressure finally produced an opener as Barcelona took the lead.

Suarez had sparked anger from Aymen Abdennour when he appeared to catch the Valencia defender in an incident off the ball, but after escaping punishment from the referee moments earlier, he made the breakthrough for the visitors by collecting Messi's lobbed ball over the defence and slotting past Domenech at the near post.

Even after falling behind, Valencia remained reluctant to commit too many men forward in fear of seeing the game slip away quickly as Barcelona continued to dominate.

Neymar came agonisingly close to doubling the lead in spectacular fashion as he eased past a couple of defenders on a fine run before curling inches wide of the post from the edge of the box.

Valencia's stubbornness kept them in the match, and the hosts had a great chance when Sergio Busquets gifted possession to Rodrigo de Paul, whose tame effort was easily stopped by Claudio Bravo.

As Barcelona searched for the goal which would have wrapped up the win, they were stunned by a Valencia equaliser when Paco Alcacer brought down a long ball under pressure from two defenders before teeing up Santi Mina, who powered an effort into the roof of the net.

Messi twice threatened to silence the home supporters, with Domenech pushing a free kick to safety before the Argentine fired a low shot straight at the goalkeeper in stoppage time as Barcelona settled for moving two points clear of Atletico Madrid. body check tags ::

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last updated article - 2015-12-07 15:34:25:
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La Liga Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona27184563313258
2Real Madrid27168349193056
3Sevilla27138639291047
4Real Sociedad27144945331246
5Getafe27137737251246
6Atletico MadridAtletico271112431211045
7Valencia2711973839-142
8Villarreal27115114438638
9Granada27115113332138
10Athletic Bilbao2791082923637
11Osasuna2781093438-434
12Real Betis2789103843-533
13Levante27103143240-833
14AlavesAlaves2788112937-832
15Real Valladolid27611102333-1029
16EibarEibar2776142741-1427
17Celta Vigo27511112234-1226
18Mallorca2774162844-1625
19Leganes2758142139-1823
20Espanyol2748152346-2320
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Premier League Table
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1Liverpool29271166214582
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3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
10Burnley29116123440-639
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
12Everton29107123746-937
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
14Southampton29104153552-1734
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
17Watford2969142744-1727
18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721
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