Barcelona overcome their own errors in 4-2 win over Valencia

In a match full of mistakes, Barcelona beat Valencia to keep ahold of second place in LaLiga.
FC Barcelona v Valencia CF - LaLiga EA Sports
FC Barcelona v Valencia CF - LaLiga EA Sports / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

A hat-trick from Robert Lewandowski lifted Barcelona past Valencia, 4-2, in a match that was a microcosm of why Barcelona is set to finish without any silverware.

The Catalan side went 1-0 up after a nice bit of play that culminated with Raphinha sending in a precise cross to Fermin Lopez who finished nicely with a header past Giorgi Mamardashvili.

Then, Barcelona's own failings cost them not just once, but twice.

In what seemed like a failed counter after some poor control from Hugo Duro, Marc-Andre ter Stegen came out of his area in an attempt to play the ball out. He wanted to flick the ball over Duro but mishit it, with Duro only needing to tap it in to equalize.

It's a play Ter Stegen has executed before only this time he got it wrong and it cost Barcelona.

The next self-inflicted wound came after a long-ball that the Barcelona defense misjudged. It went over the head of Ronald Araujo and past Pau Cubarsi, falling to Peter Gonzalez who was through on goal. Trying to rectify his mistake, Araujo put in a last-ditch tackle but got none of the ball, leading to a penalty.

Barcelona caught their own break during the final minutes of the first half after Mamardashvili was sent off following a VAR review where it was a clear handball from the keeper outside the area.

It took only three minutes into the second half for Barcelona to equalize. Lewandowski got the first of his three goals as he connected with a header from an Ilkay Gundogan corner.

However, it would take until the 82nd minute for Barcelona to finally take the lead.

Again, it was off a corner where the keeper tried punching the ball away but was anticipated by Araujo. The ball then fell to Lewandowski who headed past the scrambling Valencia defenders.

The icing on the cake for Barcelona and Lewandowski came in stoppage time and in an unexpected manner.

Lewandowski completed his hat-trick after converting from a free-kick, something that's been a rarity for Barcelona following the departure of Lionel Messi. The last time any Barcelona scored from a free-kick, it was Ferran Torres in a match against Real Betis last season.

Lewandowski's third goal put the game to bed and gave Barcelona some breathing room in the final minutes of stoppage time.

"In wasn't easy... In the first half we didn't have much space," Lewandowski said after the match. "But the important thing is that we are Barca and we know that, although we conceded two goals, we can score three and four goals.

"We knew we had to play with patience in the second half. We're good now and we have to thing about Girona."

While the win was important, especially with the upcoming match against Girona that Lewandowski alluded to, Barcelona's flaws were once again on full display.

Xavi sent out his best line-up and looked far from convincing. It's not exactly the display you want, or expect, to see in the match following the news that the manager, who said he was leaving, is going to stay.


As mentioned, the win keeps Barcelona in second place, two points ahead of Girona ahead of their match next weekend. It also saw the Catalan side mathematically qualify for the Champions League next season.