The Blaugrana had to come from behind to secure a dramatic win at Mestalla, with Messi the hero at the death after Munir had almost helped Valencia snatch a point against his parent club
|Messi celebrates goal with Suarez|
penalty from Lionel Messi.
The Argentine was handed the chance to beat penalty expert Diego Alves from 12 yards when a flowing move ended with Aymen Abdennour fouling Luis Suarez.
Messi stood up to the challenge and Alves went the right way, but the ball crept into the bottom corner and Barca’s players celebrated in front of the home supporters.
A bottle was thrown at them as they did so, but the damage had already been done by Messi’s left boot.
Barça’s afternoon got off to a bad start when Andres Iniesta was taken off injured after a fierce challenge from Enzo Perez.
It was the theme to the opening 20 minutes, with Neymar crunched several times, too, and Iniesta could face up to three months on the sidelines with ligament damage in his knee.
The Blaugrana led at the break, though, thanks to Messi’s goal from the edge of the area. Ivan Rakitic laid on the assist and Suarez was also involved in the build up.
Suarez missed two good chances of his own in the first half - one from an incredible Neymar pass - while Marc-Andre ter Stegen produced a fine save from Dani Parejo.
Munir El Haddadi, on loan at Valencia from Barca, came on at half time and the game swung.
The Spanish youngster won the ball back from Andre Gomes in his own half and then got on the end of a pass from Parejo at the other end, rifling home from the edge of the box but choosing not to celebrate.
Nani then created an opening for Rodrigo Moreno, who bounced the ball past Ter Stegen, and Mestalla was rocking.
They weren’t ahead for long, though. Rakitic’s header was well saved by Alves but Suarez lashed the rebound home from a tight angle.
Both sides then had chances to win it. Nani missed a one on one and Suarez glanced a header over, but the heroics were saved for Messi deep into time added on in Valencia.