LaLiga

Barcelona 2-2 Valencia, Player Ratings: Messi matches Pele in frustrating draw

On the day when Lionel Messi matched Pele's record for goals scored for a single club, Barca were held by Valencia in La Liga.

 
6:14pm on Saturday 19th December 2020
By
Robin Bairner

Lionel Messi might have cause to remember Barcelona's 2-2 draw against Valencia, but on a team level it was a forgettable occasion for Ronald Koeman's troop, who dropped more valuable points against a team below them in the table.

For Barca, who had seen leaders Atletico Madrid win 3-1 earlier, it might have been worse. Mouctar Diakhaby gave Valencia a first-half lead, but the game started to turn as Jose Gaya conceded a penalty.

Lionel Messi's kick was saved but the Argentine ultimately netted in the aftermath to level Pele's record for goals scored for a single club.

Ronald Araujo's second-half strike should have completed the turnaround, but Maxi Gomez scored quarter of an hour later to ensure a share of the spoils for the visitors.

But who was not and who was not as Barca lost more ground in the title race?

Barcelona 2-2 Valencia: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats

✔️ GOOD PERFORMANCE

Ronald Araujo: 7.5

If Barcelona prodigy Riqui Puig is not a favourite of Koeman, centre-back Ronald Araujo certainly is.

On the eve of the game, his mentality and work ethic was praised by his coach, and in the absence of the benched Clement Lenglet and the injured Gerard Pique, he proceeded to justify his coach's selection.

He scored his first goal for the senior team with a finish from 12 yards early in the second half. It should have been the platform Barca needed to get the win.

BAD PERFORMANCE

Jose Gaya: 5.3

The Valencia left-back has been capped 12 times for Spain but looked like a novice in this encounter.

Indeed, he was fortunate to stay on the park shortly before half-time when he conceded the penalty that allowed Barcelona back into the game. Initially, he was shown a red card, although it was overturned via VAR.

It was a let off, but that decision was the epitome of his uncomfortable evening.

STAR MAN

Lionel Messi: 8.8

Even far from his best, Messi seems to stand head and shoulders above those around him.

The Argentine drew the Blaugrana level as he headed home from close range seconds after missing a penalty and he was their offensive spark throughout this encounter.

Although he manufactured a couple more promising scoring situations, his shooting was not quite on point. Nevertheless, he seemed so often to be Barcelona's only offensive solution.

Barcelona 2-2 Valencia: Player Ratings, Match Stats, Player Stats

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