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Winless run extends for Barcelona despite brilliant Messi goal

Sevilla are the LaLiga leaders heading into the October international break after champions Barcelona could only draw away to Valencia.

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez
Barcelona striker Luis Suarez

LIONEL MESSI SCORED a brilliant equaliser as Barcelona’s winless run in La Liga stretched to four matches following a 1-1 draw at Valencia.

Ezequiel Garay capitalised on terrible marking to convert a corner in the second minute, but Valencia were unable to make the most of their early dominance at Mestalla on Sunday.

Messi levelled midway through the first half with a wonderful strike from outside the penalty area, although Barca, who beat Tottenham 4-2 in the Champions League in midweek, could not find a winner.

Pressure on Ernesto Valverde will grow over the international break, after which Barca will travel to La Liga’s surprise leaders Sevilla, who moved top with a 2-1 win over Celta Vigo.

Valencia led in the second minute, Garay arriving at the back post to tap in after a Dani Parejo corner was inadvertently flicked on by Gerard Pique and Thomas Vermaelen.

Michy Batshuayi and Geoffrey Kondogbia both came close to doubling Valencia’s lead as Marcelino’s men made a fine start, although Goncalo Guedes’ injury curbed their potency.

Barca levelled in the 23rd minute, Messi drilling home from 25 yards after a one-two with Luis Suarez that involved a nutmeg on the helpless Kondogbia.

Kevin Gameiro crashed a shot just wide in the 61st minute as Valencia continued to threaten, then Jose Gaya made a sensational challenge to deny Philippe Coutinho.

Messi fired into the side netting and Suarez saw a brace of late penalty appeals rejected, and problems are mounting for Barca and Valverde after missing the chance to reclaim top spot.

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