Barcelona were spectacular. They put on an exhibition. Ernesto Valverde's team dominated absolutely in the first half. The defence gave nothing to Valencia, and had a huge amount of possession. The key was the rapid circulation of the ball, a couple of touches from each player. Barcelona's high press too. Attitude and aggression to block any attempt to bring the ball out by Valencia.
Barcelona were unlucky not to score, thanks to the tremendous error by the officials not allowing Lionel Messi's goal to count.
After the break, Valencia changed completely. The hosts pressed, moving up the pitch and got their reward with their goal. Yes, Semedo made an error, and Rodrigo put Valencia 1-0 up. Barcelona had to respond, using one of their greatest weapons - the link between Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi. A spectacular assist from Leo and a great finish from the defender.
In this game, against an attack so fast and dangerous, Barcelona's untried central partnership deserves some credit. Umtiti, as is normal now, was excellent during the game, but on this occasion he had Vermaelen's support too. The Belgian played at a good level. Passing a test of fire.
In the end, a game with two very different halves and with an exciting end which left Barcelona with the sensation they deserved more.