Barcelona's La Liga title quest took a major hit in a 1-0 loss at Real Valladolid on Saturday.
Fausto Rossi scored the game's only goal in the 17th minute as Valladolid defeated Barca for the first time since 2002. For Barcelona, it was a second straight away loss in La Liga.
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|Alexis Sanchez (for Cesc, 61')||N/A||6|
|Sergi Roberto (for Pique, 72')||N/A||6|
|Cristian Tello (for Neymar, 74')||N/A||6|
Valladolid created the first chance in the fifth minute. Manucho lifted a ball over the top for Javi Guerra, who shot on target from a tight angle on the left. The shot was weak, however, and Victor Valdes saved easily.
Lionel Messi forced a save as Barcelona countered from a Valladolid corner in the 10th minute. But Valladolid went ahead in the 17th minute through Fausto Rossi, who buried his shot past Valdes—who was helpless to stop the shot—after Barcelona failed to clear their box.
As the first half wore on, Barcelona continued to look off-kilter. Full-back Dani Alves, usually a threat going forward on the right, was unable to involve himself in the attack, instead remaining deep to keep tabs on Manucho.
Barca improved toward the end of the half. Messi forced a save from a free kick and again moments later after fine build-up play. Cesc Fabregas later had a long-range shot saved. Despite the improvement, Barcelona were unable to equalise before the break.
Messi had a big chance to equalise early in the second half after running onto a through ball on the right. But using his right foot instead of his favoured left, Messi saw his shot saved at the near post. The visitors continued attacking, and Neymar fired over the bar with an open goal at his mercy in the 57th minute.
Tata Martino made his first change in the 61st minute, bringing on Alexis Sanchez for Cesc. Sergi Roberto (for Gerard Pique) and Cristian Tello (for Neymar) also came on as substitutes later in the half.
But despite the improvement early in the half, Barca struggled to create clear chances. Messi curled another free kick at the keeper in the 83rd minute, and Valladolid came close to scoring a second goal moments later on the counter through Oscar Gonzalez.