Barcelona were in desperate need of three points to remain on the heels of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga and thanks to a Lionel Messi double, Luis Enrique’s side beat ten-man Valencia 4-2 at the Camp Nou.
Eliaquim Mangala had headed the visitors ahead before Luis Suárez slotted in the Barcelona equaliser but just before the break, perhaps the game’s critical moment occurred.
Mangala conceded a penalty and was sent off allowing Messi to thump home his first of the day.
Lionel Messi for Barcelona across all competitions this season:
We are not worthy. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/vbKElutZz9
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 19, 2017
Munir El Haddadi stunned the Camp Nou with an immediate leveller but Javier Mascherano fed Messi inside the penalty box and the Argentina captain rifled the ball past Diego Alves with his right foot.
Andre Gomes wrapped up the points with a late fourth but it was far from convincing from Barcelona.