News ID: 113137
Publish Date : 06 March 2023 - 21:57

Raphinha Header Gives 10-Man Barcelona Win Over Valencia

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Brazilian winger Raphinha’s first-half header was enough to give La Liga leaders Barcelona a narrow win over struggling Valencia on Sunday despite being reduced to 10 men for the last half hour.
Barca, recovering from a disappointing loss last weekend at lowly Almeria, earned three hard-fought points even though they looked the weaker side for long stretches at Camp Nou.
They top LaLiga on 62 points, 10 clear of second-placed Real Madrid who play at Betis later on Sunday. Valencia, who have won only one of their last 10 league matches, are second to last on 23 points.
The locals started strongly, led by Raphinha, who had a couple of early chances before nodding a header over the goalkeeper after a brilliant long pass by midfielder Sergio Busquets in the 15th minute.
Raphinha and Ansu Fati had opportunities to extend Barca’s lead but Valencia recovered from the early blow to dominate proceedings and could have levelled the game with Thierry Correia, Samuel Lino and Ilaix Moriba all missing clear chances.
Valencia came back from the halftime break in control but a handball by Hugo Guillamon inside the box gave Barcelona a golden opportunity to extend their lead in the 55th minute. It was wasted when Ferran Torres shot the penalty wide of the goal.
Five minutes later, however, they lost defender Ronald Araujo to a straight red card for a last-man foul on Hugo Duro and Barcelona struggled to hold their lead in the last 30 minutes.
Fran Perez, Jesus Vazquez and Yunus Musah had clear chances to equalise and Valencia players protested in vain over what they thought was a clear foul by Franck Kessie on Perez inside the penalty area in the 85th minute.
“We have suffered too much today,” Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez told Movistar Plus.
“We have defended well (after the red card) but we should have scored the second before that.