Thursday, October 15, 2009

Valencia v Barça: evenly matched

Every Barça fans knows that the away trip to Valencia is always a tricky one. Historically, the game at Mestalla has been one of the toughest of the season.

FC Barcelona have played there 74 times, and the results have been very evenly matched. Barça have won 29 times, lost 29, and drawn 16 times. In these games Barça have scored 119 goals and conceded 124.

They have always been gruelling affairs, usually decided the by the narrowest of margins.

Big wins

VALxNCIA_6_BARxA_2_x61-62x.jpgBut there have also been a few thrashings. Valencia’s biggest win over Barça at Mestalla was in 1960/61. Then managed by Domènec Balmanya, they won 6-2. Barça were just recovering from the setback of defeat in the European Cup Final in Berne on May 31 and the announcement of the departure of some key players.

VALxNCIA_2_BARxA_5_x84-85x.jpgBarça had one huge 5-2 win under Terry Venables, and won 4-0 in the 1993/94 season. Both these emphatic victories counted towards league championship titles.

The famous 4-3

In recent years, the game most people will remember was the one in 1992/93, when Cruyff’s side beat Valencia, under Guus Hiddink, 4-3. Most observers believed that was Barcelona’s finest performance of the year.

VALxNCIA_3_BARxA_4_x20-3-1993x.JPGThe first half ended one each thanks to Nadal for Barça and Lubo Penev for the home side. The flood of goals came after the break, Fernando and Álvaro adding two more for Valencia, and Begiristain, Bakero and Laudrup notching up the Barça goals.

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