Gritty Valencia hold Barcelona


Barca had won six on the trot before their trip to the Mestalla, but struggled to get any rhythm going in the face of intense pressure from the hosts.

Goalkeeper Victor Valdes made some decisive interventions and all Valencia lacked was the cool finishing of top scorer David Villa, who failed to recover from injury in time for the game.
Barca remain top with 19 points from seven matches, one point ahead of Real Madrid, who returned to winning ways with a 4-2 home victory over Real Valladolid.

Deportivo Coruna are fourth on 15 points, the same as third-placed Sevilla, after Juan Rodriguez's spectacular strike gave Depor a 1-0 home win over the in-form Andalucians.
The midfielder crashed in a 30-metre drive in the 38th minute and Deportivo's
well-organised defence kept the visitors at bay to end Sevilla's run of seven consecutive wins in all competitions.

Barca had Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the bench and Thierry Henry out injured in Valencia and it was Valdes and his defence who were busiest as the home side broke forward with pace at every opportunity.

Although Valencia tired as the second half progressed, Barca made little headway in an increasingly bad-tempered affair.
Earlier, Gonzalo Higuain came off the bench to settle Real Madrid's jitters with a superb lob that completed their victory over Valladolid.

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