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Barca waste chances but hold on to beat Valencia

English.news.cn   2012-09-03 07:52:33            

MADRID, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona defeated Valencia 1-0 to become the only team with a 100 percent record in the BBVA Primera Liga after three matches of the new season.

Barca have taken nine points from three matches and are two points clear of Rayo Vallecano and Mallorca, who have seven points each, but they almost paid for wasting chances against a battling Valencia.

The big news before the game was the debut start for new Barca signing Alex Song, while Dani Alves was also back in the side after shaking off physical problems which kept him out in midweek.

Cesc Fabriagas was also in the team, while Carles Puyol was not risked after breaking his cheek a week ago. Meanwhile coach Tito Vilanova watched the game from the stands due to suspension.

Valencia arrived in town after two draws, one of them against Real Madrid, and looking for their first triumph under the guidance of former Barca defender Mauricio Pellegrino.

After Pedro Rodriguez had the first chance for Barca, Roberto Soldado was inches away from opening the scoring for Valencia.

As had happened in midweek against Real Madrid, the Valencia striker caught the Barca defense pushing forward, but his curling shot was just wide of the post.

After the 'phoney war' of the 15 minutes the game sprang into action and Diego Alves was at full stretch to parry a Messi header from an Alves cross and Adil Rami deflected for a corner.

Barca played it short and Adriano Correia smashed a diagonal drive into the back of the net to open the scoring.

The home side were in complete control and both Pedro and Cesc Fabrigas could have added to the score, only for Alves to deny Pedro and Cesc to flick the ball just wide when clean through.

Valencia were more aggressive at the start of the second half, but with Song and Xavi in control, Barca soon got the ball back under control and Cesc was guilt of another miss, skying his shot from close to the penalty spot.

The visitors thought they were level after Victor Ruiz finished from a curling free kick, but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside.

Barcelona introduced Andres Iniesta into the game with just over 20 minutes remaining, but found themselves pushed back by Valencia's physical efforts.

Ruiz flashed a header over the bar in injury time, but the visitors failed to create the clear cut chances they needed to repeat their heroics from the Bernabeu a fortnight ago, while Song can be pleased with his Barca debut.

Editor: Yamei Wang
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