Maxi Gomez inspired Valencia past a Barcelona devoid of imagination and ideas to dent their La Liga title hopes. The Uruguayan initially had a penalty saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen as the hosts took the game to Quique Setien's side whenever afforded the opportunity during the first half, despite the Catalans being handed large spells of possession in unthreatening areas.
A combination of fortune and Ter Stegan's good work kept the game goalless heading into the interval, but Los Che would not be denied much beyond that. Gomez prodded towards goal from a tight angle and Jordi Alba's deflection deceived the German on its way into the back of the net.
And a deserved two-goal cushion arrived through Gomez again, this time he would be allowed to keep it. Ferran Torres juggled his way inside from the right flank and had the vision to pick out Gomez bursting down the left. Valencia's No 22 took a touch and calmly rolled it into the bottom right corner, leaving Ter Stegen with no chance.
Valencia narrowed the gap on fourth-placed Sevilla to just a point, while Real Madrid will now have the opportunity to claim top spot and move three points ahead of the champions should they beat Valladolid on Sunday.
Here are the player ratings from the Mestalla.
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