Watch: Lionel Messi levels Pele’s record for Santos with 643rd goal for Barcelona

Barcelona host Valencia at Camp Nou this afternoon in a game that could confirm the Blaugrana have turned a corner rather than hit upon another false dawn.

Valencia have drawn three and lost one since they beat Real Madrid 4-1 at Mestalla but remain capable of performing against anyone on their day, especially if they have a shot at upsetting a historic rival.

Mouctar Diakhaby

Image courtesy of Valencia CF

Barcelona have been on a good run after a shaky start, beating Levante and Real Sociedad in consecutive matches at Camp Nou and climbing up the table.

Ronald Koeman spent 34 games in charge of Valencia during the 2007/08 season, winning the Copa del Rey only to be dismissed five days later. He’s never hidden his annoyance at the way that exit was handled and will be gunning for revenge.

Valencia struck first blood, opening the scoring inside the first half-an-hour. Carlos Soler lifted a corner kick into the box to be met by a Mouctar Diakhaby header. The French player was completely free in the box after losing Antoine Griezmann.

Image courtesy of FC Barcelona

Barcelona equalised on the stroke of half-time. Griezmann was pushed by Jose Gaya in the box, causing the referee to blow for a penalty and send off the Valencia defender.

A VAR review encouraged him to rescind the red card and change it to yellow, but the penalty stood. Lionel Messi took it and saw it saved, but he managed to get it over the line when it came back into the box to score his 643rd goal for Barcelona to equal Pele‘s record for Santos.

Featured image courtesy of Twitter

Tags Barcelona La Liga Lionel Messi Pele Valencia