Busquets nets late winner as Barcelona beat Valencia


Sergio Busquets netted a last-gasp winner as Barcelona's late pressure paid off in a 1-0 Primera Division victory over Valencia at the Mestalla, with the late goal proving too much too handle for one home supporter who threw a water bottle towards the players, hitting Lionel Messi on the head as he celebrated the winner. Messi complained to the referee and was subsequently booked as he exited the pitch rubbing his head after what was a hard-fought win, which extended their winning streak to five matches. Barca had goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to thank for holding the hosts out in a match that looked like it was heading towards a damaging goalless draw for Luis Enrique's side before Spain international Busquets struck late on. The victory moved Barcelona into second place in the table, just two points behind leaders Real Madrid, while Nuno's side dropped down to fifth, seven points further back. Following a low-tempo opening, it was Valencia who looked more likely to take the lead after they made sure four half-chances from Barca were cleared before they became a danger. The hosts had the first shot on target after 11 minutes but Bravo made a fine diving save to deny Rodrigo Moreno's powerful effort low in the centre of the Barcelona goal. Luis Suarez came close for Barca five minutes later, but his close-range shot when well placed was cleared by Diego Alves' feet as the keeper sent the ball out for a corner. At the other end of the pitch a clash between Dani Alves and Sofiane Feghouli resulted in a free-kick just outside the 18-yard box, which Dani Parejo sent over the crossbar. Neymar was brought down by Nicolas Otamendi moments later and a melee broke out in the Valencia box after what looked like a slight headbutt from the Brazil forward as Barca pushed to break the deadlock. Jordi Alba fell awkwardly on his back following an aerial challenge but managed to play on before Gomes hit the side netting with a first-half last-gasp chance as the scores remained level at the break. Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano suffered a brutal challenge from Gomes as the second half got underway. Much to their frustration, Messi was caught offside minutes later as the away side searched for that opening goal, while Suarez headed wide from Xavi's corner just before the hour mark, seconds before the Uruguay striker hit the side netting from a tight angle after beating Diego Alves. While Barca did well to hold out two chances on target for the hosts at the other end of the pitch with Bravo and Dani Alves combining to hold out Alvaro Negredo. The visitors began to dominate again as the half wore on and looked likely to get an opener as they pressed forward, but Neymar's attempt to break the deadlock was sent wide via a deflection. Suarez looked like he had given Barca the lead after 70 minutes but his effort was ruled out for offside and just moments later, Feghouli tested Bravo with a close-range strike for the hosts. Bravo's diving save held out Negredo's great effort with just over 10 minutes left and Messi's free-kick on the edge of the box sailed over the wall but went inches wide at the other end as time wore on. But deep into stoppage time Barca finally made the the breakthrough as Busquets tucked the ball into the top corner after Neymar's header rebounded off Diego Alves to hand his side all three points.