Barcelona delivered the kind of reaction that was needed on Sunday night, coming from behind to win away at Valencia to put those memories of the collapse against Granada behind them.
Having fallen behind to Gabriel Paulista‘s 50th-minute goal, they turned things around almost immediately. Lionel Messi drew them level after 57 minutes and Antoine Griezmann gave them the lead after 63, before Messi bagged a third six minutes later.
Messi and Griezmann, with help from Jordi Alba and Frenkie de Jong, stepped up and drove the Catalans to three important points.
Ronald Koeman spoke with his heavyweight players after the loss to Granada, immediately turning attention to Valencia. They knew they had to win, and the big names knew that they had to step up.
Gerard Pique‘s contribution is worthy of a mention, too. The centre-back has had knee problems in recent weeks, and there was a moment at Mestalla when it looked like he would have to come off, visibly in pain. But he stayed on and played excellently, alongside Jordi Alba as the best of the defence.
De Jong‘s role in midfield cannot be overlooked. The Dutchman’s importance has been clear for a while now, and he delivered against at Mestalla. He set Pedri up for what should have been a goal very early on but the youngster missed, then he played a key part in Griezmann‘s goal in the second half.
Sunday was the kind of day that can see titles won and lost, and Barcelona‘s big players got them over the line.