Barcelona beaten by Valencia in early blow for Setien

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in action against Valencia’s Francis Coquelin during their La Liga match in Valencia on Saturday. (Reuters)
Short Url
Updated 26 January 2020

Barcelona beaten by Valencia in early blow for Setien

  • Uruguayan striker Maxi Gomez misses a penalty, hits the crossbar in the first half

VALENCIA: Quique Setien’s honeymoon period lasted less than a fortnight as he tasted his first Barcelona defeat on Saturday in his second La Liga game in charge after a 2-0 loss to Valencia.

Maxi Gomez’s strike and a Jordi Alba own goal at Mestalla handed Barca their fourth league defeat of the campaign, giving Real Madrid the chance to move three points clear of the champions at the top of the table when they visit Real Valladolid on Sunday.
Barcelona had most of the ball but their opponents had the best chances as Gomez missed a penalty and also hit the crossbar in the first half. Gabriel Paulista saw a third goal ruled out late on.
While performances under previous coach Ernesto Valverde were stodgy, he left a team that sat top of the table.
Setien promised a new style but despite dominating possession, Barcelona went nowhere with it and as Valencia grew in confidence, they ceded control.
“It should not take us long,” Setien had said on Friday, when asked how quickly his players could adapt to his methods.
Valencia climb to fifth and continue to improve under Albert Celades. This success came without their captain Dani Parejo and, largely, without star striker Rodrigo Moreno, who has been linked with a January move to Barcelona.
The hosts hardly touched the ball for the first six minutes, their fans whistling as they urged a more aggressive approach.
But the plan was to sit and absorb and it worked, with Barcelona unable to cut through or create a single clear chance.
And when Valencia did intervene, they were more dangerous too. With their first attack they won a penalty as Jose Gaya slipped past Gerard Pique and would surely have scored from eight yards before being brought down.
Pique was booked and, with Parejo absent, Gomez stepped up, only for his driven shot to be well saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen, albeit with the help of half a yard’s headstart off his line.
Barca were riding their luck. Sergi Roberto’s header cannoned off Pique but fell just close enough for Ter Stegen, who parried a Gomez shot onto the crossbar and almost spilled another to Kevin Gameiro.
Referee Gil Manzano put his hands together as if to apologize after failing to play advantage when Ferran Torres was clear but the frustration of Valencia’s fans turned to ecstasy shortly after half time.
Pique’s flicked header landed at the feet of Gomez, whose driven effort took a cruel deflection off Alba and flew in.
Setien traded the patience of Arthur Melo for the physicality of Arturo Vidal and Rodrigo came on to a rousing reception.
Barcelona exerted some pressure and Lionel Messi led the way, hauled to the ground by Francis Coquelin and then denied by a brilliant Gabriel tackle. He fired past the post, headed wide and saw a curling free kick saved.
Yet just as a Barcelona equalizer began to feel inevitable, Valencia struck again. A quick throw caught Alba out of position and Torres did well to cut inside and switch to Gomez. He took a touch and curled into the corner.
Gabriel thought he had a third after volleying in from a corner but VAR persuaded Manzano there had been a push. When Messi ballooned a late free kick into the stands, Valencia knew their win was secure.


Tyson vows to keep fighting after Roy Jones match

Updated 30 October 2020

Tyson vows to keep fighting after Roy Jones match

  • Tyson has not competed in a boxing match since his knockout loss to Kevin McBride in 2005
  • Tyson plans future matches as part of his newly formed sporting events company: Legends Only League
LONDON: The 54-year old former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has vowed to keep fighting after his much-touted comeback fight against Roy Jones Jr. which is scheduled for Nov. 28 in Los Angeles.
Save for a single exhibition in 2006, Tyson has not competed in a boxing match since his knockout loss to Kevin McBride in 2005.

Tyson said during a press conference this week that he planned to keep fighting after his fight with Roy Jones Jr. later this month.

Tyson plans future matches as part of his newly formed sporting events company: Legends Only League and hinted at future opponents during a press conference organized by Triller to promote the event on Thursday.
"I'm going to go as long as the league is working," Tyson said. "I'm going to do this, and I'm going to help a lot of people, and my legacy is going to be that I gave a lot more than I took."
Tyson, who looks in excellent shape on videos released on social media in recent months, vows that he is more focused than ever on the sport. The proceeds of which will go to charity Tyson said.

Though no formal boxing title is on the line, the winner of the match will be given a special belt by the World Boxing Council in recognition of the accomplishment.
The Nov. 28 event will feature a mixture of both exhibitions and regular boxing matches. Of the latter, the most prominent will feature Gambian-Swedish light heavyweight champion, Badou Jack.
The fight was initially scheduled for Sept. 21 in Carson, California. In addition to a new date, the fight now has a new venue, the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Fans will have the option to watch the fight globally via the streaming service Triller, or through traditional methods. Currently, there are no plans to allow fans to attend the event due to the coronavirus.
Indeed, even as Tyson spoke from his home during the press conference, he wore a preventative facemask.
Other precautions are being taken due to the age of the two fighters in the main event. Tyson’s opponent the 51- year old Roy Jones Jr., last fought in 2018. The fight will be contested over eight two-minute rounds rather than the more traditional three-minute rounds.
"I'm sure they had their reasons, but the women fight two minutes," Tyson said. "But this is bigger than me, it's not all about me, so who am I to talk. I'm just happy that we're doing it."