Last season, Barça’s two encounters with Valencia were close-fought wins that perhaps deserved to be draws. Last night, the Catalans’ draw perhaps deserved to be a win, but that’s football. And there’s something satisfying in that.
Even as culés worry over dropped points and pore over missed chances, the draw at the Mestalla serves as a helpful reminder of the quality of the rest of the league and of Barça’s fallibility. Despite Luis Enrique’s team enjoying an absurd run of form lately, the reality of the transfer ban, and the realization that it will continue to affect them until January, was stark.