The move has more than a little in common with Barcelona’s way of attacking. Valencia have the ball in Barcelona’s half but with their opponents well-organised in defence, they pass the ball backwards. Barcelona aren’t baited into pressing but their midfield and defence do move forward, leaving more space in behind.
We can probably safely assume that this is an automised move for Valencia as they work through it very quickly. As soons as Gabriel Paulista picks up the ball, he shapes to pass while Jose Luis Gaya sticks up his hand and runs forward, and Goncalo Guedes moves back as if he wants the ball played into feet.
Although Valencia’s speed makes it difficult, Barcelona really don’t communicate well at all. Nelson Semedo understandably follows Guedes, not wanting to give him the opportunity to pick up the ball in space and turn, however Sergi Roberto, with his back to Semedo so he’s unaware of what’s going on behind him, allows Gaya to move forward untracked, assuming he can simply pass on his man to the full-back.
This could have been avoided by having Roberto tuck inside and block the pass into Guedes. If Guedes can’t receive the ball to feet, then Semedo doesn’t have to follow him and he can stay in the defensive line to defend against Gaya.
As Semedo has followed Guedes, that space is now open, with Gabriel dropping a long ball into it for Gaya to run in behind – Roberto having to scramble back having given Gaya a head start.
Barcelona’s defensive line drops off but none of the midfield – or Semedo – manage more than a jog in joining them. Gerard Pique is forced across to confront Gaya, but he doesn’t get near him so the left-back can easily pick out a pass inside to Kevin Gameiro. The Frenchman held off while Barcelona’s defence sprinted back, giving him plenty of space on the edge of the area as none of the midfield have run back to close the gap.
Jordi Alba scrambles across from the left but he has to come at such speed Gameiro can easily sell him a dummy and, although Alba turns quickly, the Valencia striker finishes to open the scoring.