VALENCIA, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Champions Barcelona’s domestic strife continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Valencia in an absorbing La Liga game on Sunday, stretching their winless run in Spain’s top flight to four games and surrendering top spot to Sevilla.
The Catalans fell behind in the second minute at a bouncing Mestalla stadium after dreadful defending from a corner allowed Argentine defender Ezequiel Garay to stab home from close range.
Barca continued to leak chances but got a foothold in the game thanks to a superb Lionel Messi strike in the 23rd minute.
They failed to further breach a superbly organised Valencia, however, racking up a run of three draws and a defeat in four league games, their longest stretch without a win since 2016.
Sevilla are top on 16 points while Barca have 15 with Atletico Madrid but are second due to a better goal difference. (Reporting by Richard Martin; editing by Ken Ferris)