Jordi Alba seals the Champions League for Barça
A great goal from the side in minute 94 signs the culé victory (1-2) over a Betis without the rhythm of the ‘Top 4’
MADRID, 7 May. (EUROPA PRESS) –
FC Barcelona mathematically secured its participation in the next Champions League thanks to its victory (1-2) in the last minute this Saturday against Real Betis, on matchday 35 of LaLiga Santander held at the Benito Villamarín.
Xavi Hernández’s team already has the Champions League tied for next season, scoring 11 or 10 points, with 9 at stake, against the fifth-placed team, a Betis that aspired to tie for fourth place. It was not an easy game, but Barça, also consolidated as second, had a double celebration at the buzzer.
The scoring return of Ansu Fati, who once again had minutes like against Mallorca five months after his second long injury, and Alba’s volley goal in the 94th minute, restored some euphoria to a Barça that seemed tired of the season.
Villamarín served a direct duel for the ‘Champions’ and the fight was null for many minutes. Despite the pending duties, Xavi’s team did not have a great first half, with Dembélé especially overflowing and also Memphis on the wings, but without a shot. Ferran did not have his day and it had to be Ansu Fati, who had just entered the field, who made it 0-1 in 76′.
Betis had the best opening chances and played for the ball against their rival. Barça was the one with the first warnings, with the arrivals of Dembélé and Pezzella almost beating his teammate Claudio Bravo. The Chilean goalkeeper had to ask for the change injured and Rui Silva complied just after entering with a stop in flight to Araújo.
The Andalusian team grew with the entry on the scene of Fekir and Canales, the Spanish being a luxury assistant for a Guido who from the edge found the post. Xavi’s team lost depth and the ball, without news of Ferran up front, very closely watched, sending Betis before the break. The second half brought the goals, with Betis hovering around Neto’s goal.
Dembélé and Juanmi forgave, Aubameyang entered without aim. Manuel Pellegrini’s team risked more and did not need gaps Ansu Fati. The ’10’ culé cooked the goal in front, but it took two minutes for Betis to equalize in a shot with Bartra’s shoulder. Barça pushed harder in the outcome and Alba scored that great goal that moved the Champions League away from Villamarín and confirmed it at the Camp Nou.
–RESULT: REAL BETIS, 1 – FC BARCELONA, 2. (0-0, at the break).
REAL BETIS: Bravo (Rui Silva, min. 17); Sabaly, Pezzella, Bartra, Alex Moreno; Guido, Saved (Rodri, min. 78); Canales, Fekir, Juanmi (Carvalho, min.77); and Borja Iglesias.
FC BARCELONA: Net; Daniel Alves, Araujo, Eric García, Jordi Alba; Busquets, De Jong, Gavi (Riqui Puig, min.80); Ferran Torres (Ansu Fati, min.75), Memphis (Aubameyang, min.66) and Dembelé (Adama, min.74).
0 – 1, min.76, Ansu Fati.
1 – 1, min.79, Bartra.
1 – 2, min.94, Alba.
–REFEREE: Mateu Lahoz (C. Valenciano). He admonished Bartra (min.72) by Betis. And to Busquets (min.65), Alves (min.78) at Barça.
–STADIUM: Benito Villamarin.