Barcelona Opens Up Title Race With Win

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Barcelona

FC Barcelona managed to secure a win in their La Liga match against Valladolid on Monday. It was a hard-fought victory at FC Barcelona’s home Camp Nou.

How Barcelona Fared In The Match

Coach Ronald Koeman kept the same starting XI for a fourth consecutive time. Frenkie de Jong and Lionel Messi ran a suspension risk for the upcoming El Clasico on Saturday. However, the worst did not come to pass.

In the first 10 minutes, Barcelona suffered a huge scare when Kenan Kedro headed goalwards with Ter Stegen being not at all close to the ball. However, the ball hit the crossbar. Although the chance was missed, Valladolid signaled their intent to give a fight.

FC Barcelona struggled in the first fifteen minutes of the game managing to attempt only one shot at goal. However, it was a meek header that caused no trouble for defender Oscar Mingueza. Lionel Messi shot wide of the mark on his free-kick attempt from a distance of 23 yards.

Later on, a controversial tackle on Segino Dest looked promising for a penalty. However, the referee decided otherwise. On the other hand, Barcelona struggled to track back to properly handle the counterattacks by Valladolid. Roque Mesa had a few lobbed attempts successfully kept out by Ter Stegen.

Antoine Griezmann however picked up a yellow card for a rash raised challenge which puts him in danger of missing out on the Clasico. Pedri also came close to scoring with a driven low shot which was deflected by keeper Jordi Masip.

After half time, Barcelona came back reinvigorated and the French chemistry between Griezmann and Dembele almost resulted in a goal. Valladolid also got a penalty call turned down at a Jordi Alba handball. Ousmane Dembele scored the winner in stoppage time from a difficult angle.

With the victory, the Blaugranas are only one point behind leaders Atletico Madrid while playing a match more. They have not yet been defeated in the current year.

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