Xavi’s men, with 10 for more than half an hour, endured the final siege of Baraja’s men.
Atleti thrashed and pushed Sevilla to the brink of relegation.
FC Barcelona took a long-suffering victory against Valencia (1-0) thanks to a solitary goal from Raphinha after a great pass from Sergio Busquets in a game in which Baraja’s team came close to drawing in several sections of the match, especially after the expulsion of Araujo. The Blaugrana held on and widened the gap against their pursuer, Real Madrid, in the fight for the League.
The Brazilian striker’s goal after a quarter of an hour was enough for a Barça team that had to suffer to rescue the points of their feud: Ferran Torres wasted a penalty in minute 55 and the referee did not whistle a possible maximum sentence in the final stretch when the culés they had already been left behind.
Despite everything, Barça leaves behind their defeat in Almería and sits at the top of the table (62) with a ten-unit advantage over Real Madrid (52), whom they defeated on Thursday in the Cup and who will seek to reduce the distance this same Sunday at Benito Villamarín.
Barça prevails at the Bernabéu ‘on a rebound’ and puts the pass to the Copa del Rey final on track
Rubén Baraja’s men, with a brave approach, were encouraged to venture into the Barça area very soon, but they soon ran into the culé punch. Sergio Busquets warned before a quarter of an hour with a shot from the front, and only a minute later the Blaugrana captain himself masterfully assisted Raphinha so that, with a header, he took advantage of Mamardashvili’s bad start to open the scoring (min .fifteen).
The goal intimidated the Che team, which began to see how its rival took control of the clash and even came close to 2-0 with shots from Ansu Fati or Ferran Torres. Even so, he enjoyed some good chances before the break, such as a header from Thierry that went just off the post or a local clearance error that Samu Lino failed to take advantage of.
As soon as the match resumed, a handball from Hugo Guillamón in the area that the referee designated as a penalty offered Xavi Hernández’s men the opportunity to increase their income. Ferran Torres stood up to eleven meters, but his shot crashed into the post.
It was the first of the setbacks for the Catalans, who only a few minutes later, at minute 59, were left with one less player due to the expulsion of Ronald Araujo, who brought down Hugo Duro when he was heading towards the goal alone. The Uruguayan’s departure forced Xavi to retouch the scheme, doing without an attacking weapon like Ansu Fati to reinforce himself at the back with Marcos Alonso.
Valencia tried to take advantage of their superiority and launched themselves in search of the goal, which Fran Pérez brushed with a shot that went wide after 73 minutes. Already in minute 85, the Valencian winger requested the maximum penalty for an entry by Kessié in the area, but the referee did not whistle anything.
Hugo Duro, with a shot that went over the crossbar, and Kluivert, with a shot from the edge that Ter Stegen caught, threatened Barça’s triumph, which finally took the points and completed its round week after also taking the Copa del Rey classic.
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