Ousmane Dembele’s late winner moves Barcelona to within touching distance of La Liga summit

Ousmane Dembele’s late winner moves Barcelona to within touching distance of La Liga summit

We could be set for one of the most thrilling La Liga finales in history, after Ousmane Dembele’s injury-time goal gave Barcelona a narrow 1-0 win over Valladolid on Monday and moved the Catalan club to within a point of league leader Atletico Madrid.

With Real Madrid just two points further back, it means Spain’s “Big Three” are now separated by just three points as teams enter the final stretch of the season.

Atletico had enjoyed a comfortable lead at La Liga’s summit after a blistering start to the season, while both Barcelona and Real struggled to find form in the opening weeks. However, the pressure appears to be getting to Diego Simeone’s side, which has now won just two of its last five La Liga matches.

Barcelona, conversely, is on a blistering run and hasn’t tasted defeat domestically since the beginning of December, while Zinedine Zidane’s Real has lost just once since the end of November.

Though there was an element of good fortune to Dembele’s goal — the ball falling kindly after bouncing between two heads in the penalty area — it was nothing less than Barcelona deserved for its superiority throughout the 90 minutes.

READ: ‘More than a Club?’ How FC Barcelona ‘lost its soul’

READ: Barcelona stars past and present come out to vote as Joan Laporta wins pivotal presidential election

Valladolid certainly looked threatening at times, even striking the crossbar in the first half, but a 79th-minute red card for Oscar Plano forced the side onto the back foot for the remainder of the match.

It was the perfect start to a potentially season-defining fortnight for Barcelona, with El Clasico coming up on Saturday and the 2021 Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao the following weekend.

READ: Athletic Bilbao loses first Copa del Rey final, but has second chance against Barca

After a rocky start to the season — during which head coach Ronald Koeman was rumored to be at risk of losing his job after only a matter of weeks — Barcelona now has its eyes firmly set of the domestic double.

Of course, huge questions still linger like a dark cloud over Barca; captain Lionel Messi could yet leave at the end of the season and the club continues to face historic levels of debt, but recent performances coupled with the emergence of young talent has given some hope for the future.

There is no custom code to display.

Blogs

Worthington BLOG:  The Governor Must Veto SB 1110

Worthington BLOG: The Governor Must Veto SB 1110

By Rick Worthington 4/9/2021   Governor Brad Little – please Veto SB 1110. Do not let the Idaho Legislature silence the people of Idaho. I don’t step out of my lane too often, but I think this is a situation where the more people who voice a concern, the better. The Idaho Legislature has approved…

670 KBOI GUEST BLOG: Governor Brad Little

670 KBOI GUEST BLOG: Governor Brad Little

670 KBOI GUEST BLOG: Governor Brad Little   Gov. Little reflects one year of Idaho’s pandemic fight Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little issued a message to the people of Idaho today, reflecting on one year of Idaho’s pandemic fight. Saturday marks one year since Idaho’s first confirmed COVID-19 case. Governor Little’s statement follows: Saturday…

670 KBOI GUEST BLOG: Governor Brad Little

670 KBOI GUEST BLOG: Governor Brad Little

Biden, Democrat-led Congress seek to punish responsible states like Idaho By Governor Brad Little Our new president and the Democrat-led Congress are seeking to bail out big, poorly-managed states and punish states that have operated responsibly during the pandemic – a step that would saddle Idaho children with even greater debt and suppress economic prosperity…

670 KBOI GUEST BLOG: Governor Brad Little

670 KBOI GUEST BLOG: Governor Brad Little

  GUEST BLOG 3/3/21 Sustainable transportation funding needed to build Idaho’s future By Governor Brad Little There’s only one thing we all want more of but cannot replenish – time. You will spend almost as much time in traffic in some parts of Idaho as you would in Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. That…