Tuesday, July 23

Alba strike secures Champions League spot for Barca

Agencies

Barcelona booked their place in next season’s Champions League thanks to Jordi Alba’s stunning volley deep into injury time to secure a 2-1 win over Real Betis.

Barca took the lead when Ansu Fati, just off the bench, shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box in the 76th minute. However, former Barca defender Marc Bartra leveled the score for Betis just three minutes later. Alba then volleyed in Dani Alves’ cross four minutes into the stoppage time.

According to the BBC, Barcelona players gave their Real Betis counterparts a guard of honour before kick-off following the hosts’ recent Copa del Rey win over Valencia.

It was an entertaining game with Ronald Araujo’s header tipped onto the bar by Betis keeper Rui Silva, and Betis’ Guido Rodriguez striking the post, BBC further reported.

Second-placed Barca are now 11 points clear of Betis, who are fifth, with three games to go. They were ninth when Xavi replaced Ronald Koeman in November.

In other matches on Saturday, Granada thrashed Mallorca 6-2, Valencia were held to a goalless draw by Athletic Bilbao, Cadiz defeated Elche 3-0 and Celta Vigo crushed Alaves 4-0.

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