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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Jordi Alba rescues Barcelona in opposition to 10-man Osasuna as they close to LaLiga title

BARCELONA — Barcelona are getting ready to a primary LaLiga title since 2019 after Jordi Alba‘s late strike earned a 1-0 win in opposition to 10-man Osasuna at Spotify Camp Nou on Tuesday.

Substitute Alba’s objective arrived within the eighty fifth minute to lastly finish Osasuna’s resistance and transfer Barca 14 factors away from Actual Madrid, who’ve a sport in hand, with 5 matches to play.

Osasuna noticed Jorge Herrando despatched off on his LaLiga debut for a last-man problem they usually virtually weathered the Barca storm regardless of taking part in for over an hour a participant down.

Fast response

1. Barca’s trudge to title almost over

There was an odd ambiance round Barcelona since they beat Actual Madrid in LaLiga simply earlier than the March worldwide break. A Copa del Rey exit to Madrid in April and dropped factors in LaLiga in opposition to Girona, Getafe and Rayo Vallecano have created the sensation that they’re trudging in the direction of a primary league title in 4 years.

Nonetheless, after following up current wins in opposition to Atletico Madrid and Actual Betis with three factors in opposition to Osasuna, the ending line is now in sight. If Madrid, who play twice earlier than Barca subsequent play on Might 14, drop factors within the upcoming video games, Xavi Hernandez’s aspect may win the league at native rivals Espanyol.

That may not have been true if they didn’t beat Osasuna. And for a big a part of the night time, it seemed like they’d not reap the benefits of their numerical benefit after Herrando’s first-half purple card.

Barca’s ending was wasteful. Once they did hit the goal, they have been denied by goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez. Pedri, Ansu Fati, Frenkie de Jong and Robert Lewandowski all missed actually good possibilities, whereas Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde additionally got here shut because the Blaugrana racked up an xG of three.29.

2. Alba’s second to recollect after powerful season

It took a late objective from substitute left-back Alba to lastly discover the breakthrough, although. A ball into the field was nudged into his path by De Jong and he squeezed the ball inside Fernandez’s close to submit. Camp Nou erupted. The objective felt like one which had simply clinched the title.

Alba will get pleasure from his second. It has been a troublesome season for the veteran defender. His place has been taken within the crew by 19-year-old Alejandro Balde and his minutes, for the primary time in a decade-long spell at Barca, have been sparce.

Regardless of that, he has remained skilled. Xavi has praised his significance as one of many leaders within the dressing room and, on Tuesday, he bought his reward for not downing instruments when beforehand, given his temperament throughout sure moments of his profession, he might not have accepted this new function.

3. Osasuna’s minds elsewhere at Camp Nou

It have to be stated that not solely did Osasuna do a sterling job with 10 males for over an hour, in addition they did so with a closely rotated crew. Coach Jagoba Arrasate picked a closely rotated aspect as a result of suspension and accidents, however primarily because of the truth all eyes again in Pamplona on Saturday’s Copa del Rey remaining in opposition to Actual Madrid.

On one other day, they could have held on to a degree — and even grabbed a winner. Lucas Torro dragged a shot simply extensive on the finish of the primary half and Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who recorded his twenty fifth clear sheet of the season in LaLiga, needed to be alert to maintain out a rasping drive from Iker Munoz after the break.

Osasuna drop to ninth with the defeat however they won’t care. They’re already secure in LaLiga and if they’ll beat Madrid this weekend, it will symbolize a primary ever main trophy for the membership.

Finest and worst performers


Aitor Fernandez, GK, Osasuna: Barca’s ending was wayward at occasions however the visiting goalkeeper nonetheless needed to be alert to maintain out photographs from Fati, De Jong and Lewandowski, amongst others.

Frenkie de Jong, MF, Barcelona: Missed an ideal likelihood however had ran the present from midfield within the first half and arrange the late winner for Barca.

Jordi Alba, DF, Barcelona: Merely for doing what nobody else may earlier than him and placing the ball within the web.


Jorge Herrando, DF, Osasuna: A LaLiga debut to overlook for the younger defender, who was despatched off within the twenty seventh minute for a last-man problem on Pedri.

Ansu Fati, FW, Barcelona: Got here on for Gavi, who maybe had a small knock, and one way or the other managed to not rating regardless of having a number of respectable possibilities. Additionally took the ball off Pedri when the midfielder was about to shoot with the rating nonetheless goalless.

Aimar Oroz, MF, Barcelona: Struggled to cope with Barca’s midfield 4 within the first half and was taken off on the break.

Highlights and notable moments

Marc-Andrew Ter Stegen made his 250th look for Barcelona, the fourth most within the historical past of the membership for his place.

A purple card within the twenty sixth minute for Osasuna spelled a protracted and exhausting night on the Camp Nou as Herrando watched on from the stands.

Regardless of holding on for many of the sport, Osasuna’s objective was lastly breached by Alba.

After the match: What the managers, gamers stated

Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez on consequence and LaLiga title: “It is an necessary step in the direction of the title. We suffered an excessive amount of. We missed too many clear possibilities. Osasuna defended nicely however in the long run we bought the objective by means of Jordi. It virtually tastes higher to win like this typically. The crew confirmed starvation, however the objective ought to have arrived earlier.

It is virtually completed. It was necessary to get six factors from these final two video games after shedding in Vallecas. We’re taking it step-by-step. It is a actually necessary step tonight.”

Barcelona’s Jordi Alba on scoring the winner: “For a full-back, I’ve been fortunate sufficient to attain a variety of objectives. It was necessary to win. It was a troublesome sport in opposition to a crew who’re having an ideal season. I knew I may do injury approaching, given how the sport was, and all the things went nicely.

It has been some time since we gained LaLiga and for somebody that got here by means of the academy on the membership (scoring the profitable objective) tastes actually good. There are a variety of gamers right here that haven’t gained something and now they’ll get the prospect to win a variety of trophies. This victory can also be for the followers, who’re all the time with us.”

Osasuna goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez on the consequence and Copa del Rey remaining in opposition to Actual Madrid: “Coming right here is difficult however we performed very well. It is actually tiring bodily taking part in for therefore lengthy with 10 males. However Osasuna followers may be pleased with the efficiency and now all ideas are on Saturday. We’re actually wanting ahead to the Copa remaining.”

Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Data)

  • Barcelona: eleventh LaLiga win by 1-0 scoreline this season, ties LaLiga all-time document shared by 2020-21 Sevilla, 2017-18 Atlético Madrid and 1988-89 Valencia.

  • Jordi Alba: 1st LaLiga objective as an alternative choice to Barcelona. Final scored as an alternative choice to Valencia in 2010-11.

  • Barcelona: 11 objectives conceded in LaLiga this season, fewest in Europe’s prime 5 leagues (next-lowest tally is 22 by Napoli); the 11 objectives conceded are the fewest by any LaLiga crew by means of 33 matchdays in LaLiga historical past

Up subsequent

Barcelona: As they shut in on the LaLiga title, Barca play Espanyol on Sunday, Might 14 (stream dwell on ESPN+ at 3:00 p.m. ET).

Osasuna: Los Rojillos play Actual Madrid of their second-ever Copa del Rey remaining on Saturday, Might 6 (stream dwell on ESPN+ at 4 p.m. ET).

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