The FC Barcelona took a suffered victory against Valencia (1-0) thanks to a solitary goal from Raphinha after a great pass from Sergio Busquets in a match in which Baraja’s team came close to drawing at various stages of the match, especially after Araujo was sent off. 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 redeem the points of their fiefdom: Ferran Torres missed a penalty in 55 and the collegiate did not whistle a possible maximum penalty in the final stretch when the culés had already been in inferiority.
Despite everything, Barça put their defeat in Almería behind them and sits at the top of the table (62) with a nine-unit lead over Real Madrid (52), whom they beat on Thursday in the Cup and drew this same Sunday at the Benito Villamarín.
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 quarter of an hour with a shot from the front, and only a minute later the Blaugrana captain himself masterfully assisted Raphinha so that, headlong, he would take advantage of itto bad start of Mamardashvili to open the scoring (min.15).
The goal intimidated the Che team, which began to see how its rival took control of the clash and it was even 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 close to the post or a local clearance error that Samu Lino failed to take advantage of.
As soon as the meeting resumed, a hand from Hugo Guillamón in the area that the referee indicated 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 for the expulsion of Ronald Araujo, who brought down Hugo Duro when he was walking alone towards the goal. 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.
The Valencia tried to take advantage of his superiority and he launched himself in search of the goal, which was grazed by Fran Pérez 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 the triumph of Barça, who finally got the points and completed his round week after also winning the Copa del Rey Clásico.