Camp Nou Stadium was the place where FC Barcelona got a visit from Real Valladolid in La Liga. We have tonight’s player ratings.
FC Barcelona had a golden chance to get a point behind Atletico Madrid against Real Valladolid tonight. The Blaugranas were in the fourteenth position back in November and they proved they are back to great form today. However, Valladolid was also in dire need of a victory due to their complicated situation at the bottom of the table. Ronald Koeman knew that his players were about to suffer throughout the 90 minutes against a club that has everything to lose.
The Dutch manager repeated the novelty lineup that has given him results this season with De Jong as a centre-back. Both full-backs played offensive positions but Koeman always demands them to return in order to form a five-player defensive line. This tactical approach secures very few chances for any rival that comes knocking on Ter Stegen’s door. Barcelona attempted to go on the attack but Real Valladolid were also excellent in defense.
Dembele gets a late winner.
Even though Leo Messi was on the pitch tonight, he wasn’t as decisive as he usually is during this part of the season. Playing against a club that usually parks the bus out of fear of getting relegated is always an impossible task. All players on Barcelona’s attack made a tremendous effort that nearly didn’t pay off. However, the man of the hour is Ousmane Dembele. After coming back from a stellar role in France’s latest matches, he returned with a clear objective. First, he got Oscar Plano sent off after getting fouled near the box.
With 10 players on the pitch for the final 10 minutes of the match, Valladolid’s defensive capabilities were diminished. Dembele himself was the man who scored the winner after a precise cross came from the right flank. At that moment, Ronald Araujo attempted a header but the ball fell on Ousmane’s feet. The French forward released a strike that gave Barcelona three vital points right before next week’s El Clasico. With this victory, the Catalan club is only a point behind Atletico Madrid and depends on themselves to in La Liga this season.
FC Barcelona: Ter Stegen (7), Alba (6), Lenglet (6), De Jong (7), Mingueza (7), Dest (5), Pedri (6), Busquets (6), Dembele (8), Messi (7), Griezmann (6).
Bench: Araujo (7), Trincao (6), Braithwaite (6), Ilaix (6), Puig (5).
Real Valladolid: Masip (7), Martinez (7), Bruno (7), Olaza (7), Janko (5), Sanchez (8), Alcaraz (6), Mesa (5), Plano (4), Guardiola (6), Kodro (6).
Bench: Hervias (6), Maranhao (5), Rubio (5).
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