Barcelona did not play well, but beat Alavés 1-0 tonight (23), at the Mendizorroza stadium, for the 22nd round of the Spanish Championship. The only goal of the match was scored by Frenkie De Jong, in the 41st minute of the second half.
The victory takes the blue-grena club to 35 points, in fifth place, touching the G4 of the competition. In fourth place, Atlético de Madrid has 36. The team from the Basque Country, defeated at home after imposing difficulties on the Catalans, remains in the penultimate position, with 17 points.
With the break for the FIFA date, the teams only return to the field in early February. On the 6th, Barça will host Atlético de Madrid, and Alaves will visit Elche.
first sleepy time
The first half was marked by the lack of effectiveness of Barcelona. The Catalans had more possession and occupied the attacking field, but exchanged passes without finding spaces and had only one good chance in the sleepy 45 minutes. At 12, Luuk de Jong was triggered in a cross by Pedri at the entrance of the area and kicked with the first shot, but sent it out. In the rest of the time, Barça arrived only by dead ball, without scaring the goalkeeper Pacheco. In the last minute, Alavés almost scored: on the counterattack, Pere Pons received in front of the goal and hit with a plate, but Ter Stegen defended with tranquility.
Barcelona return more incisive
Barça came back from the break with more attacking impetus, and arrived three times with De Jong. The striker came out in front of the goal at 16, but took a while to hit and was disarmed. In the next minute, after a free kick in the area, the Dutchman punctured and missed another great chance. He reappeared at 24, after receiving a cross from Pedri and completing a header out.
Alaves takes advantage of spaces
With Xavi’s team ahead and looking for victory, Alavés found spaces in the defensive defense and also took danger. The main opportunity came in the 32nd minute, when Joselu received a cross and headed straight, but sent it wide, on the left side of Ter Stegen’s goal.
De Jong scores late and relieves Barça performance
In the 41st minute of the final stage, Barça scored a saving goal at Mendizorroza. Alba launched Ferrán in the penalty area, and the forward arranged for the arrival of Frenkie De Jong. Alone in the penalty area, the Dutchman hit a plate, beat Pacheco and gave the victory to an unproductive Barcelona, once again.
For now, still out of the next Champions League
With 35 points in La Liga, Barça occupies fifth place in the leaderboard. The post would give the Catalonia team only one spot in the next edition of the Europa League. In Espanyol, teams between first and fourth place qualify for the Champions League.
Victory ends bad streak
Barcelona entered the field tonight coming off two defeats and a draw in the last three games, between the Spanish Championship and eliminations in the Copa del Rey and the Supercopa de España, and, with the meager victory away from home, ended the bad sequence.