Alba´s stoppage-time stunner clinches Champions League qualification – XenBet

Jordi Alba waited until the 94th minute on Saturday to sensationally clinch a 2-1 win at Real Betis and Barcelona’s place in next season’s Champions League.

The Blaugrana needed all three points against fifth-placed Betis to be sure of a top-four finish and looked set to be frustrated after Marc Bartra cancelled out Ansu Fati’s opener.

But Alba unleashed an outrageous volley into the roof of the Betis net with almost the final kick to achieve Barca’s aim with three matches to spare.

The result was perhaps harsh on Betis, who passed up their own chances to complete a first LaLiga double over Barca, yet there was no arguing with the quality of the decisive goal.

Alba’s strike was at odds with the two untidy efforts that went before it, with Fati and Bartra each requiring a fair chunk of fortune to finally get the better of the two goalkeepers.

Rui Silva, on early for the injured Claudio Bravo, had made an outstanding stop to touch Ronald Araujo’s header onto the crossbar, while Betis were also denied by the frame of the goal when Guido Rodriguez’s 20-yard drive bounced away off the foot of the post.

Juanmi twice shot too close to Neto in the second period, with the first of those chances a golden opportunity on the volley from Rodriguez’s cross.

However, the Betis goal was coming under pressure even before Fati’s first strike since his return from injury, as Silva blocked bravely from Ferran Torres but was wrongfooted by the Barca number 10’s scuffed finish.

Bartra was one of three defenders close to Fati as that shot bobbled in, and his response was similarly scruffy, a header that hit his shoulder and evaded Neto.

Another header from Pezzella then beat Neto but also the post, with the winner instead coming at the other end through Alba’s blistering volley from Dani Alves’ deep delivery.

Source of the article

Author: Heidi Porter