Jordi Blanco (Correspondent in Barcelona) – Barcelona on the horn. Dembélé, when the 90th minute was already seen in the light, gave the Barça team a golden victory to place themselves within a point of Atlético de Madrid after breaking the charm of a Valladolid that embraced surprise throughout the game.
The Barça victory was not without controversy, beyond the rigorous expulsion of Òscar Plano, for a slap from Jordi Alba in the culer area that the Valladolid players protested in an obvious way asking for a penalty that the referee did not grant.
The Pucelano team was choked on Barça in a bad way, the Barça team completing the worst game in recent months, with hardly any occasions until the Frenchman, after a cross from De Jong that Araújo touched sideways, resolved with a saving volley. Barça is already looking at the leader’s neck … And that was not, at all, easy. Quite the opposite.
Victim of the euphoria that surrounded the environment, Koeman’s team felt fatally the stoppage of national teams, facing an uncomfortable match as he could not even suspect, as burdened by the freshness and daring of Valladolid as by his own torpor, unable to give him to the game the rhythm demanded by the coach and without knowing how to find a gap in the safe rival defense.
In fact, it took Barça up to 40 minutes to really put Masip in trouble, with a low shot by Messi that Bruno González blocked from the ground, shortly before, on his best and only frank chance to score, Pedri’s shot deflected him. just enough the goalkeeper for the ball to end up crashing into the post.
They were the only two times that Barça embraced the option of going ahead on the scoreboard and that it responded with such little tact to the occasion that, from the start, Sergio’s team had had, when at eight minutes Kodro finished off the crossbar of Ter Stegen.
Without rhythm, without positioning and without fluidity in their football, the Barça team went to rest with an obvious concern and the need to recover sensations in the second half, which they attended with Messi’s speech in the changing room tunnel.
“This is necessary to remove it as it is. We have to give it one more gear, if it is not going to complicate us,” the captain warned his teammates before returning to the field of play … Where, however, the sensations barely changed.
Koeman varied the system, advancing to De Jong, reorganizing the team and showing a slight improvement that, however, hardly surprised Valladolid, more behind in their placement but as firm as in the first act. And without forgetting to look for a counter, like the one that offered the opportunity to Olaza, who shot out just before Masip showed off against Dembélé …
Increasingly reckless and insecure, Barça surrendered to a pressure without quarter, without organization and without patience, with the entry of Trincao and Braithwaite first or Ilaix later in search of revolutionizing a match that entered the final stretch with the expulsion of Oscar Plano and Valladolid beginning to embrace surprise.
And Sergio’s team did it until the last gasp, until a center from Frenkie de Jong touched him head to side by Araújo and Dembélé appeared, the most unruly of all, to sentence with a nearby howitzer, at the apex of the area. small, which gave Barça a golden victory on their most uncomfortable night.