FC Barcelona defeated Deportivo Alavés 2-0 to move within one victory of retaining the league crown. With Messi and other starters on the bench, the Blaugrana found it difficult to break down the hosts. However, that all changed in the second half after Carles Alena and Luis Suárez both scored in the second half. Just ten minutes after the restart, Barça broke the deadlock in the 54th minute when Suárez dummied a pass from Sergi Roberto which allowed Aleñá to meet the ball inside the box and give his side the lead.
Six minutes later, Barça thought they scored the second goal when Piqué scored from close range but his teammate Samuel Umtiti was flagged offside on the goal line. The referee went to VAR and although the goal was not given, the referee signaled to the spot for awarding a handball against Tomas Pina. Suárez stepped up and converted from the spot to make it 2-0. Valverde then surprised the Blaugrana fans when he brought on Messi and Alba from the bench when he probably should have kept them on the bench resting. Nonetheless, this result means the Blaugrana could be celebrating a new league crown either tomorrow, if Valencia defeat Atletico Madrid or if Barça defeat Levante on Saturday.
Match Info (From Sport):
DEPORTIVO ALAVÉS: Pacheco, Vigaray, Ximo Navarro, Laguardia, Ely (Twumasi, 71′), Duarte, Rolan (Brasanac 46′), Wakaso, Pina, Jony (Guidetti, 81′) & Borja.
FC BARCELONA: Ter Stegen, Semedo (Alba, 70′), Piqué, Umtiti, Sergi Roberto, Busquets, Arturo Vidal, Aleñá (Arthur, 87′), Dembélé (Messi, 61′), Coutinho & Suárez.
Goals: 0-1, Carles Aleñá (54′), 0-2, Suárez, (60′ – penalty).
Referee: Cordero Vega
Cautions: Jony (33′), Ximo Navarro (55′), Pina (90′)/Coutinho (76′).