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Dhaka Tribune

LALIGA

Raphinha guides Barca past Las Palmas to pressure leaders Real

Real face Athletic Sunday at Santiago Bernabeu, aiming to restore their 8-point advantage

Update : 31 Mar 2024, 04:17 AM

Spanish champions Barcelona cut the gap on Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga to five points with a 1-0 win over 10-man Las Palmas Saturday.

Raphinha headed home in the second half to clinch Barca's victory after the visitors had goalkeeper Alvaro Valles dismissed after 24 minutes for a rash foul.

Barca warmed up for the Champions League quarter-final clash against Paris Saint-Germain, their next match in 11 days' time, with a straightforward victory, albeit by a tight scoreline.

Xavi Hernandez's side are unbeaten in 11 games since the coach said he would leave at the end of the season and their recent form has given them some faint hope of retaining the title.

Real face Athletic Bilbao Sunday at Santiago Bernabeu, aiming to restore their eight-point advantage.

Barca dominated the opening stages against Las Palmas with Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha both having goals ruled out for offside.

Polish striker Lewandowski hit the bar on another occasion as Xavi's side strolled, although former Barca forward Sandro Ramirez threatened at the other end before taking a weak shot.

Las Palmas goalkeeper Valles was sent off after 24 minutes for rushing out of his goal and clattering into the busy Raphinha.

Lewandowski struck the bar again from Joao Cancelo's cross and Raphinha fired narrowly wide when he might have scored as Barca continued to press for the opener.

With 10 men Las Palmas set up in a more defensive fashion and tried to frustrate the Catalans, although they again came close when defender Saul Coco smashed a vicious free-kick into the side-netting.

Winger Marvin Park, on loan at Las Palmas from Real, forced a smart low save by Marc-Andre ter Stegen a minute before Barca took the lead.

Joao Felix, on as a substitute, produced a glorious scooped pass into the area for Raphinha to head home his fifth LaLiga goal of the season.

The Brazilian winger drew a Video Assistant Referee television screen in a sarcastic celebration, in reference to his earlier disallowed strike.

Felix should have doubled Barca's lead when Jules Kounde rolled the ball across the face of goal for him but the Portuguese forward struck the crossbar when it seemed easier to score.

Ferran Torres made his return from a hamstring injury in the final stages, replacing teen starlet Lamine Yamal, who had a quiet night relative to his heroics for Spain against Brazil Tuesday.

Lewandowski, booked for walking off slowly as he was replaced by Vitor Roque, will miss Barca's next league match, against Cadiz - and return for the key Clasico battle against Real on April 21.

Earlier Saturday Sevilla beat Getafe 1-0 thanks to an early Sergio Ramos goal, while Valencia drew 0-0 with Real Mallorca and Osasuna thrashed Almeria 3-0.

RESULTS

Getafe 0 Sevilla 1 (Ramos 5)

Almeria 0 Osasuna 3 (Arnaiz 2, Budimir 9, Munoz 61)

Valencia 0 Mallorca 0

Barcelona 1 (Raphinha 59) Las Palmas 0

Friday

Cadiz 1 (Navarro 51) Granada 0

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