Vidal keeps Barcelona in title race


FC Barcelona maintained their title charge in LaLiga after engineering a 1-0 win over Real Valladolid on Saturday evening.

Arturo Vidal and Riqui Puig were fitted back into the eleven by Quique Setien following Wednesday’s scrappy victory over the now relegated-Espanyol in the Catalunya derby.

Puig received a yard of space in the area following the opening four minutes and brought the opposite number to a save with a snap attempt off a ball from the right side.

Browse through the gallery to see Barcelona in action on Saturday night.

Vidal gave the visiting the side the lead after his shot from the right inside channel cracked the post before finding the net on 15 minutes, with Lionel Messi supplying his 20th assist of the season.

A coming-together with Messi signalled the end for Raul Garcia after 25 minutes played and he had his spot filled by Nacho Martinez.

Barca should’ve doubled the tally right after the half-hour mark, but Antoine Griezmann who came off two solid performances dragged his effort wide with the goal in clear sight.

The Catalans maintained their dominance following halftime with Luis Suarez going close, whilst Sergio Guardiola threatened with a snap shot from outside the area for the home side.

Barcelona looked to up the tempo ten minutes from the restart, as Ivan Rakitic and Ronaldo Araujo replaced Puig and Clement Lenglet respectively.

Momentum shifted slightly to the host following the 60th minute after Barcelona shot-stopper Marc Andre Ter Stegen stretched wide to turn Kike Perez’s header away.

Messi started getting more involved again and this nearly resulted in a second, but saw his free-kick palmed over the target with a quarter of the contest remaining.

Valladolid didn’t lose hope towards the remaining minutes, though slow build-up play coupled with finishing proved their undoing as Barca claimed a narrow triumph.