De Jong rescues victory for Barca


FC Barcelona needed a late strike from Frenkie de Jong to clinch three points at Deportivo Alaves on Sunday evening.

A different trio up top for the Catalans saw recent signing Ferran Torres afforded another start with Luuk De Jong as well as Abde Ezzalzouli granted starting berths too.

It was the Catalans that got off to a decent start in the earlier exchanges when De Jong volleyed a cross-field delivery into the area inches wide of target.

The Blaugrana continued to fire blanks in front of goal with a quarter of the first half played as Gerard Pique headed a corner-kick from Pedri high and wide.

This was prior to a curling attempt outside the area by Torres which missed the top corner of the net by a whisker, with Alaves still trying to find their feet in the overall battle.

Barcelona continued to push numbers to their attack following the start of the second period, but still struggled to penetrate the host who then adopted a counter-attack approach.

The Blaugrana still attacked continuously midway in the second half and were unfortunate not to break the deadlock through a sliding attempt by Pique following a cross into the area.

However, the Catalans seized control two minutes to the end when Frenkie De Jong tapped in a cross from Torres with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) ruling out any hint of offside.

Barca managed to run down the closing minutes with the substitution of defender Clement Lenglet for Pedri, as Xavi Hernandez's men jump to fifth spot.

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LaLiga leaders Real Madrid staged a late comeback to draw 2-2 with Elche CF at the Santiago Bernabeu Sunday afternoon.

Madrid started the brightest and missed a big chance on eleven minutes through a teasing attempt from Vinicius Junior who managed to work his way into the six-yard area.

The league leaders still got into advanced territories following the midway stage and had Hazard fluff a clear chance before an injury forced Elche to remove Tete Morente for Fidel Chaves.

Karim Benzema missed a clear chance on 30 minutes after he failed to beat Badia from the penalty spot following a foul by Helibelton Palacios on Vinicius.

Los Blancos were punished for their inaccuracy up front inside the last four minutes of the half as Lucas Boye charged onto a cross from Fidel to head beyond a grasping Courtois.

Madrid looked to receive another lifeline five minutes from the break with another penalty on a foul by Diego Gonzalez on Hazard, but it was overturned by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

As Madrid’s woes up front continued, Elche claimed a second goal towards the last ten minutes when Pere Milla dropped a shoulder in the area to fire into the far corner.

Los Blancos made their second chance from the spot count with eight minutes to go as Luka Modric guided Badia the wrong way with Gonzalo Verdu flagged for a handball.

This urged the host on and two minutes into stoppage time Militao made a towering leap in the area to head in the bottom-corner following a ball from Vinicius to secure the equaliser and the point.

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