- Ousmane Dembele scored a last-minute volley to give Barcelona a crucial win
- Ronald Koeman’s side had struggled to break down a stubborn Valladolid side
- The victory puts Barca just one point behind LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid
Ousmane Dembele volleyed Barcelona to within one point of La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid with a dramatic injury time winner against 10-man Valladolid.
Barca looked set for a damaging stalemate at Camp Nou after Atletico’s defeat by Sevilla on Saturday but Valladolid had Oscar Plano harshly sent off with 12 minutes left and Dembele snatched a 1-0 victory.
His strike could prove a crucial moment in the Spanish title race, with Barca now breathing down Atletico’s necks ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Real Madrid, who are three points off the top.
If Ronald Koeman’s men win at Valdebebas, they will claim first place for 24 hours at least, before a depleted and deflated Atletico play away at Real Betis on Sunday.
They will have to play better after being frustrated by a determined Valladolid side, with Lionel Messi delivering some firm words to his team-mates in the tunnel at half-time.
“We have to step it up a gear, we have to play with more rhythm,” Messi said.
After the pep talk from Messi the Barelona players came back out on to the pitch and there was a change in formation too with Frenkie De Jong, having played the first 45 minutes in a back three, now very much in midfield as Koeman switched to 4-3-3.
With nine minutes left Valladolid were reduced to ten minute when Dembele set-off on another mazy run and was chopped down from behind by Plano.
They were furious at the decision and with two minutes of added time left they were head in hands again as Dembele turned a point into three and left Barcelona knowing that they can win the title by winning all their remaining games – starting on Saturday away at Real Madrid.