La Liga, Champ Nou: Barcelona 1 (Dembele 90′) Valladolid 0
By Our Sports Desk
Ousmane Dembele scored a 90th minute winner for Barcelona against 10-man Real Valladolid as Ronald Koeman’s side closed the gap on Atletico Madrid to just one point at the top of La Liga.
The Catalans kicked off knowing that a win would move them to within touching distance of top spot in La Liga ahead of Saturday’s Clasico against Real Madrid, but they were made to work hard for it.
Real Valladolid started on top with Kenan Kodro striking the woodwork with a header that had Marc-Andre ter Stegen beaten. Barca also hit the woodwork before half time when Jordi Masip tipped a Pedri shot on to the base of the post.
Ousmane Dembele had a low effort saved by Masip with Antoine Griezmann heading the rebound wide as Barca cranked up the pressure before Koeman introduced Ronald Araujo, Martin Braithwaite and Francisco Trincao in an attempt to find the breakthrough.
Oscar Plano was shown a straight red card with 10 minutes remaining for a late tackle on Dembele as he burst forward, although the decision was somewhat harsh on the Real Valladolid midfielder.
Despite the man advantage, Barca toiled and just as it looked like Real Valladolid would hold on for a point Dembele lashed home a left-footed volley at the back post from a Frenkie de Jong cross, giving the hosts a dramatic victory.