Dembele strikes to snatch vital Barca win

·2-min read

Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele has scored a late winner in their 1-0 home win over Real Valladolid, moving them to within one point of La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid.

Dembele scored with a left-footed volley at the far post to make sure Barcelona can control their own fate in the title race, as they will host Atletico in one of the final rounds in May.

Barcelona had been struggling to break through the tight defensive scheme of Valladolid, who played a man down from the 79th minute after Oscar Plano was sent off for a foul from behind to stop a dangerous run by Dembele.

The visitors went into the game on the back of just one win in their past 11 games and without a number of regulars due to injury and a coronavirus outbreak.

However, they created the better opportunities early with Kenan Kodro crashing a header back off the bar and Roque Mesa also coming close from long-range.

A strong penalty shout for handball against Jordi Alba was denied as Barca rode their luck and stepped up their search for a winner in the second half.

The goal duly arrived as the game ticked over into stoppage time as Ronald Araujo flicked on a cross from Frenkie De Jong and Dembele pounced to snatch the points.

Seeking a first league title since 2014, Atletico - who lost 1-0 at Sevilla on Sunday - have seen their once-comfortable cushion, at one stage 10 points to Barca, vanish in recent weeks.

Atletico's gap to third-place Real Madrid - who defeated Eibar 2-0 on Saturday - is three points.

Barcelona next visit Real Madrid in the last clasico of the season on Saturday.

Atletico host Eibar on Sunday.

Before the match against Valladolid, Lionel Messi received an award for breaking Xavi Hernandez's record of 767 appearances for the Catalan giants.

He broke the record in the game against Real Sociedad in the previous round.

Barcelona have won six straight league games and extended their unbeaten streak in the competition to 19 matches.

They have won 12 times since a 2-1 loss at Cadiz in December.

Valladolid stay three points above the relegation zone.