Barcelona secure Champions League qualification thanks to late Jordi Alba winner

Barcelona secure Champions League qualification thanks to late Jordi Alba winner

Published May 8, 2022
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Jordi Alba’s powerful strike finds the back of the net late in stoppage time to seal a 2-1 win for Barcelona over Real Betis. (0:53)

A stunning goal from Jordi Alba deep into injury time gave Barcelona a 2-1 victory at Real Betis to secure qualification for the Champions League next season.

Alba’s unstoppable volley at the back post means Barcelona now have an unassailable 11-point lead over fifth-placed Betis with three games of the LaLiga season remaining.

Earlier, Barcelona had taken the lead with a first goal since January for Ansu Fati in the 76th minute. But Barca were pegged back almost immediately when former Camp Nou defender Marc Bartra headed home a corner just three minutes later.

Alba’s late goal means Xavi Hernandez has achieved his main aim after taking over midseason. It also gives Barcelona a healthy five point cushion in second place, although third-placed Sevilla have played a game fewer.

“It’s a weight off our shoulders,” Xavi said afterward. “It could have been an even tougher season but the team has competed well since we arrived in November.

“We have not always played excellently, but we have a winning spirit and we are competitive. We’ve been all the other top half teams in the second half of the season. It’s clear we have to pay better. We have to analyse things. But the effort has been huge since November. We’re in the Champions League, a competition we deserve to be in, now we want to finish second.”