Alba’s stoppage-time stunner clinches Champions League qualification as barca beat Real Betis 1-2

Alba's stoppage-time stunner clinches Champions League qualification as barca beat Real Betis 1-2

Jordi Alba scored in the 94th minute to give Barcelona a 2-1 win over Real Betis and a place in the Champions League for next season.

The Blaugrana needed all three points against fifth-placed Betis to guarantee a top-four finish, and Marc Bartra’s equalizer appeared destined to torment them.

With practically the final kick, Alba launched an incredible volley into the roof of the Betis net, completing Barca’s goal with three matches to spare.

Although the result was cruel to Betis, who missed out on completing their first LaLiga double over Barcelona, there was no denying the quality of the crucial goal.

Alba’s goal contrasted with the two sloppy efforts that came before it, with Fati and Bartra each relying on a fair amount of luck to finally beat the two goalkeepers.

Rui Silva had made a fantastic save to tip Ronald Araujo’s header onto the crossbar, while Betis were denied by the frame of the goal when Guido Rodriguez’s 20-yard shot rebounded away off the foot of the post.

In the second quarter, Juanmi went too close to Neto twice, the first of which was a good opportunity on the volley from Rodriguez’s cross.

Silva bravely blocked Ferran Torres but was caught off guard by the Barca number 10’s botched finish, putting the Betis goal under pressure even before Fati’s first goal since his comeback from rehab.

As the shot bobbled in, Bartra was one of three defenders near to Fati, and his response was similarly sloppy, a header that hit his shoulder and eluded Neto.

Pezzella’s header then beat Neto but also the post, with Alba’s scorching volley from Dani Alves’ deep pass providing the winner at the opposite end.

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