Amid fight against racism, Barcelona chokes at Valladolid
FC Barcelona choked Real Valladolid on Tuesday night. Spain’s brand new national champion, with Frenkie de Jong playing unremarkably, went down 3-1 against the number seventeen, in a match that was all about the fight against racism.
Before the game began, the players displayed a large banner reading: racistas, fuera del fútbol. Or in other words, racists, out of soccer.
That racism is still a regular occurrence in Spanish soccer stadiums became clear again Sunday, when Real Madrid player Vinícius Júnior faced racist slogans and gestures from the stands in the match against Valencia CF. He then stated on Instagram that the Spanish league “now belongs to racists.”
Expression of support for Raphinha
Barcelona player Raphinha had an extra show of support in store for his compatriot Vinícius. The Brazilian was substituted in the second half and took off his shirt while walking to the side. On the shirt he wore under his match shirt was a message of support for his compatriot Vinícius.
Taking off his shirt still earned him a yellow card.
The match itself was a prey to the home-playing Valladolid, which still has to battle in the final rounds of play to avoid relegation. In that fight against relegation, it got a hand very early in the match.
Barcelona defender Andreas Christensen had a fine nose dive and headed the ball hard past his own goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen into his own goal.
And the German goalkeeper had to concede another goal in the first half. After a foul by Eric Garcia on Gonzalo Plata, the referee put the ball on the spot. Cyle Larin laid on and shot the 2-0 impeccably against the ropes.
Barcelona also had chances to score, but Valladolid goalkeeper Jordi Masip kept a strong game. He had several clever saves on goal attempts by Raphinha. And Christensen, trying to make up for his own goal, headed straight at Masip.
There was little fighting spirit left in Barcelona after halftime. Valladolid also did not push very much anymore, but both teams still scored once. Plata tapped in a cross from Larin. In the closing stages, Robert Lewandowski saved the honor for the Catalans by making it 3-1.
Real Sociedad close to CL ticket
Placement for the Champions League is close for Real Sociedad after a win over Almería. The club from San Sebastián won 1-0 at home through a goal by Takefusa Kubo.
Real Sociedad is fourth in La Liga with 68 points. Villarreal, which will be in action Wednesday against Cadiz, has eight fewer points and must win to still have a chance at the fourth spot, which entitles them to enter the group stage of the Champions League. After this round of play, there are two more matches for all clubs.