NEWS
Saturday August 25 2018
VAR at Valladolid saves Barca

Barcelona beat Real Valladolid 1-0 on Saturday but had VAR to thank after it ruled out a last-gasp equaliser for the new boys.

See how Valladolid-Barca unfolded with our liveblog!

Jordi Masip, poor finishing and an equally-poor pitch kept the score goalless until Ousmane Dembele's winner just before the hour mark, although VAR was needed to make sure of the result deep in stoppage time. 

Philippe Coutinho came into the Catalans’ XI for their trip to Valladolid, who handed a debut to Enes Unal.

The Blaugrana had won nine of their previous 11 meetings with the Pucela but lost 1-0 the last time they travelled to Jose Zorrilla in March 2014.

Dembele kept his place in Barca’s attack, despite not scoring against Alaves, but he was lively again, while Enes almost capped his debut with a piledriver and header, both of which Marc-Andre ter Stegen dealt with.

Masip, a product of La Masia, also did all he could to make the Catalans wish they kept him with a string of saves, including one on a Coutinho drive.

The unruly state of the Jose Zorrilla pitch, which had only been relayed a few days ago, stunted Barca’s possession game, making a stalemate seeming increasingly likely.

However, Sergi Roberto kept a cross in play and his header dropped to Dembele, who fired a shot past Masip first time.

Valladolid began pushing for the equaliser, but Ter Stegen was on hand to scoop up Keko’s header, before substitute Malcom should’ve killed the game off, only for the ex-Barca goalkeeper to smother his one-on-one.

It was left to VAR to settle the contest, and having already chalked off Luis Suarez’s finish from close range, the technology crucially spotted Keko a step out of line when he flung home a diving header with just seconds remaining.

Real Valladolid 0-1 Barcelona                         

Dembele 57

Real Valladolid: Masip; Moyano, Olivas, Calero, Nacho; Borja (Keko 64), Alcaraz; Anuar, Plano, Toni (Verde 87); Enes (Cop 70)

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho (Malcom 74); Messi, Suarez (Munir 90), Dembele (Vidal 76)

Referee: De Burgos Bengoetxea

Football Italia website