Tactical Insights

Barcelona 1-0 Las Palmas (Mar 30, 2024) Game Analysis


A second-half header by winger Raphinha earned second-placed Barcelona a 1-0 win over Las Palmas in LaLiga on Saturday after the visitors were reduced to 10 men in the first half.

Barcelona, who will face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarterfinals next month, have now won seven of their last nine LaLiga outings to move onto 67 points from 30 games.

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They are five points behind Real Madrid and five above third-placed Girona, who host Athletic Club and Real Betis, respectively, on Sunday.

Xavi Hernandez’s side have kept five consecutive clean sheets in the competition for the first time since they managed six between August and October 2022.

“We should have won by more,” Xavi told Movistar. “We had clear chances to kill off the game. We were up against 10 men and created a lot, so I don’t think one goal is enough.

“It’s the summary of the season. We struggle to put games to bed. Las Palmas played more direct after the red card and in the end we suffered, with the [Alberto] Molerio chance. We needed to be more clinical.”

Raphinha’s goal proved enough to give Barcelona victory over Las Palmas.

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Barcelona forwards Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha were denied early goals for an offside in the build-up before the Brazilian found the net in the 59th minute, heading a superb cross by substitute João Félix into the top corner.

Las Palmas went down to 10 men after 24 minutes when goalkeeper Álvaro Valles was sent off after rushing towards the oncoming Raphinha and bringing him down.

As a result, Las Palmas’ only forward Munir had his play time cut short against his former club because he had to make way for goalkeeper Aarón Escandell.

Barcelona dominated possession in the pouring rain at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys but did not invest excessive amount of energy into the win, profiting from one of their only two shots on target.

Lewandowski could have extended their lead in the 35th minute but hit the bar with a header instead.

Fermín López then shot for the bottom corner minutes from halftime, just to see his attempt go inches wide of the post, before Raphinha missed the target in a similar fashion shortly after.

Joao Felix, who set up Raphinha for the goal three minutes after coming on, hit the bar from point-blank range in the 68th minute.

The result extended Las Palmas’ winless run to six games — their worst yet this season — sit 12th on 37 points.

“We have done our job today, winning three vital points to stay in the race,” Xavi added in his news conference. “It’s a shame we don’t depend on ourselves, we slipped up too many times

“We have the game at the Bernabéu in two weeks. I hope we can make ground up in the two fixtures before them, but it’s not in our hands.”

Information from ESPN’s Sam Marsden contributed to this report.



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