Alba’s unstoppable volley on the again put up means Barcelona now have an unassailable 11-point lead over fifth-placed Betis with three video games of the LaLiga season remaining.
Earlier, Barcelona had taken the lead with a primary aim since January for Ansu Fati within the 76th minute. However Barca have been pegged again nearly instantly when former Camp Nou defender Marc Bartra headed dwelling a nook simply three minutes later.
Alba’s late aim means Xavi Hernandez has achieved his essential goal after taking on midseason. It additionally provides Barcelona a wholesome 5 level cushion in second place, though third-placed Sevilla have performed a recreation fewer.
“It is a weight off our shoulders,” Xavi stated afterward. “It may have been an excellent harder season however the crew has competed properly since we arrived in November.
“We now have not at all times performed excellently, however we have now a successful spirit and we’re aggressive. We have been all the opposite prime half groups within the second half of the season. It is clear we have now to pay higher. We now have to analyse issues. However the effort has been large since November. We’re within the Champions League, a contest we should be in, now we need to end second.”
Betis ahead Juanmi had the primary sight of aim in an entertaining match, however his effort may solely discover the side-netting within the seventh minute.
The Portuguese substitute, nevertheless, produced a superb show, beginning with an outstanding save from Ronald Araujo‘s bullet header minutes after coming into the pitch.
Betis created extra alternatives in a vigorous first half, however substitute Fati put the guests forward after the break with a low shot in direction of the left nook within the 76th minute.
“Ansu has a present, others discover it tougher,” Xavi stated. “It is a fantastic feeling to have him again. The aim was one thing we had talked about this week relating to the Betis line of defense.
“He is a difference-maker. He simply wants half an opportunity to attain, even with a nasty shot. He instructed me greatest to play him vast. I instructed him he may change with Auba, however he needed to be on the left. He is at all times a hazard coming inside. He will get two possibilities, scores one and the opposite is harmful. He has a present. He is snug across the field.”
Regardless of Bartra levelling for the Copa del Rey champions with a header, Alba sealed the sport within the dying minutes.
Barcelona, who’ve gained 10 of their final 12 league matches, are near wrapping up second place and snatching the three.4 million euros that the membership would make by going to the Spanish Tremendous Cup in Saudi Arabia.
Each Copa del Rey finalists — winners Betis and runners-up Valencia — might be joined within the 2023 Spanish Tremendous Cup finals by prime two groups within the LaLiga standings.
Betis, in the meantime, missed a chance to maneuver stage on factors with fourth-placed Atletico of their bid to safe a spot in Champions League subsequent season, as they continue to be fifth with 58 factors.
Earlier than the match, Barcelona gave a guard of honour to the Betis gamers for his or her cup victory final month.
Data from ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Reuters was used on this report.