Barcelona edged ever closer to a 26th La Liga title, as Carles Aleña and Luis Suarez were on target in a 2-0 win away to Alaves on Tuesday night.
After spurning several chances in the first-half, the visitors managed to break the deadlock nine minutes after the restart through Aleña. After a typically flowing team move, Sergi Roberto's pass was
Starting XI: Pacheco (7), Vigaray (6), Laguardia (6), Ely (7), Navarro (5), Durate (6); Rolan (6), Wakaso (6), Pina (5), Jony (6); Baston (5).
Substitutes: Brasanac (5), Twumasi (5), Guidetti (N/A).
Key Talking Point
The maths was simple for Barcelona - win their next two La Liga games and the title would be theirs regardless of what Atletico Madrid do. The job is now half done by Ernesto Valverde's side.
Despite making five changes from the side that narrowly beat Real Sociedad last time out, which has hindered Barça at times this season, the result was never in doubt. Aleña's second La Liga goal of the season settled any remaining nerves, before Suarez's penalty confirmed a result that edges them ever closer to a 26th league title.
Nearly every team in La Liga is fighting for survival or a European spot at this point. Meanwhile, Barcelona just keeps winning, mercilessly racking up points en route to yet another title.— Michael (@CholoColcho) April 23, 2019
*Atleti will win, at max, 83 points this season. Not exactly a league full of elites.
It was a measured displayed by Barça who were only interested in gaining the three points, as threats from Alaves were few and far between - with Jony's curling effort in the second-half the closest they came.
With a Champions League semi-final first leg against Liverpool on the horizon, Valverde would ideally want to wrap up domestic business prior to that game. With the result away to Alaves, they're halfway to achieving just that.
Starting XI: ter Stegen (6); Semedo (6), Pique (6), Umtiti (6), Roberto (7); Vidal (7), Busquets (6), Alena (8*); Dembele (6), Suarez (7), Coutinho (7).
Substitutes: Messi (7), Alba (6), Arthur (N/A).
One of the five players to come into the starting lineup following the Real Sociedad game, Carles Aleña took his chance against Alaves with a confident display in Barcelona's midfield.
The academy graduate was tidy in possession throughout, while a serge into the box was a key factor to the games opening goal, which he calmly converted and what his play warranted.
Aleñá admits he doesn’t want to be league champion tomorrow. Would rather win it on the pitch on Saturday in front of fans.— The Spanish Football Podcast (@tsf_podcast) April 23, 2019
Great team goal by Barcelona, Sergi Roberto with the surge forward, Luis Suarez with his typical dummy, and Carles Alena with a tidy finish. Beautiful play from start to finish.— El Máestro (@ElMaestrofcb) April 23, 2019
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT— King (@K1ngMessi) April 23, 2019
The future looks bright襤 De jong, Arthur and alena— -_- (@ikikikkuaja) April 23, 2019
Next for Alaves is an away game against Athletic Bilbao, as their season appears to have run out of steam.
Barcelona meanwhile could be La Liga champions by the time they host Levante at the weekend, should Atletico Madrid fail to beat Valencia in their midweek game.
Should Diego Simeone's side avoid defeat, then Barça will officially retain their crown with a win at the weekend, before the small matter of the first-leg of their Champions League semi-final against Liverpool at Camp Nou.