Valladolid beat Barcelona to climb out of drop zone

Sports Desk, May 23 (EFE).- Real Valladolid climbed out of the LaLiga drop zone Tuesday with a surprising 3-1 victory against champions FC Barcelona.

Before the match, the hosts formed a guard of honor for the Blaugrana, who clinched the title on May 14.

Valladolid began the day in 18th place, level on points with Espanyol but trailing them on goal difference, and could hardly believe their luck when Barcelona’s Andreas Christensen attempt to block a cross into the box from Darwin Machis ended with the ball in his own net to make it 1-0 for the home side in the 2nd minute.

An intervention by Sergi Roberto stopped Machis from doubling the advantage in the 13th minute and Valladolid keeper Jordi Masip denied Raphinha at the other end seconds later.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen came off his line too quickly to deal with a threat from Gonzalo Plata in the 20th minute and Eric Garcia fouled the Valladolid man.

The referee pointed to the spot and Cyle Larin beat Ter Stegen for the 2-0.

Masip made stops in quick succession to deny Raphinha and Christensen and Robert Lewandowski sent a shot just wide in the 32nd minute.

Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez made changes to start the second half. To protect Ter Stegen’s prospects for the Zamora Trophy, given to the keeper who allows the fewest goals per game, he replaced the German international with Iñaki Peña.

The new keeper did well to stop Alvaro Aguado in the 50th minute and Larin hit the post just ahead of the hour mark.

But Peña couldn’t stop Plata from stretching the lead to 3-0 in the 73rd minute with an assist from Larin. The post thwarted Valladolid’s Lucas Rosa before Lewandowski narrowed the deficit in the 84th with his league-best 23rd goal of the season.

EFE mim/dr

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