Late Gundogan penalty keeps Barca title defence alive at Las Palmas

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Late Gundogan penalty keeps Barca title defence alive at Las Palmas

Barcelona barely deserved their 2-1 win at Las Palmas on Thursday, but Ilkay Gundogan scored a penalty in extra time to give Barcelona the win.

After Real Madrid and Girona won on Wednesday, Xavi Hernandez’s team really needed to win. With the win, the Catalans are now seven points behind the top two teams.

Athletic Bilbao is in fourth place after beating Sevilla 2-0 earlier Thursday. Atletico Madrid is in fifth place after losing to Girona 4-3 in a very exciting game.

Canary Islanders, who are in the middle of the table, played better than Barcelona at times. They took the lead in the 12th minute through former Barcelona star Munir El Haddadi.

In the second half, Ferran Torres scored to tie the game for Barcelona. Gundogan then scored the game-winning goal from the penalty spot after being pushed over in the box while about to head the ball into an open net.

“In the first half they had two or three chances but in the second half they only had a corner,” Xavi shared with Movistar.

“I think we made good substitutions and that told.”

After the break, Barcelona played better and put the home team on the back foot. Torres scored quickly to tie the game.

In order to find the winner, the coach took experienced forward Robert Lewandowski off and put on attackers Joao Felix, Lamine Yamal, and new player Vitor Roque.

“Ferran always looks out for us,” Xavi said.

“There’s a lot of competition up top and there will be minutes for all the players.”

Francisco Garcia Pimienta, the coach of Las Palmas, used to be in charge of Barcelona’s reserve team, and his team gave the famous guests a mostly frustrating night.

Joao Cancelo hurt his left knee in the first few minutes of the game and had to leave the game. This was a big setback for the Catalans, who had a tough first half.

Xavi said after the game that Cancelo’s injury didn’t look too bad and would be looked at again on Friday.

A low cross from Sandro Ramirez, another former Blaugrana youth school player, set up Munir to score the first goal.

Inaki Pena blocked a low Sandro shot, and the home team had the better of the first half. At times, Xavi’s team looked lost and even uninterested.

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