Dembele and VAR give Barcelona narrow win in Valladolid
Madrid : FC Barcelona registered a narrow 1-0 win over Valladolid, thanks to a second half goal from Ousmane Dembele and a late decision by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) which ruled out a last-gasp potential equaliser in a La Liga match.
Barcelona controlled the game in the first half despite a poor playing surface in Valladolid's stadium where the pitch had only been laid four days ago but failed to turn their control into clear chances on Saturday.
It wasn't until the 57th minute that Frenchman Dembele opened the scoring after full back Sergi Roberto set him up with a header into the area, reports Xinhua news agency.
Valladolid pressured for an equalising goal in the closing minutes and thought they had equalised when Keko beat goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen with a near post header, only for the VAR to rule the goal out for offside.
In another match, Antoine Griezmann scored the only goal of the game with a 63rd-minute solo effort to give Atletico Madrid all three points in their derby at home against Rayo Vallecano.
But Atletico had goalkeeper, Jan Oblak to thank for a series of saves to keep the newly promoted side at bay in a disappointing performance from the hosts.
Alaves and Betis got the ball rolling on Saturday with a 0-0 draw, thanks mainly to the performances of goalkeepers Fernando Pacheco and Pau Lopez. The draw at least gives both teams their first point of the season after suffering defeats in their opening matches last weekend.