Alba’s latest goal lifts Barcelona to 2-1 win at Betis

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Jordi Alba scored a final game-winning goal to snatch Barcelona to a 2-1 victory at Real Betis on Saturday, dealing a blow to the host’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

Barcelona have tightened their grip on second place in the Spanish league behind new world champions Real Madrid, who clinched the title last weekend.

Betis remained in fifth place.

Fourth-placed Atlético Madrid were three points clear before hosting Real Madrid in a derby on Sunday.

Ansu Fati, who had just returned from another lengthy injury layoff, broke the deadlock in the 77th minute with a pass from Alba just a minute after leaving.

Betis looked set to salvage a crucial point in their quest for a top four Champions League spot when Marc Bartra equalized in the 80th.

But Alba struck home a left-footed volley off a cross from Dani Alves deep in stoppage time. The referee whistled seconds after play resumed.

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