Jordi Alba saves the day as Barcelona scrape past 10-man Osasuna

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Barcelona took a massive step towards the LaLiga Santander title on Tuesday evening with an uninspiring 1-0 win at home to Osasuna. A late strike from substitute Jordi Alba secured the three points.

The visitors still have an outside shot at qualifying for Europe, but could be forgiven for having an eye on Saturday night's Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid.

Midway through the first half, their task tonight became even harder when Jorge Herrando was sent off for a last-man foul on Pedri.

Barcelona dominated, especially after the red card, but struggled to create too many clear-cut chances chances.

The sides went in level at the break and the trend would continue after it, too. Frenkie de Jong and Ousmane Dembele did miss good chances in the second half, and it seemed Los Rojillos were heading for an unlikely point in the circumstances.

But, with five minutes of normal time remaining, Aitor Fernandez was finally beaten. A cross was met by the head of De Jong and, whether the Dutchman meant it or not, the ball fell perfectly into the path of Jordi Alba, who drilled in a low shot which beat Fernandez at his near post. The Basque goalkeeper got his fingertips to the spinning ball, but it wasn't enough.

The situation in the LaLiga Santander table

Barcelona, therefore, put themselves 14 points ahead in the table ahead of Real Madrid's game away to Real Sociedad.

A loss in San Sebastian would not only all but hand the title to Barcelona, but also give Atletico Madrid the chance to go second on Wednesday night when they host Cadiz.

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