Barcelona on verge of Liga title after beating Alaves

Barcelona on verge of Liga title after beating Alaves
By Reuters

23/04/2019 at 23:25Updated 23/04/2019 at 23:26

BARCELONA, April 23 (Reuters) - Barcelona have one hand firmly on the La Liga title after winning 2-0 at Alaves on Tuesday, leaving them 12 points clear at the top of the table with four games to play.

Should second place Atletico Madrid lose at Valencia on Wednesday or against Real Valladolid on Saturday, Barcelona will be champions before they face Levante that evening.

With one eye on next week's Champions League semi-final against Liverpool, Ernesto Valverde picked a side with Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba and Arthur among other regular starters, on the bench.

After a turgid first half, Barcelona stepped up a gear in the second and midfielder Carles Alena sent the Catalans ahead at Mendizorroza after 54 minutes.

Arturo Vidal and Sergio Roberto combined well, the latter threading a pass through to Alena which Luis Suarez cleverly stepped over, allowing the 21-year-old to coolly slot home.

Suarez added the second from the penalty spot after Tomas Pina's handball was spotted by VAR, putting Barcelona in touching distance of their 26th league title. (Reporting by Rik Sharma; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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