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Barcelona secure Champions League place with last-gasp win at Betis

Jordi Alba and Riqui Puig celebrate a late win for Barcelona against Real Betis.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Barcelona have secured Champions League football for next season following a last-gasp win over Real Betis in LaLiga on Saturday.

Ansu Fati broke the deadlock wigth just over a quarter of an hour left to play, the young forward netting little over a minute after coming on a a substitute.

It was also his first goal since recently returning from injury, but it was cancelled out just minutes later as former Barcelona centre-back Marc Bartra levelled for Copa del Rey winners Betis.

However, Barca pressed in the final minutes and Xavi's side were rewarded as Jordi Alba hit a stunning volley from a Dani Alves cross to win all three points deep into added time at the Benito Villamarin.

Barcelona are 12 points behind champions Real Madrid, in action against Atletico on Sunday, but their win consolidates second spot in LaLiga and ensures they will be playing in the Champions League next season.

When Xavi took over from Ronald Koeman in November, that had been in doubt, with Barcelona down in ninth place.

The Catalans also dropped out of the Champions League in the group stages and suffered the ignominy of playing in the Europa League, but they will be back in Europe's premier club competition next term.

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Ben Hayward

Ben Hayward is Weekend Editor for FourFourTwo. A European football writer with over 15 years’ experience, he has covered games all over the world - including three World Cups, several Champions League finals, Euros, Copa América - and has spent much of that time in Spain. He currently divides his time between Barcelona and London.