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Brilliant Joao Felix finish secures all three points for Barcelona at Cadiz

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 13 Apr 2024

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Joao Felix’s overhead kick sealed Barcelona a 1-0 win at lowly Cadiz and lifted his side back to within eight points of LaLiga leaders Real Madrid.

The Portugal forward converted with a bicycle kick following a first-half corner and with the help of two crucial saves from goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Barca extended their winning run in all competitions to six matches.

Barca, who edged the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final 3-2 against Paris St Germain in midweek, are now unbeaten in 13 before next weekend’s El Clasico at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys.

Cadiz had boosted their survival hopes by winning two of their previous three in LaLiga and they had their chances, but they remain three points from safety.

Felix’s strike lit-up a first half of few clear-cut chances, in which Cadiz went close to taking a 22nd-minute lead when Javi Hernandez’s drilled angled effort forced Ter Stegen into a sharp near-post save.

But Barca edged in front in the 37th minute with their first real effort on goal following a corner.

Sergi Roberto headed the ball on and Joao Felix swivelled to send a bicycle kick inside Cadiz goalkeeper Conan Ledesma’s right-hand post for his sixth league goal of the season.

Barca should have extended their lead shortly before half-time when the ball broke to Fermin Lopez on the right edge of the box, but his goalbound shot was brilliantly blocked on the line by Cadiz defender Victor Chust.

Cadiz thought they had made an ideal start to the second period as Juanmi turned home Iza Carcelen’s low ball into the box, but the effort was ruled out as the striker was clearly offside.

Chust then headed narrowly wide for the home side, whose appeals for a penalty soon after when the ball appeared to hit Barca defender Pau Cubarsi on the arm were waved away, with the incident not reviewed by VAR.

Felix went close to doubling Barca’s lead through his first-time effort from Ferran Torres’ cross as the action flowed.

Barca were indebted to Ter Stegen with 10 minutes remaining as the German goalkeeper’s flying save from Diadie Samassekou’s thumping long-range shot preserved their slender lead.

Following Real’s 1-0 win at Mallorca earlier on Saturday, Barca closed the gap back to eight points ahead of next Sunday’s showdown between LaLiga’s top two.

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