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Raphinha helps Barcelona edge Las Palmas to close gap with leaders Real Madrid

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BARCELONA: Brazilian winger Raphinha steered Barcelona to a 1-0 victory over Las Palmas during the La Liga 2023-24 clash here at Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys on Saturday.

The Catalans closed the gap with La Liga leaders Real Madrid with a difference of five points after sinking 12th-ranked Las Palmas.

Raphinha earned the advantage for Barcelona in the 19th minute however the goal was overruled due to offside.

Despite not getting a breakthrough, the home side dominated throughout the first half and kept challenging Las Palmas’ defence.

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Meanwhile, Las Palmas’ struggles doubled in the 24th minute as their goalkeeper, Alvaro Valles received a red card in the 24th minute for taking out Raphinha who was headed towards an open net.

The first half ended without any goals, but Barcelona continued to create chances. Eventually, Joao Felix passed the ball over the defenders to Raphinha, who headed it past the goalkeeper and scored the match-winner.

Notably, Barcelona are unbeaten in 11 games since their coach Xavi Hernandez said that he would leave at the end of the season and their recent form has given them some faint hope of retaining their title.

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Leaders Real Madrid will face Athletic Bilbao on Sunday at the Santiago Bernabeu, aiming to restore their eight-point advantage on the Catalans in second.

“They’re three important points, we know they will be important at the end of the season,” Raphinha told Movistar.

“We’ll keep fighting until the end and we won’t give up until the league is over.”

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