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Vidal keeps Barcelona in Liga fight beating Valladolid 1-0

Arturo Vidal scored for Barcelona to beat a feisty Valladolid 1-0 on Saturday and keep the pressure on leader Real Madrid as the Spanish league approaches its climax.

Barcelona closed to within one point of Madrid, which has a game in hand, as it tries to defend a title it has won for two consecutive years.

Vidal scored in the 15th minute after being set up by Lionel Messi, who, like most of his teammates, had a discreet outing at Valladolid’s José Zorilla Stadium empty of fans for health precautions for the pandemic.

Barcelona's Arturo Vidal scores his side's first goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Valladolid and FC Barcelona at the Jose Zorrilla stadium in Valladolid, Spain, Saturday, July 11, 2020. (AP PhotoManu Fernandez)

Madrid plays at Granada on Monday. Its final two matches are against a Villarreal fighting for a Champions League berth and a Leganés fighting to avoid relegation. Barcelona has games against Osasuna and Alavés. Madrid holds the tiebreaker if they finish level on points.

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Barcelona's Arturo Vidal, second right, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's first goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Valladolid and FC Barcelona at the Jose Zorrilla stadium in Valladolid, Spain, Saturday, July 11, 2020. (AP PhotoManu Fernandez)

Barcelona's Arturo Vidal controls the ball during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Valladolid and FC Barcelona at the Jose Zorrilla stadium in Valladolid, Spain, Saturday, July 11, 2020. (AP PhotoManu Fernandez)

Barcelona's Lionel Messi controls the ball during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Valladolid and FC Barcelona at the Jose Zorrilla stadium in Valladolid, Spain, Saturday, July 11, 2020. (AP PhotoManu Fernandez)

Valladolid's Oscar Plano, left, and Barcelona's Gerard Pique challenge for the ball during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Valladolid and FC Barcelona at the Jose Zorrilla stadium in Valladolid, Spain, Saturday, July 11, 2020. (AP PhotoManu Fernandez)