AP Interview: Pedri brings back brilliance to Barça midfield
Barcelona will play the final after defeating Real Sociedad 3-2 in a penalty shootout after the game ended 1-1. (AP Photo/Jose Breton)BARCELONA – It’s no coincidence that Pedri González conjures up those flashes of exquisite playmaking brilliance that Barcelona fans have been longing for since the days of Andrés Iniesta. Like Iniesta, Pedri is silky smooth with the ball on his feet, with his dribbling and passing in tight spaces. Pedri has scored three goals this season, but it is his passing and footwork with the ball that has set him apart. Twice this season, Pedri has produced no-look flicks with the back of his heel to roll the ball behind to set up Lionel Messi for goals.
Madrid beats Alavs 2-0 for 8th straight win in title march
(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)BARCELONA Karim Benzema helped Real Madrid move one step closer to dethroning Lionel Messis Barcelona on Friday. Benzema scored one goal and set up another to lead Madrid to beating Alavs 2-0 and restoring a four-point lead over Barcelona in the Spanish league with only three rounds left. Benzema scored a penalty kick in the 11th minute and assisted Marco Asensio in the 50th to ensure an eighth straight victory since La Liga resumed play after stopping for three months due to the pandemic. His 18th league goal of the season is second only to Messis 22. Madrid took full control just after halftime when Benzema broke Alavs offside trap to reach Rodrygos through-ball.