Vidal goal maintains Barca's La Liga push

Arturo Vidal (l) celebrates with Lionel Messi after scoring Barcelona's winner against Valladolid.
Arturo Vidal (l) celebrates with Lionel Messi after scoring Barcelona's winner against Valladolid.

Arturo Vidal has scored the game's only goal as Barcelona edged Valladolid 1-0 to keep the pressure on leaders Real Madrid as the Spanish La Liga approaches its climax.

Vidal scored in the 15th minute after being set up by Lionel Messi, who, like most of his teammates, had a discreet outing on Saturday at Valladolid's empty Jose Zorilla Stadium.

Two-time defending champions Barcelona closed to within one point of Madrid, who face Granada on Monday.

"We will give it our all, and then wait and see," Vidal said.

"It doesn't depend on us. If it is not meant to be, then on to the Champions League (in August)."

In a surprise move, Barcelona coach Quique Setien dropped striker Luis Suarez from his starting line-up although the Uruguayan was introduced to the game for the second half in place of an injured Antoine Griezmann.

"He asked to be taken off," Setien said of Griezmann.

The Frenchman will have tests on a thigh strain and could now miss the team's remaining La Liga fixtures against Osasuna and Alaves.

Setien also bemoaned the way his team struggled with fatigue.

"It was very hot and the pitch was very dry and several players didn't have the energy to do much more than run enough to keep up with the play," he said.

"It was a game that we should have finished in the first half. We could have scored two or three goals in the first half."

Other than his 20th assist of the campaign, Messi was limited to a pair of shots at goal.

Valladolid are 14th, seven points clear of the drop zone.

A late Diego Costa goal ensured 10-man Atletico Madrid clinched a Champions League berth after they overcame Real Betis 1-0.

Costa used his chest to knock in a free kick in the 74th after Atleti lost Mario Hermoso to a direct red card on 57 minutes for a tackle from behind.

Celta Vigo remained in danger of falling into the relegation zone after a 2-1 loss to mid-table Osasuna.

Jose Arnaiz headed in the winner in stoppage time.

Australian Associated Press