Sep 28, 2013 at 5pm UK at ​Juegos Mediterraneos
Almeria
0-2
Barcelona

Verza (28')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Messi (21'), Adriano (56')
Bartra (26'), Busquets (89')

Live Commentary: Almeria 0-2 Barcelona - as it happened

Barcelona's Sergio Busquets is congratulated by teammates after scoring his team's third goal against Real Sociedad during their La Liga match on September 24, 2013
© AFP
Relive Sports Mole's coverage of the La Liga clash at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos where Barcelona beat Almeria 2-0.

Barcelona travelled to Almeria on Saturday looking to continue their 100% start to the La Liga season.

The home side took the lead after 21 minutes with Lionel Messi's 11th goal of the season enough to leave them ahead at the interval.

It was 2-0 in the early stages of the second, however, when Adriano finished off a smart move from close range.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action.


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4.31pmAfternoon all! The first of our three back-to-back live commentaries from La Liga comes from the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos as Almeria welcome Barcelona. The home side currently sit in 17th position with just three points from their six matches, while Barcelona top the division having made a 100% start to the 2013-14 La Liga campaign.

4.34pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, it does not make good reading for Almeria. Of the last five matches, Barcelona have won four, scoring an incredible 21 times in the process and conceding just three. Almeria did secure a 2-2 draw with Barcelona in this stadium in March 2010, but were thumped 8-0 the following season.

4.37pmTEAMS:

ALMERIA XI: Esteban; Nelson, Trujillo, Pellerano, Christian; Verza, Tebar, Vidal, Suso; Soriano, Rodri

BARCELONA XI: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Bartra, Adriano; Busquets, Iniesta, Fabregas; Sanchez, Messi, Pedro


4.40pmSo there we have it. No real surprises in the Almeria XI this afternoon with Aleix Vidal and Suso tasked with providing support to Rodri. Meanwhile, there are also starts for Verza and Tebar. Barcelona, meanwhile, are without Javier Mascherano through injury, with Marc Bartra coming into the team. Neymar also drops to the bench with Pedro joining Alexis Sanchez in the wide areas.

4.43pmIt was always going to be a difficult ask for Almeria this season and that has indeed proved to be the case thus far. They opened their campaign with back-to-back 2-2 draws against Getafe and Elche, before suffering a 4-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid. Another 2-2 draw with Levante followed, but they lost 2-0 to Malaga on September 24.

4.46pmAlmeria secured their spot in La Liga for the new campaign after coming through the dreaded playoff system in the Segunda Division last season. They finished bottom of this division in the 2010-2011 season, but will be hopeful of a better display this time around. However, they have found life in La Liga difficult thus far.

4.49pmBarcelona, however, have been simply stunning thus far with six wins from six leaving them top of the table. That said, they have been unable to shake off Atletico Madrid, who also have 18 points at this stage of the season. The bad news for Almeria is that Barcelona have scored four goals in each of their last three matches in all competitions.

4.52pmThe Catalan outfit opened their season in stunning form with a 7-0 win over Levante, but found life tougher in a 1-0 win over Malaga. Back-to-back 3-2 wins over Valencia and Sevilla respectively followed, before they put four past Rayo Vallecano at the weekend. Their sixth win of the season arrived with a 4-1 success over Real Sociedad in midweek.

4.55pmIt will come as no surprise that Barcelona enjoyed the best away record in the league last season. Of their 19 matches, they won 14 of them. To put that into context, Real Madrid managed just nine wins on the road, taking 32 points to Barcelona’s 45. In truth, it would be one of the biggest shocks of all time if Almeria managed to secure a result this evening.

4.58pmPREDICTION: Almeria are still searching for their first win of the season, but the wait would be worth it if they could find all three points this evening. However, it is difficult to imagine anything other than a comprehensive away win at the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos. Barcelona like the number four this season and I am going to back a 4-1 win for the away side.

1 minSo there we have it. The handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Just a reminder of the main team news. Suso and Rodri both start for Almeria, with Verza operating in a midfield area. Barcelona, meanwhile, leave Neymar and Xavi on the bench, but Pedro does return. The home side get the action underway on this warm evening in Spain.

2 minAs expected, Barcelona have taken control of the possession in the early stages with the likes of Fabregas and Iniesta seeing plenty of the ball. No Xavi in the XI this afternoon, with the Spaniard named on the bench. Almeria attempt to break moments later with Rodri, but the Spaniard runs into traffic outside the box.

4 minNervy moment in the Barcelona back four as Adriano slices a clearance towards Vidal, but the Spaniard cannot make use of the space down the left. The home side continue to put the pressure on as Soriano causes problems with his presence inside the box, but eventually the referee blows for a free kick to the away side. High-tempo opening four minutes to proceedings in Almeria.

6 minCHANCE! Barcelona create the first real opportunity of the match as Iniesta collects a pass from Fabregas before thumping an effort towards the top corner, but Esteban is across to make a fine save. The resulting corner is played short before Adriano curls one towards goal, but it was always moving high and wide of the crossbar at the vital moment.

8 minAlmeria just cannot get out of their own half at the moment with Barcelona starting to dictate the tempo of proceedings on this warm evening in Spain. If the home side are to take something from the match, then you just get the feeling that they need to score first. Still goalless with eight minutes on the clock, but it has been a bright start.

10 minAnother half-chance for Barcelona as Iniesta combines with Pedro before attempting to slide a low pass towards Messi, but the Argentine just cannot collect at the vital moment. Almeria attempt to break down the other end with Nelson moments later, it comes wide to Suso, but he just overruns it under pressure from Adriano.

13 minSuso is again involved for Almeria as he finds some space down the left before delivering a dangerous cross into the box, but Valdes allows it to drift out for a goal kick. The end-to-end period of the match continues with Messi driving towards Nelson, but Fernandez is across on the cover. Still goalless with 13 minutes on the clock.

15 minAnother half-chance for the away side as Pique meets a deep free kick from Messi, but he can only flick his header wide of the post. A short back-pass from Sorino almost causes problems for the home side moments later, but Esteban manages to clear under pressure from Messi. Thoroughly entertaining 15 minutes of football, with both sides committing players forward.

17 minIt is almost like a training-ground exercise for Barcelona at the moment as they continue to pass and probe outside the box. However, Almeria have been nice and compact thus far. Pique takes matters into his own hands with a low pass towards Pedro moments later, but once more Esteban is alive to the danger.

19 minFar from entire Barcelona dominance, however, as Almeria continue to offer a threat of their own. The latest comes from a Suso free kick, but Bartra rises well to clear the danger. Messi again runs at the Almeria defence on the counter moments later, but the little Argentine has not quite been in full flow thus far as he loses possession.

21 minGOAL! Almeria 0-1 Barcelona (Messi)

21 minBarcelona take the lead with 21 minutes on the clock as Messi combines with Pedro on the edge of the box before curling a wonderful effort into the top corner. Another piece of magic brings the Argentine's 11th goal of the season. Stunning.

23 minIt is important that this match does not get away from Almeria, especially in the first period. They have more than matched Barcelona thus far, but they do not have Messi in their side. The home side deliver another free kick into the Barcelona box moments later, but Soriano's header is blocked by Pique.

25 minAnother half-chance for Soriano as the Almeria midfielder meets a free kick from Verza, but he can only flash his header wide of the post. There is something in this for Almeria, especially from set pieces, which are not Barcelona's strong point. Little over 20 minutes of the first period remaining in this La Liga fixture.

28 minMessi comes close to making it 2-0 as he collects a loose clearance from Fernandez before striking towards goal, but it was always rising high and wide of the crossbar. It must be said that there is a strong atmosphere inside the stadium this evening, which is remarkable based on the price of the tickets for this match. The supporters have certainly turned up in their numbers and their side has not let them down thus far.

30 minBarcelona are forced into an early change here as Messi leaves the field for Xavi. It does not look too bad for the Argentine, but he was the one that signalled to the bench that he could not continue. That is a big boost to Almeria. Well, until they saw Xavi emerge. Little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining, with Barcelona leading 1-0.

33 minNot too much to report in the last few minutes with Barcelona in control of the possession. Sanchez has an effort from outside the box, but it was always rising high and wide of the crossbar. If Almeria can keep the score at 1-0, then they will certainly have opportunities to pull themselves back into proceedings. They have more than matched the champions for long periods thus far.

35 minThe referee has been more involved than he would have liked in the last couple of moments with both sides guilty of a number of late challenges. Xavi is on the receiving end of a late one from Soriano, but the referee does not look to his book. In truth, not too much is happening at the moment with Barcelona comfortable with their one-goal lead in tact.

38 minIt's really good work from Suso as the on-loan Liverpool winger collects possession on the edge of the box before moving past Pique, but the Barcelona defender fouls the Spaniard. The resulting free kick is whipped into the box by Suso, but Bartra just does enough to chest it behind for a corner.

40 minAlmeria continue to put the pressure on in the latter stages of the half as they force two corners in quick succession, but the first is headed behind his own crossbar by Iniesta, before Valdes claims the second. Important that the home side keep it tight in the final five minutes of the first period.

42 minCHANCE! Wonderful opportunity for Vidal as the Almeria midfielder drives past three defenders before attempting to poke an effort into the bottom corner, but Alves is across on the cover at the vital moment. Barcelona are down the other end with Pedro moments later, but Fernandez comes across to clear the danger.

44 minAnother half-chance for the away side as Pedro slides a low pass towards Xavi, but Esteban is across to clear at the vital moment. In keeping with the end-to-end period of the match, Almeria threaten down the other end, but Rodri can only fire his effort high and wide into the stands. Little over one minute of normal time remaining in the first period.

45+1 minAnother half-chance for the home side in the latter stages of the half as Rodri finds some space inside the box, but his effort is straight at Valdes. He collects the rebound, but Pique is on hand to clear. That is just about that for the first period.

45+1 minHALF TIME: Almeria 0-1 Barcelona

5.47pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Barcelona leading 1-0 courtesy of a Messi strike. However, the away side were forced to withdraw Messi five or so minutes after with the Argentine picking up a slight knock. Despite Barcelona's lead, Almeria have certainly had their moments in what has been an entertaining first period.

5.52pmSTATISTICS: Barcelona dominated the possession with 66%, while they have had six attempts to Almeria's three. It has not been the free-flowing football we have come to expect from the Catalan outfit, but if they win this evening it will be their best-ever start to a league season. They are certainly on course for another three points.

5.57pmBENCH WATCH: The home side have a number of attacking options on their bench in the shape of Oscar Diaz, Helder Barbosa and Corona. Meanwhile, Barcelona have the likes of Neymar and Cristian Tello in reserve. I suspect we will see changes as the second period gathers pace.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. No changes for either side at the interval, which is not much of a surprise at this stage of proceedings. If Almeria are to take something from this match, they cannot afford to go 2-0 behind. Right, Almeria get the half underway.

48 minAs expected, Barcelona have taken control of the possession in the second period with Busquets and Iniesta both enjoying plenty of touches. The latter attempts to force the issue with a low pass towards Pedro, but the Spaniard had just moved too soon, bringing the offside flag. Almeria have to believe that they can take something from this match.

50 minNo real intensity to the match at the moment with Barcelona fairly casual in keeping the ball in the Almeria half. Iniesta attempts to inject some life into Barcelona's attack moments later, but Pellerano is on hand to make the challenge. No real opportunities for either side in the early stages of the second period.

52 minAlmeria have conceded at least twice in every league match this season, which just makes you worry about them as this match advances. They have the capabilities to hurt Barcelona, but you just get the feeling that the Catalan outfit will find a second at some point. Barcelona have not been great thus far, but they have not needed to be at this stage of proceedings.

55 minHalf-chance for Barcelona as Bartra spots a gap in the Almeria defence before driving into the heart of it, but he just loses possession at the moment with Fernandez across to make the challenge. The home side are down the other end with Verza moments later, but his pass towards Soriano finds the midfielder in an offside position. Little over 35 minutes of football remaining in this La Liga encounter.

56 minGOAL! Almeria 0-2 Barcelona (Adriano)

57 minBarcelona have their second of the match as Fabregas finds some space inside the box before finding Adriano, who simply cannot miss from close range. It is tough on Almeria, but their defence was in all sorts of trouble there. Game over?!

59 minIn truth, this is about as poor as Barcelona have been this season, but they lead 2-0, which tells you everything that you need to know about their quality. When on earth are they going to drop points? If they get the job done here, they can settle down to the Madrid derby later this evening knowing that at least one will drop points.

62 minBarcelona have certainly raised the tempo since their second with Iniesta and Fabregas finding all sorts of space in and around the Almeria penalty area. The home side continue to offer a threat with Suso and Rodri, but there is no space in the final third. It would not be a surprise to see a couple of changes as the second period continues to gather pace.

64 minAlmeria do indeed look to their bench as Soriano is replaced by Azeez - a 20-year-old Nigerian, who is full of running. In truth, it is almost like a pre-season friendly at the moment with the atmosphere dropping inside the stadium. Little over 25 minutes remaining and the away side are cruising to another three points.

66 minAlmeria make their second change of the match as Vidal is replaced by Dubarbier for the final 25 minutes or so. Barcelona come close to adding their third moments later as Iniesta finds the run of Adriano inside the Almeria box, but Esteban just manages to close the angle at the vital moment. There has been no word on the Messi injury thus far, but it is not expected to be serious.

68 minSlightly untidy last few moments with the referee forced to intervene following a number of late challenges, mainly from the home side. If Almeria can find one goal, it might just upset the balance here, but as it stands, they simply cannot get the ball. Little over 20 minutes remaining, with Barcelona in possession inside the Almeria half.

71 minDistinct lack of belief from the home side at the moment as Barcelona continue to keep hold of the possession inside their own half. Iniesta is once more the one to quicken the pace as he finds Pedro inside the box, but Nelson is across to clear at the vital moment, before Fabregas fells Suso just outside the box.

73 minBetter from Almeria in the last couple of moments as Dubarbier and Azeez both have attempts from outside the box in quick succession, but the former's effort is blocked by Adriano, before the latter fires high and wide of the crossbar. Little over 15 minutes of football remaining in this La Liga encounter.

75 minThe untidiness of the match continues with the referee forced to intervene following a number of late challenges from both sides. The latest free kick is taken quickly by Barcelona with Alves searching out Sanchez, but once more the Chilean had moved into an offside position. Still 2-0 with 75 minutes on the clock.

78 minFernandez is involved for the home side as he combines with Azeez before delivering a deep cross into the box, but it is easy pickings for Valdes, who is on hand to collect with ease. Barcelona break down the other end with Fabregas moments later, but his attempts to find Iniesta end in another claim for Esteban, who has been his side's best player this evening.

80 minBarcelona make their second change of the match as Tello enters the field for Sanchez, who has not really figured this evening. It would not be a surprise to see Dos Santos given a run out in the final five minutes or so with Martino attempting to keep his side fresh in the early part of the season.

83 minCHANCE! Wonderful opportunity for Barcelona to make it 3-0 as Bartra finds some space inside the box before attempting to poke his effort into the bottom corner, but he just strikes it wide of the post. Strange atmosphere inside the stadium at the moment - it is almost silent. Little over five minutes of football remaining in this La Liga encounter.

85 minAlmeria have the ball in the back of the net as Dubarbier taps home from close range, but the offside flag had been raised with Azeez moving into an offside position. That is about as good as it has got for the home supporters in the second period. Little over five minutes of normal time remaining.

88 minAlmeria threaten with a free kick as Suso stands over the set piece outside the box, but his attempt is straight into the wall. Rodri picks up the pieces moments later before attempting to find the top corner, but his effort was always rising high and wide of the crossbar. Meanwhile, the free-kick count continues to rise in the latter stages.

90 minBarcelona have had 70% of the possession this evening, which does not come as much of a surprise. Almeria are in the middle of a purple patch, but it is a case of too little too late. Tello has an opportunity on the break moments later, but he just slots it wide of the post.

90+2 minBarcelona make their third change of the match in stoppage time as Dos Santos enters the field in place of Iniesta. Dos Santos has been strongly linked with a loan move to Real Sociedad over the last couple of weeks, but for now he remains a Barcelona player. We are into the second of three additional minutes.

90+3 minFULL TIME: Almeria 0-2 Barcelona

6.50pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the match to an end with Barcelona continuing their 100% start to the league season with a 2-0 win over Almeria. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to remain with us for Sociedad against Sevilla. Until then!

Barcelona's Lionel Messi is congratulated by team mate Pedro after scoring his team's second goal against Levante on August 18, 2013
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2Barcelona11002023
3Real Sociedad11003213
4EibarEibar11001013
5Leganes11001013
6Levante11001013
7Valencia11001013
8Atletico MadridAtletico10102201
9GironaGirona10102201
10Espanyol10101101
11Sevilla10101101
12Athletic Bilbao10100001
13Getafe10100001
14Celta Vigo100123-10
15AlavesAlaves100101-10
16Las PalmasLas Palmas100101-10
17Malaga100101-10
18Villarreal100101-10
19Real Betis100102-20
20Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo100103-30