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Mar 2, 2014 at 8pm UK at Camp Nou
Barcelona
4-1
Almeria
Sanchez (9'), Messi (23'), Puyol (83'), Xavi (89')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Trujillo (26')

Result: Barcelona see off Almeria to move to within one point of La Liga summit

Barcelona close the gap on La Liga leaders Real Madrid to just one point courtesy of a 4-1 home win over relegation battlers Almeria.

Barcelona have closed the gap on La Liga leaders Real Madrid to just one point courtesy of a 4-1 home win over strugglers Almeria.

The reigning champions were cruising after just 23 minutes thanks to Alexis Sanchez's 16th league goal of the season and a 30-yard free-kick from Lionel Messi.

However, Almeria shocked the Camp Nou by pulling one back three minutes later when Angel Trujillo headed home from Miguel Angel Corona's corner kick.

Barca quickly resumed control of the game and Messi came close to restoring his side's two-goal cushion just before the break, but he sent a brave diving header just wide.

A brilliant Xavi through-pass put Neymar in on goal early in the second period, only for the Brazil international to drill a low shot straight at goalkeeper Suarez Esteban.

Barca's performance then went right off the boil, much to the frustration of an underwhelmed Catalan crowd.

Those supporters were on their feet again on 83 minutes though, as Carles Puyol netted his first goal of the season, tapping home from close range after Messi's header had struck the crossbar.

Xavi added gloss to the scoreline in the dying moments with a brilliant curling effort that found the bottom corner of Esteban's goal from long range.

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Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi celebrates his goal during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs UD Almeria at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 2, 2014
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid5410157813
2Atletico MadridAtletico532074311
3Valencia5311104610
4Real Sociedad531164210
5Athletic Bilbao52304139
6Sevilla42205148
7Osasuna52216608
8Mallorca52213308
9Rayo Vallecano52128537
10Barcelona32107437
11Real Betis51316606
12ElcheElche51313306
13CadizCadiz512268-25
14Villarreal40402204
15Levante504167-14
16Espanyol503235-23
17Granada402227-52
18Celta Vigo5014410-61
19Getafe500518-70
20AlavesAlaves4004110-90

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