Football

Three things we learned from Barcelona's win over Almeria

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Barcelona had the chance to put their two recent losses behind them and sign off with a win before the international break.

Almeria are a side that before Saturday's match had lost 10 and drawn two in the last twelve meetings, scoring just four and conceding 39.

Would a similar script be written allowing the Catalans to keep pace with the teams around them, or would Luis Enrique be facing an unwanted, and unprecedented hat-trick of defeats?

Let's take a look at three things we learned...

Lady luck smiling on the Catalans

Some wins are well deserved but the term "smash and grab" was surely invented for Barcelona today.

The Catalans simply stole the points from a home side who played to their own strengths rather than worry about those of their more celebrated opponents.

After hitting the woodwork twice in the game, you could argue that if Barca's chances had've gone in then the result would've had a fairer reflection, but that would be misleading.

Almeria were full value for the lead given to them by Thievy and the two goals Barca scored to win merely papers over the cracks.

Luis Enrique has work to do.

Almeria's tactics spot on

For a team that has never beaten Barcelona, it would've been easy for Almeria to throw 10 men behind the ball and defend for their lives for 90 minutes.

To their credit, they wanted to play football and a simple 4-4-2 outfoxed Barca with ease for two thirds of the match.

Two banks of four were tightly packed not allowing Lionel Messi or anyone else room to work. Indeed, Rafinha and Ivan Rakitic were two of the most anonymous players of the match.

With a lightning fast threat on the counter through Thievy, it's a shame for the home side that they weren't able to hang on for what would've been a well deserved win.

The beginning of the end for Gerard Pique?

Given the quality of opponent, with the greatest of respect to Almeria, this was certainly a game where Gerard Pique might have expected to have regained his place.

Only eight goals scored all season by the hosts would've surely given Pique one of his easier night's work.

Clearly however Luis Enrique isn't one for sentiment the message he's sending should be received loud and clear by Pique.

Time to shape up or ship out.

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Topics:
Barcelona
La Liga
Lionel Messi
Football

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