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Deportivo La Coruña
9 April 2011
• Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: Miguel Ángel Ayza Gámez
• Attendance: 70000
L. Messi 53', 90'+
Thiago Alcântara 64'
90' + 4'
That's it!! Barcelona remain 8 points clear at the top of La Liga this evening but they hard to work really hard for it. Two goals from Leo Messi and a header from Thiago was enough for Pep Guardiola. Despite the host's having 73% possession, Almeria can go away from tonight full of confidence in their battle for survival. Thanks for joining us on Goal.com and stay tuned for reactions.
90' + 2'
Assist Seydou Keita
90' + 2'
Goal Lionel Messi
90' + 2'
3-1!!!! Messi!!! Marcelo misread a bouncing ball and allowed the Argentine to latch on to the thumped clearance and he dinked over Diego Alves to seal the points.
90' + 1'
Three minutes to play of added on time. Pique and Pinto lose communication and the goalkeeper only just makes it to the ball in time before Almeria's attackers.
Almeria are on the break with plenty of players forward but Dani Alves is there! A fine interception from the full-back. Why Barca would leave themselves with so many out of position at this stage of the game is another question!
Villa appeals for a foul but the game continues. Pep Guardiola is striding the touch line, as Iniesta almost knocks his coach out with a volley! Guardiola saw the funny side but Iniesta remained very serious.
Mascherano is penalised for a foul on Bernadello and Almeria have a free-kick in a good position. Acasiete was the closest to the delivery but it was just too high with Marcelo also lurking.
Messi's 18th assist tonight for Thiago's goal is now a record for Barcelona. They have now just under ten minutes to see out for three valuable points.
Kalu Uche works back to dispossess Xavi but Almeria can't keep hold of the ball in attack to wait for support.
Pique's header puts his side under pressure but a woeful pass lets Iniesta set la Blaugrana back on the attack.
Messi's footwork creates space to release Dani Alves bombing down the right. The Brazilian turns back and finds Iniesta and now Messi again, still Messi, into the box and the Argentine slips at the vital moment!
Yellow Card David Villa
Barcelona are still looking a little vunerable when Almeria attack, as Macedo goes to ground under a nasty tackle from Villa. He will be booked for that challenge.
17 shots for Barcelona and just 3 for Almeria but the visitors are still in this match with just over quarter-of-an-hour remaining.
The visitors are now going in search of an equaliser by introducing Goitom to the attack.
Luna saves the day for Almeria, the left-back collected the ball in the box to deny Pedro a chance and runs it out to avoid confusion with his 'keeper Alves.
Dani Alves again is the outlet for Barcelona, the Brazilian breaks down the line and sends in a cross...oh!! Almost an own goal!! Acasiete sliced his clearance somehow wide of the far post.
Thiago is receiving a standing ovation after his goal and will now be replaced by Keita.
Assist Lionel Messi
Goal Thiago Alcántara
THIAGO!!! 2-1! It's the youngster's first goal in La Liga and from a header! The corner was whipped in by Messi and Thiago lept above everyone to guide an excellent header into the far corner.
Yellow Card Juanma Ortiz
Ortiz goes into the book for a very late tackle on Dani Alves.
Messi just keeps the ball in play and finds Pedro, tries a shot! Alves collects! Barcelona are starting to turn the screw on their visitors.
Bernadello's pass bounces off a team mate and Mascherano comes forward for Barcelona. Messi with a moment of inspiration, scoops a pass over the defence but Villa heads straight at Diego Alves from close range!
Maxwell looks to find Villa in the middle but it's a poor delivery and the left-back chases back to fend off Macedo.
What a chance for Pedro!!! David Villa opened up his body to curl a shot on goal, Diego Alves palms the shot out but straight to Pedro who blasts into the side netting.
Plenty of action in the opening ten minutes of the second-half in Camp Nou. Pedro is now on for Milito, Barcelona are not going to hold back in search of a winner.
Assist David Villa
Penalty Goal Lionel Messi
Messi steps up...and sends Diego Alves the wrong way!!! 1-1 and we are back where we were three minutes ago!
Yellow Card Diego Alves
PENALTY!!!! Barcelona have a chance to level!! Villa skipped round the on-rushing Diego Alves, there was very little contact but the referee didn't hesitate.
Assist Pablo Piatti
Almeria have the lead!!! Villa struck the post and the Rojiblancos went straight down the other end via Piatti. The little forward found himself with support and his pass found Corona, who slid his shot past Pinto! 1-0, are Real Madrid back in the title chase!?
VILLAA!! Off the post from the striker! Villa escaped from Luna but his deflected shot bounced back off the post and cleared. The former Valencia man hasn't scored in seven outings.
Juanito has the first clear shot of the second-half but it's well over. It hasn't been comfortable in defence tonight for the hosts, despite not conceding against Almeria on three occasions this season.
David Villa cuts inside Luna from the right but again Barcelona are crowded out and Milito comes across to make a slide tackle. Throw-in on the half-way line.
A warm welcome back for the second-half. Can the Andalucians hold on for another 45 or will Guardiola's pep talk do the trick for la Blaugrana? We are underway with Barcelona shooting right-to-left.
Messi again tries to lift his side and sets off on a mazy run, he is still going and a combination of Diego Alves and post keep the Argentine out. No stoppage time though for the corner and that's half-time.
Yellow Card Hernán Bernardello
Piatti slips in Ortiz and he knocks it back towards the Argentine in the area...cleared!! A decent break from Almeria. Pique is struggling to keep up with the little forward.
Barcelona have Almeria penned in, as Messi escapes three markers. Iniesta picks out Alves at the far post who sends an acrobatic volley back at Iniesta. Now Xavvii!! Over!
Iniesta plays a clever ball through but David Villa is just a fraction offside on the shoulder of the last man. The striker flashed his shot wide anyway.
Messi plays a neat one-two with Dani Alves on the edge of the area but the former is denied by Diego Alves. Corner to Barcelona.
Maxwell!!! The full-back fires over at the second attempt after Messi had played the ball off to him in the box. He should have done better.
Bojan struggles off to be replaced by David Villa.
Pique does well to hold up Piatti on the break and Xavi releases Messi into the box. He has to turn back and the final ball can't find Dani Alves.
Bojan is down receiving treatment, as Messi bursts round one, two but he slices wide! Good chance created by the magician but disappointing finish.
Thiago and Iniesta keep the ball well in the middle for Barca. Messi now skips away from two players and picks out Iniestaaaa... curled just wide of the upright!
Piatti chases down Pique who goes back to Pinto, a better spell now for la Blaugrana as Xavi goes long.
Mascherano hits a long, pin-point ball to Dani Alves on the right. The right-back crosses but Bojan slips in the middle.
Bojan collects from Mascherano and Milito spreads the play. Iniesta, Bojan and Messi link their way through a tight defence and a shot from Messi!! Corner!
Corona collects a return pass from Crusat and finds Juanito!!! He couldn't get enough power on his shot but forces Pinto to save.
Yellow Card Javier Mascherano
Mascherano is booked. The Argentine will now miss the game with Real Madrid due to suspension.
Yellow Card Bojan Krkic
Eric Abidal is sat in the crowd watching on after his operation and he watches Crusat dash inbetween Mascherano and Milito and he is brought down.
A moments indecision from Piatti almost allows Xavi to run down the forward. Bojan is found wide on the right and controls on his chest, heads past Luna and surges forward into the box. His pull-back drops for Thiago but the midfielder can't keep his shot down.
Barcelona are looking nervous. Pinto's first touch is poor and Crusat chases the goalkeeper down to concede another throw deep in Catalan territory. Almeria have a third corner now.
Alves wins the ball from the corner and sets Messi on the run, the Argentine tries to wriggle his way through an army of blue and white but loses out.
Bernadello scoops a long cross out over to the left but Piatti recovers and wins a second corner.
Almeria are cramped in their own-half and when they finally win the ball there are few options going forward but the visitors have a corner, as Bojan flicks a header behind.
Gabi Milito plays an awkward pass back to his 'keeper Pinto and he is forced to concede a throw under pressure.
It's all Barcelona at the moment but they are struggling to push the ball far enough forward to create chances.
A perfect cross-field ball finds Maxwell but the full-back turns back for support. A normal patient build-up for Barcelona but Almeria have packed the middle of the park.
Space wide out on the left for Bojan to chase but Diego Alves clears for the visitors.
Juanito thumps clear for Almeria, Xavi and Thiago were building patiently before the defender stepped in.
Messi jinks his way towards the area and tries to feed Iniesta. The midfielder falls over and Almeria clear for a throw.
The atmosphere here tonight is fantastic as Pique goes in search of Dani Alves down the right but his lofted pass is too long.
Welcome to Goal.com's coverage of tonight's game between Barcelona and Almeria. We are underway here at Camp Nou, the main team news sees Thaigo and Milito start for Pep Guardiola.
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