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Barcelona v Almería Live Commentary, 05/11/2022

FT
2 - 0
BAR
ALM
O. Dembélé (48)
F. de Jong (62)
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Commentary

That's all for today, goodbye!
Barcelona are two points clear of Real Madrid, who don't play until tomorrow. Their final game before the World Cup sees them travel to Osasuna on Tuesday. Almeria's winless run on the road continues as they drop to 15th. They host Getafe next time out.
Barcelona go top of LaLiga, as Pique's final game for the club ended with a 2-0 win over Almeria. Lewandowski hit a penalty against the outside of the post early on, and the hosts struggled to find a way past Martinez, who made some great saves to go into the break goalless. Dembele broke the deadlock just three minutes into the second half though, coolly slotting into the bottom corner. De Jong then made sure of the points, volleying in the rebound after Fati's shot was saved.
90' + 5' FULL-TIME: BARCELONA 2-0 ALMERIA.
90' + 3' Barca try to work it down their left again, with Raphinha switching it out to Gavi this time. The offside flag quickly goes up though and another attack fizzles out for the hosts.
90' + 1' Into five minutes of stoppage time here, and Barca are still pushing for a third goal. Pedri switches it out to Alba on the left, and he volleys it back into the middle, but he'd just drifted into an offside position.
89' Fati drifts out to the left and he whips a deep cross into the box where three Barca players are unmarked. De Jong nods it down for Lewandowski, but it's just behind him and he fouls Akieme in his attempts to bring it under control.
87' It's a lovely spin from Gavi in midfield to get away from Portillo and he tries to thread it through to Fati. Chumi slides in to get a vital touch which takes it away from the substitute and straight to Martinez.
A. Christensen
Piqué
Barcelona
84' Pique's number goes up on the board, and the defender takes a moment with all of his team-mates on the pitch before handing the captain's armband to Alba. He's emotional as he goes off to a standing ovation from the fans. Christensen is on in his place.
83' SAVE! De Jong darts through a gap in Almeria's defence this time and fizzes it into Lewandowski, but Eguaras stretches to block it. It falls to Fati, who drills a low, first-time shot on goal, but it's straight at Martinez.
81' Almeria are just happy to sit back in their own half, keeping their shape at the moment as Barca knock it around in front of them. It's patient play from the hosts, and they're in no hurry to push upfield right now.
Portillo
L. Robertone
Almería
78' Final change for Almeria now, and it's Robertone that makes way for Portillo.
78' Lewandowski drops deep to get on the ball, and he decides to try his luck from range after turning into space. He doesn't get enough height on the shot though, and it's a comfortable save for Martinez.
76' Dembele has scored three goals in his last five home games, as many as in his previous 30 such matches in all competitions for Barcelona. The Frenchman has scored in consecutive LaLiga home games for the first time (57 appearances).
74' GREAT SAVE! Fati makes a darting run between Almeria's defenders again as Gavi lifts it over the top to him. He's trying to flick his effort over Martinez, but the keeper stands tall to tip it over before the flag goes up.
72' Almeria have another rare opportunity to attack here with Ramazani leading the break down the right. He has Alonso tight to him all the way though, and he can't find space for a cross.
70' OFFSIDE! Lewandowski hooks it over the top for Fati, and he keeps his cool as he's one-on-one with Martinez. He fires his shot around the keeper into the back of the net, but it won't count as he was well offside in the build-up.
Arnau Puigmal
Melero
Almería
68' Melero is also taken off, with Puigmal coming on in his place.
Íñigo Eguaras
Rodrigo Ely
Almería
68' Almeria's changes see the injured Ely go straight down the tunnel, with Eguaras on for him.
Gavi
Sergio Busquets
Barcelona
68' And Busquets is also making way, with Gavi replacing him.
Raphinha
O. Dembélé
Barcelona
68' Barcelona are making a double change here. Dembele is the first to go off, with Raphinha on in his place.
67' Ely has stayed down in the box here and it looks like he's holding his hamstring. The medical team are on to see to him, but it looks like his game is over.
65' GOOD SAVE! There's a bit of a scramble in the box as Lewandowski slides it forward for Pedri, and it takes him two attempts to get it out of his feet before his shot is blocked. It bounces kindly for Fati, but Martinez stretches to push his volley away.
64' Sousa swings in Almeria's free-kick from the left, but it's nodded away at the far post by Pique. His clearance ends up being a good ball for Fati, but Melero slides in to stop him from mounting a counter-attack.
F. de Jong
Goal
Barcelona
62' DE JONG SCORES! Pedri sweeps it out to Alba on the left and he curls a brilliant cross into the middle, which Fati hits first-time on the half-volley. It's straight at Martinez, who parries it, but De Jong is on hand to volley it over the keeper and into the back of the net. 2-0 Barca!
Ansu Fati
Ferran Torres
Barcelona
61' Barcelona are making their first change of the game here as Fati comes on to replace Torres.
60' Barcelona win a free-kick in a good position through the middle and Dembele steps up to take it. He lifts his cross over the group on the edge of the box and straight out, giving his team-mates no chance.
58' WHAT A CHANCE! Another quick break for Barca sees Dembele surging through the middle, and Martinez rushes out of his box to close him down. The Frenchman takes it around him, but instead of shooting at the empty net, he dawdles on the ball before eventually chipping it straight to the keeper. That's a big chance wasted!
56' Almeria are still struggling to get out of their own half here as Dembele pushes forward down the right. He takes a sloppy touch as he tries to cut inside though, and Chumi steps across to intercept.
54' Busquets takes a free-kick short to Pedri, who helps it straight onto Lewandowski on the edge of the box. He has three Almeria defenders around him, and can't shake them to open up space for the shot.
52' Lewandowski has drifted out to the left this time, and he wrongfoots Mendes before squaring it onto the penalty spot for Torres. He spins Ely but takes a heavy touch in the process which allows Almeria to clear their lines.
50' Pedri gets his head up this time and spots Lewandowski's run through the middle of the box. There's just too much on the pass though, and Martinez comes out to collect it.
Sergio Busquets
Assist
Barcelona
48' It's a wonderful pass from Busquets as he plays it over Almeria's midfield to pick out Dembele in space.
O. Dembélé
Goal
Barcelona
48' DEMBELE SCORES! And Barca finally find their breakthrough! Almeria's attack fizzles out and Busquets gets his head up before playing it long to Dembele down the right. He cuts inside, taking it around two Almeria defenders before slotting his low shot into the far bottom corner. 1-0 Barca!
47' Barcelona have picked up where they left off in the first half as they win a corner. Dembele swings in a deep cross and Pique gets his head to it at the far post, but it's straight into Martinez's gloves.
46' Barca get us back underway for the second half!
S. Babić
Kaiky
Almería
46' And Kaiky, who is on a yellow card, also goes off, with Babic on for him.
Dyego Sousa
Léo Baptistão
Almería
46' There's a double change for Almeria at the break. Baptistao is the first to make way, with Sousa on for him.
Almeria have done well so far by soaking up the pressure, though they mainly have their goalkeeper to thank. They'll be looking to do the same again, but take the chances gifted to them. Barca's frustration could easily get the better of them in a game like this, but Xavi will be expecting them to come out firing in the second half.
It's goalless at the break between Barcelona and Almeria. The hosts had a golden opportunity to take the lead from the spot early on after VAR awarded a penalty for handball against Kaiky, but Lewandowski hit the outside of the post. The other best chance fell to Almeria after De Jong's sloppy pass was cut out by Ramazani, but Ter Stegen denied him. Martinez has been equal to everything Barca have thrown at him so far, making some great saves, while Kaiky also cleared one off the line.
45' + 3' HALF-TIME: BARCELONA 0-0 ALMERIA.
45' + 2' SAVE! Almeria committed a lot of bodies forward in attack that time, and Barcelona break quickly on the counter. Lewandowski squares it to De Jong on the left and he curls his shot on goal after cutting inside, but Martinez is equal to it again, pushing it away.
45' + 1' CHANCE! Barca aren't letting up any of the pressure as Dembele fizzes a low cross into the box, which Ely stretches to block. The hosts keep it alive, with Torres clipping in a cross from the left, but Pedri's header is straight at Martinez.
44' SAVE! De Jong rides the challenge from Baptistao before sliding it down the left for Torres as he cuts inside. He fires his shot across goal, but Martinez rushes out to smother it with another good stop.
O. Dembélé
Yellow Card
Barcelona
42' It's a poor challenge from Dembele as he slides in on Kaiky, and he can have no complaints with that yellow card.
41' MISS! Barcelona keep the attack alive, and Busquets slides it down the right for Dembele. He's offside, but Balde takes over, clipping his cross into the far post. Lewandowski loses his bearings though and nods it wide.
40' GREAT SAVE! Costa's clearance is a poor one and Barcelona are able to break on the counter again. Torres drives down the left, nodding it down before chipping it towards Dembele, but his first-time shot is smothered by the scrambling Martinez.
39' Almeria are dropping deep into their shape, and at the moment, they're doing a good job of frustrating Barcelona. The hosts can't open up any space, so Dembele eventually decides to go long to Alba but overhits it straight out of play.
37' The home fans aren't happy as they think that Martinez is time-wasting every time he gets the ball. Barcelona quickly win it back again anyway, but Pedri curls his cross straight into the keeper's gloves.
35' WIDE! Barca are still getting a lot of joy down the left as Alba plays a dangerous low cross to the edge of the six-yard box. Torres is stretching for it and gets a touch to take it past Martinez, but it rolls wide of the far post.
33' Since 2005-06, Lewandowski has become just the third Barcelona player that failed to score his first penalty for the club in LaLiga, after David Villa (April 2013 v Levante) and Antoine Griezmann (November 2020 v Real Betis).
31' OFF THE LINE! De Jong takes the corner short and it's pulled back to Torres on the left of the box. He fires a low shot across goal and Martinez is beaten, but Kaiky is behind him to hook it away.
29' GREAT SAVE! De Jong tries to play a simple square pass to Pique on the halfway line, but Ramazani is alive, and he cuts it out before bursting through Barca's half. He's one-on-one with Ter Stegen and tries to fire it around the keeper, but he makes the save with his trailing leg. What a chance for Almeria!
27' CHANCE! It opens up again for Barcelona, with Dembele fizzing it through to Pedri down the right this time. Martinez rushes out to close him down and the midfielder squares it instead. The net is gaping, but Ely gets there first to clear it.
25' GOOD SAVE! Busquets slides a lovely throughball down the left for Torres and he gets in front of Mendes before firing a shot across goal which is smothered by Martinez. De Jong recycles it, but it's just out of Lewandowski's reach on the stretch.
23' It's a poor goal-kick from Martinez, with Balde cutting it out and setting Barca straight back on the attack. It bounces through to Pedri, but his throughball is just behind Lewandowski.
21' Lewandowski is trying to make room for a shot just inside the D, but Chumi slides in with a perfectly-timed tackle to take it away from him and out for a corner. Barca are asking for a free-kick, but nothing's given.
19' SAVE! Pedri takes the free-kick short to Alba, and he weaves past two Almeria players to get to the edge of the box before taking on a shot. It flies through Martinez's hands, hitting him in the chest, and Ely heads it away just in front of Lewandowski.
17' Barca are getting a lot of joy down their left, with Torres, De Jong and Alba all linking up well. The Dutchman nicks it off Mendes and Alba stops it from going out of play, but the cross at the end of it lets them down.
15' Almeria are trying to get out of their own half here and Ramazani carries it a long way as he finally gets over the halfway line. Three Barcelona players crowd around him though, and he can't keep hold of it.
13' Dembele swings a good delivery into the box from a corner, and he picks out Pique on the penalty spot. He gets caught under it though, thumping his header high over the bar.
11' Almeria are struggling to keep hold of the ball, and Barca quickly win it back again. Torres pushes forward down the left before trying to tee up Lewandowski, but he wasn't expecting it and he bring it under control.
Ferran Torres
Yellow Card
Barcelona
9' Dembele swings in another cross from the right and Torres thinks about sliding in but pulls out when Martinez comes for the ball. He still catches the keeper though, and he's shown a yellow card.
R. Lewandowski
Penalty Miss
Barcelona
7' LEWANDOWSKI MISSES! He stutters his run-up, and when Martinez doesn't move, he hesitates again just in front of the ball. The keeper still stands his ground, but it doesn't matter as Lewandowski hits his low penalty against the outside of the left post and wide. Still 0-0!
Kaiky
Yellow Card
Almería
6' Kaiky is also shown a yellow card for the handball that led to the penalty.
6' PENALTY TO BARCA! The referee is called over to the monitor so he can see the replays for himself, and after seeing all the angles, he goes back out and points to the spot.
5' VAR is having a look at a possible penalty for Barcelona here as it looks like Kaiky blocked Torres' header with his arm, which was out to the side as he came back down.
4' Pique goes for the big switch out to Torres, and this time he does get the better of Mendes. Barcelona work it out to the right, where Dembele swings it into Torres, but his header is blocked by Kaiky.
2' Barcelona have started the game on the front foot as Torres bursts forward down the right. He tries to check back in an attempt to lose Mendes, but the defender stays tight to him and ends the attack.
1' Ramazani gets the game underway for Almeria!
The teams are out on the pitch now, with kick-off just moments away!
Among the current LaLiga teams, Barcelona have played more games against Almeria without defeat (12 - W10 D2) than against any other opponent, scoring at least one goal in each of those 12 matches.
Rubi makes four changes from the win over Celta Vigo last time out, bringing Kaiky, Chumi, Costa and Ramazzani into the side. Babic, De la Hoz, Embarba and Toure all drop to the bench.
Xavi used the Champions League game against Viktoria Plzen in midweek to rotate his squad and makes seven changes today. Alonso, Alba and Torres retain their places, as does Pique, who makes his 615th and final appearance for the club. Franck Kessie joined an extensive injury list after going off with a thigh injury in that game, but they do have Christensen back on the bench.
ALMERIA SUBS: Inigo Eguaras, Lazaro, El Bilal Toure, Cesar De la Hoz, Francisco Portillo, Alejandro Pozo, Diego Fuoli, Alex Centelles, Srdjan Babic, Adrian Embarba, Arnau Puigmal, Dyego Sousa.
ALMERIA STARTING XI (5-3-2): Fernando Martinez; Houboulang Mendes, Kaiky, Rodrigo Ely, Chumi, Sergio Akieme; Lucas Robertone, Gomzalo Melero, Samu Costa; Leo Baptistao, Largie Ramazani.
BARCELONA SUBS: Arnau Tenas, Ansu Fati, Marc Casado, Gavi, Chadi Riad, Pablo Torre, Hector Bellerin, Andreas Christensen, Inaki Pena, Raphinha, Eric Garcia.
BARCELONA STARTING XI (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Alejandro Balde, Gerard Pique, Marcos Alonso, Jordi Alba; Pedri, Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong; Ousmane Dembele, Robert Lewandowski, Ferran Torres.
Barcelona have the chance to leapfrog Real Madrid into top spot in the league with a win here today, in what is Gerard Pique's last match for the club after announcing his retirement earlier this week. Barca have lost just once in LaLiga this season (W10 D1), and they've won all three of their league games since that defeat to Madrid without conceding a goal. Newly promoted Almeria come into this game having won three of their last five outings, though all of those victories came at home. They've lost the other two in that run on the road.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the LaLiga meeting between Barcelona and Almeria at Camp Nou!