Don’t miss the chance to catch the thrilling replay and highlights of the intense battle between Barcelona and Almeria. The heart-stopping action kicks off at 18:00 (GMT) on the 20th of December, 2023. The highly anticipated match will be officiated by the renowned referee, Guillermo Cuadra, at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys. Witness the excitement of this Spain – La Liga showdown in Week 18 of the 2023/2024 season. It’s an event you won’t want to miss!
Barcelona vs Almeria Full Match Reports
In an unexpected turn of events, Sergi Roberto emerged as the unlikely savior for FC Barcelona, securing a thrilling 3-2 victory over the struggling UD Almería. This triumph marked a crucial turnaround for Xavi’s team, ending a concerning streak of three successive games without a win.
Before the match kicked off, La Blaugrana had convincingly dominated all nine of their previous home head-to-head encounters, boasting an impressive aggregate scoreline of 28-2. The trend of Barcelona’s dominance initially seemed unbroken when Ronald Araújo’s header set up Raphinha for a close-range lash, putting the hosts in the lead just after the half-hour mark.
However, Almería, the only team in Europe’s ‘Big Five’ divisions without a league win this season, capitalized on Barcelona’s wayward defending. After Luís Maximiano’s sprawling save denied Robert Lewandowski, Léo Baptistão exploited an opening, racing through and delicately chipping the ball over Iñaki Peña, much to the displeasure of the Estadio Olímpico Lluís Companys crowd.
The introduction of Ferran Torres injected renewed vigor into Barcelona’s attack. Torres, testing Maximiano twice within five minutes of the restart, set the stage for a captivating evening filled with twists and turns. However, simple set-pieces proved to be Almería’s downfall, as Sergi Roberto executed an exquisite header to convert a corner-kick, securing his first goal of the night.
The drama continued with Almería seemingly on the verge of snatching an improbable point. Edgar González capitalized on Peña’s fumbled catch, poking the ball into an empty net. Yet, as time dwindled down, Sergi Roberto responded ruthlessly, delivering a clinical finish under Maximiano’s body, clinching a morale-boosting three points for the hosts.
Barça, now six points adrift of the table’s summit, must cling to the frontrunners, having played a game more than their rivals. Xavi’s relieved squad won’t have much time for self-congratulation as they gear up for a friendly against Club América later in the week. Conversely, Almería concluded their 2023 on a heart-wrenching note, sitting nine points from safety after enduring a sixth defeat in eight games.
Man of the Match: João Cancelo (FC Barcelona).