Written by 01:26 Sports

Barcelona brush aside lowly Almeria thanks to Fermin Lopez brace

Barcelona moved four points clear in the race for second place in LaLiga EA SPORTS after a 2-0 win over Almeria at the Power Horse Stadium on Thursday night.

Fermin Lopez was the star man for the Blaugrana, opening the scoring in the first half and later adding a second after the restart as Xavi’s men comfortably took all three points from their trip to Andalusia.

Xavi made four changes from their victory over Real Sociedad on Monday, with three players aged 17 and under – Lamine Yamal, Hector Fort and Pau Cubarsi – named in the starting lineup.

Almeria had just two victories to their name all season heading into the contest, and the already-relegated side did what they could to trouble Barcelona in front of their home fans.

Jose BretonAP

But things got off to a rocky start when left-back Fort stepped inside on his right foot, whipped in a sublime delivery to the far post and there was Fermin Lopez to head home past the helpless Luis Maximiano after just 14 minutes.

It was Lopez’s sixth LaLiga goal of the season, despite starting only 12 games from midfield, with the 21-year-old proving to be more useful with every game for Xavi.

Not long after, Almeria should have levelled when Lazaro put Leo Baptistao through one on one with Marc-Andre ter Stegen, but the Brazilian somehow failed to hit the target.

Having already pulled off an outrageous piece of skill, the 16-year-old Lamine Yamal nearly doubled Barca’s advantage just before the half-hour mark, only to strike the post from a tight angle.

Almeria pay for squandering chances

Then it was the hosts’ turn to hit the post before the half-time whistle, with Jonathan Viera feeding Adri Embarba inside the box and the winger’s shot cannoned back off the woodwork to keep the Blaugrana’s narrow lead intact.

Carlos BarbaEFE

After the break, many would have expected Barca to take control of the game. But with 48 minutes on the clock, only Lozano will know how he blazed over from 12 yards after Cubarsi had dispossessed Viera.

The pace of the match dropped from there, with Barcelona adding a second and all but securing the win in the 66th minute. Sergi Roberto made a galloping run forward down the left, and his low cross was expertly fired home by Fermin Lopez to double his and Barcelona’s tally.

The goal ended Almeria’s already slim chances of a comeback, with the final minutes playing out to little fanfare as the home side slumped to their 23rd defeat of the campaign. As for Barcelona, they look set for a second-place finish thanks to a four-point advantage over Girona with just two matches remaining.


Last modified: 18 May 2024