Almeria vs. Barcelona: Final score 0-2, The Blaugrana win but lose Messi to an injury

David Ramos

It wasn't the most impressive performance but in the end Barcelona were able to take three points from Almeria and remain perfect on the season.

In the end Gerardo Martino will be happy to leave Almeria with three points but it was hardly the most impressive performance for his Barcelona side. The loss of Lionel Messi midway through the first half to a hamstring injury probably did help things either, but Barca did enough to remain perfect in the league this season.

Barcelona wasted no time going on the attack, as you might expect, but Almeria's goalkeeper Esteban held up to the pressure. Andrés Iniesta tested him in the 5th minute, sending a rebounded ball right back in on frame from 20-yards out that Esteban pushed over the crossbar.

The Blaugrana wasted another good chance in the 14th minute when Lionel Messi dropped a free kick right on to the head of Gerard Piqué at the far post but the central defender couldn't control his header, sending it well wide.

The inevitable first goal arrived in the 21st minute when Messi worked some of his trademark magic to put Barca in front. Messi went right around Aleix Vidal before playing a fantastic one-touch give and go with Pedro to create space for himself on the edge of the Almeria area. Messi dribbled left a few steps before rocketing a shot off the post and past Esteban.

Gerardo Martino was forced to make an early substitution in the 28th minute after Lionel Messi was forced to leave the match after apparently tweaking his hamstring. Xavi Hernandez came off the bench in his place with Cesc Fàbregas sliding forward into Messi's place up top.

Barcelona were far from impressive the remainder of the half and possibly a bit lucky to hold their lead into the break.

It only took about 10 minutes for Barcelona to double their lead in the second half. Xavi's pass sprung Cesc free on the left side of the box and his centering pass snuck under an Almeria defender's foot before being tapped-in by the sliding Adriano to make it 2-0.

Over on the Barca bench, Messi was impressed by the play and stood up off the bench to celebrate but the physio immediately instructed him to sit back down. Consider yourself told Mr. Messi.

After that Barcelona stayed in control of the match for the most post and seemed content to just get out of Estadio de los Juegos Mediterráneos with the win, which they did.

Almeria: Esteban, Nélson, Pellerano, Trujillo, Fernández, Marcos Tébar, Verza (Barbosa 80'), Aleix Vidal (Dubarbier 65'), Soriano (Azeez 62'), Suso, Rodrï.

Goals: None

Barcelona: Valdés, Dani Alves, Piqué, Barta, Adriano, Busquets, Iniesta, Fàbregas, Alexis (Tello 80'), Pedro, Messi (Xavi 28').

Goals: Messi (21'), Adriano (56')

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