Barcelona vs. Almeria: Final score 4-1, Blaugrana overpower Almeria

Getty Images

Barcelona pulled away late after a tough test from Almeria to earn full points and close the gap on first-place Real Madrid.

Barcelona were tested by Almeria but in the end were simply too much as they pulled away late for a 4-1 victory. Alexis Sánchez and Lionel Messi scored in the first half and late second-half goals from Carles Puyol and Xavi secured all three points for the home side.

Barcelona have struggled at times this season to get their offense going, but it wasn't an issue in this match as they took the lead in the ninth minute. Cesc Fàbregas' shot from just inside the Almeria 18-yard box was stopped by Esteban but the rebound went right to Alexis Sánchez, who was more than happy to tap it in for the 1-0 lead.

Things didn't improve for Almeria as Barca doubled their lead in the 24th minute. Lionel Messi got a chance to line up a free kick from 20 yards out and curled a lovely strike over the wall and past Esteban to make it 2-0.

Almeria fought back two minutes later and pulled a goal back, taking advantage of Barca's continued inability to properly defend a set piece. This time it was a corner kick as Miguel Corona's cross was met by Ángel Trujillo, who went right past his marker and headed the ball past Victor Valdés.

Barca finally secured the points in the 83rd minute as Carles Puyol cleaned up a rebound off the crossbar. Messi made a great run and headed a big looping corner kick past Esteban and off the crossbar. The ball came down to Puyol, who was lurking at the near post, and the defender was more than happy to poke it over the line to extend the lead to 3-1.

Xavi added a fourth goal in the 89th minute with a lovely curling shot from 20 yards out.

The win moves Barcelona back into second place, one point behind the league leaders Real Madrid, who drew against Atlético Madrid earlier on Sunday.

Barcelona: Valdés, Alves, Puyol, Mascherano, Adriano, Busquets, Xavi, Fàbregas (Iniesta 79'), Sánchez (Pedro 72'), Messi, Neymar (Tello 88')

Goals: Sánchez (9'), Messi (24'), Puyol (83'), Xavi (89')

Almeria: Esteban, Rafita, Trujillo, Torsiglieri, Dubarbier, Verza, Corona (Tébar 72'), Azeez (Suso 79'), Jonathan, Aleix, Rodri (Barbosa 62')

Goals: Trujillo (27')

More from SBNation.com

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.