Barca Taste League Defeat for Second Time this Season Following Almeria Defeat

Barca Taste League Defeat for Second Time this Season Following Almeria Defeat
Partido de LaLiga Santander entre el Almería y el Barcelona. En la imagen, Xavi Hernández. LaLiga SmartBank match between Almería and Barcelona. In this picture, Xavi Hernández. Photo by Icon Sport

Almeria recorded 1-0 victory over La Liga leaders Barcelona to see them move out of the bottom three and cause an upset in the Spanish top-flight.

El Bilal Toure continued his outstanding debut season in Spain with a spectacular goal 24 minutes into the first half.

Magnificent Malian Toure in Terrific Form


The Mali international chested down a long ball, passed it on, and then dashed back to receive the return ball. Regaining possession, he drove into the Barcelona penalty area before unleashing a tremendous shot that was unstoppable by goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

El Bilal Toure has been Almeria’s best player this season, therefore it was not surprising that he excelled against Barcelona.

The Mali international scored a magnificent individual goal, but it was his hard running and selfless hold-up play that provided his team with the key outlet they required to ease the constant Barcelona pressure.

Without his strength, quickness, and intellect, Almeria likely would not have survived Barcelona’s overwhelming possession.

With him, they consistently interrupted these long stretches and prevented the visitors from gaining any real momentum. In addition, Barcelona was unable to commit numbers forward due to Toure’s potential to get in behind.

Barcelona Perform Poorly to Fall to Second Defeat in a Week

Manager Xavi Hernandez replied to a lackluster first half by replacing Franck Kessie with the Brazilian winger Raphinha.

The Barca boss was cautioned for contesting the award of a goal kick when he believed his team was entitled to a corner kick.

After 70 minutes of possession dominance, Barcelona had not managed a single attempt on goal.

Ronald Araujo was thrown on as an emergency center striker, but Barcelona’s first effort on goal did not come until the 82nd minute, when Angel Alarcon came on as a second-half substitute.

The setback was Barcelona’s first in La Liga since the Clasico loss to Real Madrid in mid-October, a span of 13 games. It also marked consecutive defeats following their Europa League relegation at the hands of Manchester United last week.

The loss meant that Barcelona suffered successive losses for the first time since April of last year, coincidentally when they were eliminated from the Europa League.

This year it was Manchester United, and last year it was Eintracht Frankfurt, but it does not bode well for a Barca season that looked so promising. The club invested heavily in its first team over last summer and would have expected to at least challenge for the Europa League.

Barca will have little time to lick their wounds as they face a massive fixture versus their arch-rivals in their next game.

The La Liga leaders will meet Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semi-final this week before returning to league play the following weekend.

Barca’s amazing defensive record of seven goals conceded in the league (before the defeat to Almeira) was never going to continue for an entire season, but it was their lackluster offensive performance against on Sunday evening that has provided cause for concern.

The Nou Camp side will have to pick themselves up fast if they are to meet fans’ expectations.


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