First Division - Day 9

Barcelona 2 - Almería 0

Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Zambrotta, Milito, Puyol (Márquez 46'), Abidal; Xavi, Touré Yayá (Gudjohnsen 62'), Iniesta; Giovani, Henry, Ronaldinho (Messi 73'). 4-3-3.
Almería: Cobeño; Bruno, Carlos García, Acasiete, Mané; Juanito, Soriano (López Rekarte 90'); Juanma Ortíz (José Ortíz 65'), Felipe Melo (Corona 73'), Crusat; Negredo. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Barça: Zambrotta, Touré Yayá, Giovani, Ronaldinho for Oleguer, Deco, Messi, Bojan Krkic / Almería: Acasiete, Soriano, Juanma Ortíz for Pulido, Corona, Natalio.

1-0. 37. Henry. Turned ball into net after Cobeño blocked effort from Giovani.
2-0. 80. Messi (penalty). After Giovani brought down by Bruno inside area.

Barcelona are back up to second spot after beating Almería 2-0 on Sunday evening. They made hard work of it though, and chances were few and far between for much of the match. Víctor Valdés had to keep out Ortíz and Soriano early on, and Cobeño was only given problems by a couple of efforts from Ronaldinho in the first half hour. However with half time closing in Cobeño blocked a run by Giovani, and the ball fell to Henry who rolled the ball in to the net from a possible offside position.

The game continued in the same vein after the restart, Iniesta the only one to test Cobeño. Ayza Gámez turned down a penalty appeal by Negredo after he was felled by Márquez later in the second half, but soon afterwards the referee did award a less obvious one to the home side after Giovani fell under Bruno's challenge, substitute Messi converting the kick. A few minutes earlier the young midfielder had replaced an off form Ronaldinho, the crowd whistling their former hero as he left the field. Not the best of performances from the Blaugrana, but at least they took the three points.