First Division - Day 8

Barcelona 5 - Almería 0

Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Daniel Alves (Víctor Sánchez 73'), Márquez Puyol, Abidal; Xavi, Touré Yayá (Hleb 58'), Iniesta; Messi, Eto'o, Henry (Bojan 65'). 4-3-3.
Almería: Diego Alvés; Bruno, Carlos García, Pellerano, Guilherme (José Ortíz 87'); Soriano, Corona; Juanma Ortíz (Natalio 81'), Julio Alvarez, Crusat (Mané 46'); Negredo. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Barcelona: Puyol, Xavi, Messi for Piqué, Víctor Sánchez, Keita / Almería: Carlos García, Guilherme, Crusat for Chico, Mané, Juanito.

1-0. 05. Eto'o. Volleyed shot past Diego Alves after Carlos García headed ball up.
2-0. 14. Henry. Turned shot in close to goal after Messi whipped ball across.
3-0. 21. Eto'o. Tap in to empty net after Iniesta and Xavi combined to set him up.
4-0. 24. Eto'o. Back-heeled ball in to net after Messi passed in from right.
5-0. 37. Dani Alves. Drilled low free kick in to far corner of net from outside area.

Yellow cards: Crusat 30', Juanma Ortíz 43', Soriano 75' / red cards: Negredo 30'.

For the second time in four days Barcelona scored five early goals to wrap up a match. After the midweek win in Basel, this Saturday they beat Almería 5-0 to head up the table pending Sunday's games. All the goals this time came in the first half, with Eto'o opening the scoring in the fifth minute after Carlos García could only head Touré Yayá's pass up in to the air, allowing the striker to volley a shot wide of Diego Alves. Ten minutes later Iniesta repeated his play for Spain a few days ago, dancing past a couple of defenders before laying the ball back. A defender intercepted the pass, but only as far as Messi, who whipped the ball across for the waiting Henry to guide it in to the net.

The best was yet to come though, Xavi's first touch from Iniesta's pass giving him time to lay the ball across past Diego Alves for Eto'o to score in to an empty net. And three minutes later it was Messi's turn to beat the full back on the right by-line, Eto'o collecting his pass with his back to goal and dragging the ball back in to the net with his heel, one of the quickest hat-tricks on record in the league.

It was all too much for Negredo, the ex Real Madrid Castilla striker getting himself sent off for an aggressive tackle on Márquez on the half hour mark. And a few minutes later Dani Alves drilled a long free kick past his namesake for his side's fifth and his own first goal in Barcelona colours.

After that Guardiola called it a day, although Messi, Henry and Eto'o could all have added to the scoreline. Arconada brought on a second left back at the break, and his side did carve out a couple of chances, Guilherme hitting the bar with a long shot and Julio Alvarez just missing the target. But one of the best defensive sides in the league had been well and truly beaten, and they can only be grateful that Barça saved some of their strength for future commitments.