Barcelona Overcome Almeria Scare as Bayern Maintain Bundesliga Dominance

Barcelona Overcome Almeria Scare as Bayern Maintain Bundesliga Dominance

Saturday, November 8, 2014 9:39 pm

Neymar, Xavi and Messi

Neymar, Xavi and Messi

Barcelona went top of the Spanish Primera Liga table, for some few hours, but had to come from behind and claim a 2-1 win at Almeria to do so while Thomas Müller scored the first hattrick in this Bundesliga season in Bayern Munich’s 4-0 thrashing of Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Catalan giants rested Luis Suarez and Neymar for the trip to Almeria, with Munir and Pedro coming into the starting line-up in place of the star duo, with the former setting up Lionel Messi for the game’s first chance but the Argentine was denied by Ruben in the Almeria goal.

Almeria’s Congolese striker Thievy tested Barça goalkeeper Claudio Bravo midway through the first half while Ivan Rakitic’s header at the other end was kept out by Ruben on the half-hour mark, with Messi heading the rebound over.

Messi then became culprit to Barcelona going behind after 37 minutes, getting dispossessed in midfield as Almeria launched a counterattack which ended with Thievy Bifoum beating the offside trap to beat Bravo and put Almeria in front.

Suarez and Neymar came on for the second half in place of Munir and Pedro, and their impact was felt as Barcelona laid siege on the Almeria goal in search of a way back into the match.

Suarez crashed a volley off the crossbar on the hour mark while Neymar headed into the sidenetting 10 minutes later but the visitors did not have to wait much longer before getting back on level terms as Suarez set up Neymar for the equaliser after 73 minutes.

Suarez was causing the Almeria defence a lot of headache and after firing just wide of goal, the Uruguayan set up Messi who however was denied an all-time La Liga record equalling goal by the crossbar.

The pressure eventually yieled a winning goal for Barcelona eight minutes from time, with Suarez bagging a second assist of the night through a cross which was turned in by Jordi Alba.

The result takes Barcelona a point ahead of archrivals Real Madrid at the top of the table, though Real could return to top spot by at least avoiding defeat at home to Rayo Vallecano later on Saturday.

Meanwhile in the Bundesliga, Thomas Müller scored a hattrick to help Bayern to a 4-0 win at Frankfurt and open a seven-point lead on Wolfsburg and Borussia Monchengladbach at the top of the table.

Müller put the German champions in front after 22 minutes, tapping in from close range after the Fankfurt goalkeeper failed to deal with Franck Ribery’s ball in.

Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was calldd upon to preserve the visitors’ lead just before the interval, keeping out a Seferovic ball into the area with help from defender Dante before keeping out Alexander Meier’s freekick at full-stretch.

Frankfurt however was unable to maintain that momentum in the second half, as Bayern regained control of the encounter and duly ended it as a contest courtesy of two goals in as many minutes from Müller just after the hour mark.

Xherdan Shaqiri wrapped up another comprehensive win for Bayern with the fourth four minutes from time.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga, Werder Bremen’s 2-0 win at home to VfB Stuttgart meant Borussia Dortmund would head into Sunday’s Borussia derby at Monchengladbach bottom of the league.

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