Barcelona will be top of the La Liga table for the next two days thanks to a comfortable 2-0 win against Almería at the Greatest Stadium on Earth on Saturday night. Barça played very good football and dominated a helpless Almería side, and the night was extra special as Gerard Piqué started and captained the side for the last time at Camp Nou and was part of the winning team on his farewell.
Barça had a huge early chance to score the opener when Kaiky was called for a handball inside the box just five minutes in, but Robert Lewandowski missed the penalty in what was an early sign of what was to come in the first 45 minutes.
The home team played some truly breathtaking attacking football, with quick passing, great movement between the lines and chance after chance after chance against an Almería defense that simply could not keep up with the Blaugrana’s offensive play.
Yet somehow, someway, the ball just wouldn’t go in. Goalkeeper Fernando made big saves, the ball went agonizingly wide multiple times, and perfect crosses that would have resulted in tap-ins were cleared at the very last second by the Almería defenders.
At halftime the game was somehow goalless despite one of the strongest attacking performances Barça have put together in quite a while. But football is funny that way, and the Blaugrana had to find a way to finally score and secure the win in the second half.
Barça wasted no time in the final period and broke the deadlock just three minutes in: Sergio Busquets played a long ball over the top to find Ousmane Dembélé who cut inside on his left foot, went past three defenders in the box and passed the ball into the net to finally give the home team a deserved lead.
The Blaugrana made themselves comfortable by doubling their lead a little over 10 minutes later after a cross from Jordi Alba found Ansu Fati inside the box, and after his volley was saved by Fernando it was Frenkie De Jong who was first to the rebound to fire home the second.
Barça continued to attack and look for more goals, but the ball stopped going in again despite the Blaugrana’s best efforts. They simply cruised to the finish, but a special moment happened with five minutes to go: Andreas Christensen came on for an emotional Gerard Piqué, who received a tremendous ovation from the entire stadium and was embraced by every one of his teammates as he left the Camp Nou pitch for the last time as a player.
Barça simply ran the clock out in the dying moments and the final whistle came to end a special night at Camp Nou. The 2-0 score doesn’t do justice to Barça’s excellent performance, but what a really matters is that Gerard Piqué got a proper send-off fitting of his incredible career. A perfect night to honor a legend.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Balde, Piqué (Christensen 84’), Alonso, Alba; Pedri, Busquets (Gavi 68’), De Jong; Dembélé (Raphinha 68’), Lewandowski, Ferran (Fati 61’)
Goals: Dembélé (48’), De Jong (62’)
Almería: Fernando; Mendes, Kaiky (Babic 46’), Ely (Eguara 68’), Chumi, Akieme; Robertone (Portillo 79’), Samu, Melero (Arnau 69’); Baptistao (Sousa 46’), Ramazani