Coming into this match knowing the fact that Real Madrid have demolished its opponent 9-1, a victory was necessary for Barcelona to keep a mental edge over their rivals. While their win was not as glamorous as that of the LOS BLANCOS, it was enough to retain their lead over the top of LA Liga table to 4 points.
Here are 5 things that we learned from this fixture: –
Messi wasn’t as glamorous as Ronaldo: but he was equally effective
When Ronaldo scored 5 goals past Granada on Saturday, some might have expected the Barcelona star to do the same considering the rivalry between the two greats of modern football. However, as was expected, Messi took a down-to-the-earth approach and got the job done for his team-mates. With his sterile finish for the first goal that was as silky as shimmering light. However, with 21 goals in 21 matches in 2015, Messi could afford to be ‘less’ productive.
Absence of Neymar was felt
Even though the stats from the match won’t tell you so will the final score of 4-0, Barcelona missed the cunningness of Neymar on the right flank. With no disrespect to Pedro who tried his level best, Barcelona always play a notch up when they have the front trio of Suarez-Messi-Neymar up-front.
However, with Neymar returning for the next fixture for the Cules, we might see the South American trio to combine in the next match for Barcelona.
Almeria still remain win-less against Barcelona in official competitions!
Coming into this match on the back of all odds, Almeria even had history going against them. Before this match and in all competitions that have took place between the two teams, Almeria had failed to beat Barcelona – at home or away since their inception. And while little doubted their ability to stun Barcelona at Camp Nou, it seemed that even Almeria wanted the history to repeat itself. Thus, in the last 14 fixtures between these two sides, Barcelona have won 12 – with a stalemate in the other two gracing their luck.
Suarez has undergone a meticulous rise since the Dawn of New Year
When Luis Suarez returned after seeing off his ban in October and took part in an El-Classico – a match in which Barcelona lost, many predicted the first year to be difficult for the Uruguayan. He himself did little to squander this belief until New Year, however, the Dawn of New Year has seemed to inject form into the Uruguayan.
While he scored only 1 goal in his opening 8 appearances for Barcelona – next 13 appearances have seen Suarez score 9 goals
Thus, with a Champions League quarter-final beckoning his way and a tough few last weeks of LA Liga title race lying ahead, Barcelona will need Suarez to be in same form since the end of this season.
Marc Bartra was as brilliant as anyone on the pitch
With 1 goal and an assist to his name contributing to the Barcelona win, Marc Bartra had more influence on the match then Xavi, Rakitic and Roberto combined. While a comparison might seem ridiculous – it should be, Bartra epitomized the concept of an attacking defender today.
And for the Barcelona folklore which was so used to seeing Carles Puyol stepping up and scoring important goals from the set-pieces, Barta stirred some brilliant memories amongst the Catalan fan-base tonight.
Full time: Barcelona 4-0 Almeria