Barcelona rallies to edge Almeria

Almeria, Spain ( – Barcelona snapped a two-game slide in La
Liga play by rallying for a 2-1 victory over Almeria at the Estadio
Mediterraneo on Saturday.

The Catalans entered the contest in poor form after dropping back-to-back
matches in league play to slip from their perch atop the table, and things
appeared to heading further south after Thievy Bifouma handed Almeria a 37th-
minute lead by slotting a shot past Claudio Bravo on the counter.

The hosts held the advantage until the 73rd minute when Neymar got on the end
of Luis Suarez’s square pass and tucked home the equalizer with a nifty

Barcelona ultimately found a winner eight minutes from time and it was Suarez
again playing the role of the architect. The Uruguayan delivered an inch-
perfect cross to the back post where Jordi Alba was arriving to guide the pass
into the back of the net with a first-time finish.

It wasn’t a vintage Barcelona performance, but it was enough for the fabled
club to stop the rot and climb to 25 points on the season.

The Catalans climb to second place in the table after Real Madrid cruised to a
5-1 demolition of Rayo Vallecano at the Bernabeu later on Saturday.

Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos put the hosts in good stead with first-half
goals, though Alberto Bueno managed to pull one back for Rayo before the

The second half, though, belonged to Madrid as Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema and
Cristiano Ronaldo notched a goal apiece to put the club back atop the table on
27 points.

Malaga claimed a 2-1 home win over Eibar on Saturday to improve to 21 points
on the season.

The visitors took the lead through Mikel Arruabarrena’s opener in the 42nd
minute, but Juanmi leveled the score in the 53rd before a 90th-minute penalty
from Nordin Amrabat handed Malaga the vital victory.

Also on Saturday, Celta Vigo was held to a 0-0 home draw by Granada while
Elche claimed a point from a 0-0 draw at Getafe.