Barcelona edge closer to second place finish with win over Almeria

Fermin Lopez scored twice to give Barcelona the victory and put some space between themselves and Girona
UD Almeria v FC Barcelona - LaLiga EA Sports
UD Almeria v FC Barcelona - LaLiga EA Sports / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Fermin Lopez netted a brace as Barcelona all but assured themselves a second place finish in LaLiga following a 2-0 win over last place Almeria.

Xavi fielded a somewhat rotated side with Sergi Roberto and the aforementioned Lopez given a start as Ilkay Gundogan was serving a one-match suspension.

It wasn't pretty but Barcelona got on the score sheet in the 14th minute as Hector Fort, starting in place of Joao Cancelo, delivered a floated cross across the defense to an awaiting Lopez who awkwardly headed past the Almeria goalkeeper.

Already sentenced to relegation, Almeria didn't let the goal deter them and were arguably the better team in the first half, creating some chances themselves only to be let down by some rather poor finishing.

The same script continued in the opening minutes of the second half with the home side piling the pressure in search of an equalizer. Almeria came close with Choco Lozano somehow missing what constituted a penalty, sending his shot wide.

Barcelona finally put the game to rest, by all intents and purposes, in the 67th minute with Lopez's second. Sergi Roberto made a run which was spotted by Fort. The left-back laid the ball off to Roberto who then cut the ball across the penalty box to an oncoming Lopez who finished well past the keeper.

"I'm happy to help the team with goals and for the win, which we needed," Lopez said after the match.
We're going to fight for second place until the end and we're on the right track."

The second goal took the sails off Almeria who were playing well and on another night could have gotten something out of this game.

In any case, Barcelona picked up the 3 points and are now firmly in second place, 4 points ahead of Girona in third.


Barcelona can lock up second place, and a spot in next season's Spanish Super Cup, if they beat Rayo Vallecano at home on Sunday.