Barcelona suffer but hang on against last place Almeria

Barcelona didn't make things easy on themselves but managed to hang on to a 3-2 win against bottom of the table Almeria.
FC Barcelona v UD Almeria - LaLiga EA Sports
FC Barcelona v UD Almeria - LaLiga EA Sports / Pedro Salado/GettyImages

Xavi Hernandez's managerial seat isn't getting any cooler and he can thank Sergi Roberto that at least it isn't getting hotter as the veteran midfielder scored twice in Barcelona's 3-2 win over Almeria.

In what should have been a relatively straightforward affair, the Catalan side struggled to get the win against the last place team in LaLiga.

Barcelona pulled ahead midway through the opening half after Raphinha hammered home a ball that came off a rebound from a corner. The Brazilian celebrated his goal profusely after coming under criticism for missing what could have been a game winner against Valencia.

As has often been the case this season, Barcelona had the opportunity to double their lead before the half as a mistake in defense saw Robert Lewandowski all but one-on-one against the keeper only to see his shot saved. Minutes later, Almeria were celebrating an equalizer on the other end after a poorly played ball by Ronald Araujo.

Barcelona were forced to go into the half tied along with whistles from the home supporters.

Jules Kounde and Ferran Torres replaced Andreas Christensen and Joao Felix to start the second half with Torres looking a lot livelier than Felix and almost putting Barcelona in front.

Barcelona would pull ahead in the 60th minute with Sergi Roberto scoring the first of his two goals. Having almost scored the opener from a corner, Roberto managed to connect off another set-piece and sent his header to the opposite post.

There was a sense of relief from Barcelona after taking the lead. A sense that wouldn't last, however.

Barcelona were their own worst enemy as 11 minutes later, Almeria sent in a hopeful cross into the box. Seeminly covered by three Barcelona defenders, Iñaki Peña decided to come out for the ball only to crash into Araujo, spilling the ball in the process for an easy open goal from Almeria.

The pressure was on once more.

Sergi Roberto played the role of hero in the 83rd minute as he put away Barcelona's third, and ultimately the winner. Lewandowski spotted the run from the veteran captain and floated a ball to Roberto who calmly shot past the keeper.

Still, it wasn't easy for Barcelona as Iñaki Peña made up for his earlier error by reacting quickly off a header at near point blank range.

Sergi Roberto almost scored a hat-trick as he saw his effort hit crossbar in stoppage time.

In the end, Barcelona managed to hang on to three points that they desperately needed. They may not head into the break with good sensations about how they've performed, but they will go into it knowing they got all three points.

The win does very little to garner any type of credit for Xavi as the same deficiencies show no sign of improvement. They were made to look worse considering Barcelona were playing the last place team in the league and a team with the league's worst defense. His permanency on the bench is still hanging on by a thread.

"Right now we have to get the three points no matter what," Sergi Roberto said after the game. "The goof thing is that we are having chances, if we didn't have them I would be worried. The goals will come."

Next. Barcelona draw Napoli in the Champions League round of 16. Barcelona draw Napoli in the Champions League round of 16. dark

In any case, Barcelona break their three-game winless streak and now have time to take their focus off what has been a disappointing season to this point. That being said, they still have one game left as the team now travels to Dallas to take on Club America in an international friendly.