Barcelona back to third in La Liga with Almeria win


(L-R) Sergi Roberto of FC Barcelona, Ferran Torres of FC Barcelona celebrating the victroy during the LaLiga EA Sports match between FC Barcelona v UD Almeria at the Lluis Companys Olympic Stadium on December 20, 2023 in Barcelona Spain.

Barcelona have earned a hard-fought 3-2 win over last-placed Almeria to end a three-game winless streak and regain third place in Spain.

Captain Sergi Roberto scored twice and Raphinha once for Barcelona on Wednesday night (Thursday AEDT) to move them three points ahead of fourth-placed Atletico Madrid. The Catalan club trail Real Madrid by four points and leaders Girona by six.

Almeria are the only team yet to win a La Liga match this season and the Saudi-owned club hasn't enjoyed a victory in 21 straight league games, going back to last season.

They remain in last place with five points -- nine from safety.

Raphinha opened the scoring in the 33rd minute and Leo Baptistao equalised in the 41st. Roberto headed the hosts ahead again from a corner in the 60th before Edgar Gonzalez levelled in the 71st for the southern club.

Barca sealed their 11th win from 18 starts thanks to another Roberto strike with seven minutes plus added time remaining.

The Game Cricket 2023-24

"We suffered more than we expected and more than we deserved," Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez said.

"We had 30 shots on goal and gifted two goals. The first half was unacceptable, but the second was better. It's been like this for a month and a half or two."

Elsewhere, Unai Gomez scored an added-time winner as Athletic Bilbao edged Las Palmas 1-0 to consolidate fifth-place, while Villarreal survived a stirring fightback from Celta Vigo to wrap up a 3-2 win and jump one spot to 13th.

Celta, who have only one win in their last 14 league games, stayed in 18th place and inside the relegation zone.

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