FC Barcelona secured a comfortable 4-0 victory over Almeria with the help of two brilliant strikes from Leo Messi and Luis Suarez, and a masterful performance by club legend Xavi Hernandez in the midfield. After the game, the Blaugrana coach Luis Enrique urged the passing maestro to prolong his stay in the Catalan capital.
There were some concerns about the foot injury of Leo Messi but he scored a wonderful goal in the 33rd minute to put FC Barcelona ahead. This was his 44th goal for FC Barcelona in 43 appearances for the Catalans this season.
Luis Suarez looked out of touch for FC Barcelona in majority of the first half but he scored a brilliant goal in the 55th minute to double the lead of FC Barcelona. Defender Marc Bartra, who got a rare start under Luis Enrique, headed home in the 75th minute while Suarez scored his second and Barcaa s fourth goal in the injury time.
Mdifielder Xavi Hernandez is set to leave FC Barcelona this summer but he gave in a masterful performance against Almeria on Wednesday. After the game, Luis Enrique urged his captain to extend his stay at FC Barcelona.
a Xavi? He has the affection of all Catalans and any football lover. Ia d like him to continue helping us but I understand he wants other experiences. Whatever he chooses will be good for FC Barcelona,a said Luis Enrique in a press conference after the match.
Luis Enrique also praised FC Barcelona players for their impressive performance against Almeria.
a We won the match with the intensity we showed,a Luis Enrique said.
a It wasna t an easy game and our intensity was good, even if wea re not fresh. Wea re strengthened to go to Sevilla.a
Luis Enrique was expected to substitute Leo Messi in the second half because of his injury but he said after the game that it was never on cards.
a Tempted to replace Lionel Messi? No, I wasna t. Neymar, hea s the only one who didna t get a rest with his national team so I called Pedro Rodriguez who was in the best possible condition.a