Barcelona 2-0 Almeria: Dembele and De Jong on target as Pique leaves Camp Nou with a win


In Gerard Pique's final home game before retirement, Barcelona secured a relatively routine 2-0 win against Almeria at Camp Nou.
FotMob - 7 months ago

Barcelona eased to a 2-0 win against Almeria in Gerard Pique's final game at Camp Nou before retirement.

Goals from Ousmane Dembele and Frenkie de Jong made up for an early missed penalty from Robert Lewandowski, but it was always going to be Pique's occasion.

The 35-year-old centre-back played 82 minutes before being substituted, leaving the field to a standing ovation from every one of the 92,605 in attendance on Saturday as he tearfully hugged each of his team-mates.

Barca's win was their 11th in their last 12 league games and sent them back to the top of LaLiga before Real Madrid's trip to Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

A VAR check saw Barca rewarded a sixth-minute penalty when Ferran Torres' header hit Kaiky Fernandes' arm but Lewandowski saw his spot-kick clip the outside of the left post after a stuttered run-up.

Despite Barca's dominance, a sloppy pass from De Jong was pounced on by Largie Ramazani and Marc-Andre ter Stegen reacted quickly to close down his shot.

It took less than three minutes of the second half for the hosts to find the opener as a long ball out to the right from Sergio Busquets found Dembele, who cut inside onto his left foot and beat two defenders before calmly rolling his shot into the far corner of the net.

Their lead was doubled just after the hour as a cross from the left by Jordi Alba found Ansu Fati, whose shot was saved well by Fernando Martinez before De Jong lashed home the rebound to seal the win as the Camp Nou bid farewell to Pique with a victory.

What does it mean? Pique plays his final minutes at home

There will be tears across Catalonia on Saturday after Pique said goodbye to fans that have supported him since he returned from Manchester United in 2008.

This was his 615th appearance and his 423rd win in the shirt of his beloved Barca and, fittingly, it was a clean sheet.

Pique had 76 touches, completed 61 of 65 passes (94 per cent), making two tackles, three clearances and receiving one well-earned standing ovation.

Dominant Barca denied heavy win

Three points is all that will matter, but Barca should really have beaten their opponents by more than a two-goal margin.

Xavi's men had 27 shots in all, their highest total in a single match in La Liga this season, with 13 on target.

Dembele keeps impressing

He may have been guilty of missing some good chances, but Dembele was the man to break the deadlock with another Camp Nou goal.

The France international has scored three in his last five home games, as many as in his previous 30 in all competitions for Barca, and also scored in consecutive home games in La Liga for the first time in 57 appearances.

What’s next?

Barcelona travel to Osasuna for their final game before the World Cup on Tuesday, while Almeria host Getafe on Wednesday.