Almeria 1-0 Barcelona – Betting Review
Let us first have a look at the 1×2 market, where Almeria won as the big outsider and achieved it with merit @ 6.85 to win.
As outlined in our preview, team news and motivation was going to be a danger for Barcelona, as they were clearly affected by the up and coming Copa del Rey final against Real Madrid on Thursday.
Looking at the Asian handicap betting where Barcelona never looked comfortable giving away -1.25 handicap. Almeria didn’t need any kind of start in the end, winning outright and with their +1.25 @ 1.93
Finally a look at the Under/over goals betting. The line had moved up to 3 goals from 2.75.
However, due to a no show from Barcelona’s attack combined with surprisingly good Almeria organisation sitting deep, the Under 3 won easily @ 1.87.
Barcelona were extremely below par and deserved nothing against a very well organised and more committed Almeria.
The visitors ended a miserable week with a 1-0 defeat to an inspired home side who had the previous week, conceded six goals to Catalan club Girona.
Almería had come into the match without a win in seven and conceding goals for fun in recent matches. It was a shock for those which didn’t know that Barcelona were going to not be focused and sending out a weaker side, with one eye on the Copa del Rey final on Thursday.
As outlined in our preview, Barcelona were going to rest regular men and likely try to conserve legs and energy thinking about the midweek el classico. But credit to Almeria as the relegation-threatened side took full advantage of a poor Barcelona in Andalusia. 1-0 is a perfectly fair result.
Xavi’s men wanted to bounce back from a disappointing UEFA Europa League defeat to Manchester United and stretch their lead at the top of La Liga. However. Barça looked uncomfortable from the start in a hard-fought opening that saw Almería play on the front foot.
The buoyant host took the game to a defence that’s conceded just seven goals but without Araujo, looked vulnerable.
The hosts took the lead through El Bilal Toure on 24 minutes. The striker power through on goal and smashed an effort beyond the keeper. It was a well taken goal thanks to a fine assisted chipped pass from Luis Suárez.
Almería had showed their ability to break out and with that, they dropped off and played on the break.
The visitors were incredibly flat and lacked character, without an effort that forced the Almeria shot stopper into action until the 81st minute.
The absences of Pedri, Ousmane Dembélé and Ansu Fati from Barcelona’s frontline were starting to show but those which were playing just lacked energy and ideas.
So bad and ineffective was their short passing game against Almeria’s defensive wall, Barcelona reverted to aiming long balls to Robert Lewandowski and later sub Araujo, who pushed up to feed off desperate late deliveries into the box.
For Almeria they held on brilliantly and Barcelona left their fans shocked by their worst performance of the season.
This was a forgettable and tired-looking performance from Barcelona, who will now need to win the Copa del Rey having thrown this game away in order to compensate.