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Barcelona suffer shock defeat at struggling Almeria

Almeria's win takes them to 25 points, two points above the bottom three
Almeria’s win takes them to 25 points, two points above the bottom three

Almeria stunned La Liga leaders Barcelona with a 1-0 win that lifts them out of the bottom three.

Breakout star El Bilal Toure continued an excellent debut season in Spain with a brilliant goal 24 minutes into the first half.

The Mali international chested down a long ball laid it off and immediately raced in behind to receive the return ball. Taking back possession, he drove into the Barcelona box before unleashing a thunderous strike that goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen had no hope of saving.

Manager Xavi Hernandez responded to an anaemic first half by introducing Brazil winger Raphinha at the expense of Franck Kessie.

Xavi himself was booked for protesting the award of a goal-kick when he thought his side were owed a corner.

Barcelona dominated possession but after 70 minutes had still not managed a single shot on target.

Ronald Araujo was sent on as an emergency centre forward, but not until the 82nd minute did second-half substitute Angel Alarcon get Barcelona’s first shot on goal.

The defeat was Barcelona’s first in La Liga since the mid-October Clasico loss to Real Madrid – a 13-game run – but also marked consecutive losses following their midweek Europa League exit at the hands of Manchester United.

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