Pique says emotional goodbye as Barcelona climb in LaLiga

BARCELONA — It was a routine win for Barcelona as they beat Almeria 2-zero on Saturday evening time at Camp Nou to maneuver to the greater of the LaLiga desk. nonetheless the match wasn’t actually about that.

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Longtime Barcelona defender Gerard Pique performed his ultimate match in entrance of dwelling followers after he introduced that he’ll retire when the Spanish league breaks for the World Cup this month.

right here is ESPN’s Sam Marsden with response and evaluation from Camp Nou.

soar TO: participant scores | most interesting/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | put up-match quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

quick response

1. Wasteful Barca discover capturing boots to go prime

Barcelona might have feared this might be a sort of nights at halftime. They managed sixteen photographs inside the essential half and had an xG of two.fifty three — the most interesting on report in a scoreless first half since 2010-eleven — however had no targets to level out for his or her efforts. Robert Lewandowski had missed a penalty, and Ferran Torres alone had wasted six probabilities at an xG of zero.ninety nine. on the completely different finish, solely an great save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen to protect out Largie Ramazani stored Almeria out.

nonetheless, any fears of failing to interrupt down Almeria’s 5-man backline quickly evaporated after the break. Ousmane Dembele opened the scoring inside the forty eighth minute with a advantageous solo aim, reducing in from the appropriate to full low inside the underside nook after a raking cross from Sergio Busquets. De Jong added the second simply after the hour mark, turning dwelling after Ansu Fati‘s shot was saved.

finally, the win was as routine as they arrive. It takes Barca prime of the league, briefly at the very least, two factors away from exact Madrid, who journey to Rayo Vallecano on Sunday. completely different than final month’s loss to Madrid, it has been an almost great season for Barca domestically so far: eleven wins, one draw and simply that solitary defeat on the Santiago Bernabeu.

2. Pique bows out a membership legend

This sport was actually about Gerard Pique as he made his 616th look for Barcelona and his final ever at Camp Nou. he’ll retire from having fun with after Tuesday’s go to to Osasuna, Barca’s ultimate sport earlier than the Spanish league breaks for the World Cup.

Sergio Busquets handed him the captain’s armband for the match and, alongside collectively with his sons Milan and Sasha, he led the staff out for kick off to chants of “Pique, Pique, Pique” from the group of ninety two,605. It was the largest attendance at Camp Nou for the rationale that 2019 Clasico (ninety three,426), which in itself is an indication of how properly-regarded Pique is by the membership’s supporters.

these followers cheered his every contact and chanted for him to take the early penalty. Lewandowski even appeared to current it to him, however he turned down the prospect to say goodbye with a aim. as one other, he bid farewell with three factors on what was a comparatively quiet evening time to be a Barca centre-again.

in all likelihood the most emotional second obtained here inside the 83rd minute, when he was substituted. He embraced every of his teammates, obtained a thunderous standing ovation and waved to his adoring public. His 14 years in Barca’s first staff have yielded 30 trophies, collectively with eight league titles and three Champions Leagues and extra might adjust to off the pitch, albeit as a consequence of the membership president barely than the coach.

Thursday’s goodbye video promised he can be again.



Gerard Pique comes off to standing ovation from the Camp Nou as he leaves the sphere for the ultimate time as a Barcelona participant.

three. the two sides of Dembele

Dembele’s opener was good. He confirmed tempo to race on to a protracted ball from Busquets, means to minimize inside previous two dawdling defenders after which composure to function the ball effortlessly into the underside nook.

The frustration for Barca is whereas he is in a place to doing that, he is so inconsistent. Moments later, he was performed by way of as quickly as extra and rounded the goalkeeper, however this time it was Dembele who dawdled. barely than shoot when the aim was gaping, he delayed, delayed and delayed. And the prospect was gone. The aim and the miss sum up Dembele.

simply two weeks in the past, in opposition to Athletic Bilbao, he scored one and arrange three. every week later, he disappeared in opposition to Valencia. in opposition to Almeria, there was a little bit little bit of all the pieces.

participant scores

Barcelona: Ter Stegen 7; Balde 7, Pique 7, Alonso 6, Alba eight; Busquets 6, Pedri 7, De Jong 7; Dembele 7, Lewandowski 6, Torres 5

Subs: Ansu 6, Raphinha 6, Gavi 6, Christensen 5

Almeria: Martinez 7; Mendes 6, Kaiky 5, Ely 6, Chumi 5, Akieme 5; Robertone 6, Melero 6, Costa 5; Baptistao 5, Ramazani 6

Subs: Sousa 5, Babic 5, Eguaras 5, Puigmal 5, Portillo 5

most interesting and worst performers

most interesting: Jordi Alba, Barcelona

a relentless supply of hazard on the left. the commonplace of his deliveries not often let him down.

WORST: Ferran Torres, Barcelona

On the one hand he was a menace, continuously entering into capturing positions, however alternatively he did not take a single likelihood which obtained here his method in his hour on the pitch.

Highlights and notable moments

the essential focus of the match was on a daily basis going to be on Pique and his ultimate dwelling sport in entrance of Barcelona’s followers, and his kids joined the pre-match walkout:

Barcelona dominated the essential half, out-capturing Almeria sixteen-1, however might not get something from it.

Lewandowski had an alternative to tug forward with a penalty however missed it vast:



Robert Lewandowski misses penalty vs. from Barcelona vs. Almería

It did not take prolonged after halftime for Barcelona to get hold of their lead, which carried them by way of to the ultimate consequence.

Dembele took on Almeria’s protection by himself, and the finish was pretty:



Ousmane Dembélé aim forty eighth minute Barcelona 1-zero Almería

After the match: What the gamers and managers acknowledged

Gerard Pique: “to start with, due to all my teammates, teaching workers, membership workers… to all people who makes the day-to-day on the membership simpler. due to the board of directors for all these years. In life, as you become old, you realise usually to love is to let go [starts crying]…

“A relationship of masses love, masses ardour, i really feel it is the second to current ourselves some dwelling. that is the rationale i really feel it is the appropriate second to go, as a consequence of i like this membership. i am satisfied that I is in all likelihood again inside the tip. that mustn’t be a goodbye, I left as quickly as i used to be 17 and that i obtained here again. My grandad made me a member as quickly as i used to be born. i used to be born right here and that i am going to die right here.”

Barcelona supervisor Xavi Hernandez: “It was a historic evening time for Gerard. We performed very properly. We needed to ship him off in in all likelihood the solely potential method. the greater the sport for him, the greater he performs. i’ve already instructed him what a legend he is at Barcelona and the method grateful we’re for all that he has finished.”

Xavi on Lewandowski’s missed penalty: “it is good information that when Robert would not rating, others do. we do not simply rely upon him. The others ought to step up when he would not make the distinction.”

Key stats (by way of ESPN Stats & information)

  • Lewandowski’s penalty kick miss snaps a streak of 5 consecutive penalty kicks scored. It was his fist miss since Dec. 2021 vs. Benfica.

  • Dembélé’s 4 targets are his third most in a single LaLiga season with Barcelona. His most is eight in 2018-19.

  • Piqué’s 30 LaLiga targets are the third-most by a Barcelona defender all-time behind Ronald Koeman (sixty seven) and Seguer (38).

Up subsequent

Barcelona: Barca have a faster turnaround for his or her ultimate match earlier than the World Cup as they head to Osasuna on Tuesday, Nov. eight in LaLiga movement. (Stream it dwell at three:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+.)

Almeria: Almeria play twice extra earlier than breaking for the World Cup. First they host Getafe in LaLiga play on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. ET (stream it dwell on ESPN+) after which they head to Arenteiro on Sunday, Nov. thirteen to compete inside the Copa del Rey (additionally obtainable on ESPN+).


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