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La Liga Review: Barça Score Five While Almeria Earns First Win

leo-messi2Barcelona’s perfect start to the new Spanish La Liga season continued with a processional 5-0 victory over bottom side Levante at Ciutat de Valencia. Luis Enrique’s early leaders made it four wins from four and kept a fourth straight clean sheet as goals from Neymar, Ivan Rakitic, Sandro, Pedro and Lionel Messi demonstrated the wide gulf in class between the two sides.

There were, however, two moments of concern for the Catalan giants, with Messi missing a penalty after Loukas Vyntra was dismissed and Neymar making a premature exit in the second half having turned his ankle. Levante, meanwhile, remain in the basement with no goals and just one point from their opening four matches.

Carlos Bacca bagged a brace as Sevilla kept in touch with table-toppers Barça after a 3-1 victory at Cordoba. Unai Emery’s men were just too strong for the promoted side as Bacca struck early on and from the penalty spot at the death either side of Stephane Mbia’s header. Borja Garcia Freire’s late effort represented little consolation for the home side.

Villarreal produced a blistering second-half performance to battle back from two goals down and take all three points at home to Rayo Vallecano. The Madrid side led 2-0 with under half an hour played thanks to goals by Gael Kakuta and Alberto Bueno but Javier Espinosa pulled one back for the hosts before the break and then Mateo Musacchio equalised.

Luciano Vietto then finished off off Paco Jemez’s side with two late goals to seal a 4-2 win. The win sees Villarreal move on to seven points, while Rayo suffered a second consecutive loss and are still searching for the first win of the season.

Almeria picked up their first win of the new season by beating Real Sociedad at the Estadio Anoeta for the first time in their history. The Andalusians took the lead somewhat fortuitously just after the half-hour mark when Alberto de la Bella inadvertently headed into his own net, and things got worse for the hosts when Mauro dos Santos headed home from a corner early in the second half.

La Real were given a late boost when Sebastian Dubarbier was sent off for a second booking and then Chory Castro’s strike reduced the deficit to 2-1 with six minutes remaining. But the Basques were unable to complete a third turnaround in as many weeks, and Francisco Javier Rodriguez’s side held on to claim the win and move out of the relegation zone.