Photo: FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona defeated lowly Almeria 2-0 on Saturday for its seventh straight win at the start of the 2013-2014 Spanish-league season, a new club record.
A goal by super-striker Lionel Messi, who left the game with a thigh injury in the first half, and another by defenseman Adriano in the second half proved to be enough scoring for the Blaugrana at Estadio de los Juegos Mediterraneos.
Since new coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino took the helm in July, Barcelona also has captured Spain’s Supercopa title with a narrow victory against Atletico Madrid and gotten its Champions League campaign off to a good start with a 4-0 rout of Ajax.
Barcelona is looking to repeat as Spanish-league champions and also improve on its performance in last year’s Champions League, when the Spanish powerhouse was humiliated 7-0 on aggregate in the semifinals by eventual champion Bayern Munich.
With Martino’s perfect record in La Liga as Barça’s manager, the Argentine has surpassed the 6-0 club starts achieved under former coaches Johan Cruyff, Louis van Gaal, Josep “Pep” Guardiola and Tito Vilanova, as well as Jim Bellamy in 1929.
Besides the addition of Martino, who took over when previous coach Tito Vilanova was forced to step down to resume treatment for throat cancer, Barcelona signed Brazilian phenom Neymar in the offseason.