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Flores fails to make Watford fun


Potters' pride despite nine-man defeat

Stoke City
By ESPN Staff

Pedro stunner wins it for Barca

Pedro's stunning strike gave champions Barcelona a 1-0 home win over Almeria on Saturday to maintain their 100% start to the season.

The 22-year-old forward brought the Nou Camp faithful to their feet when he collected Maxwell's pass just after the half hour and smashed a shot on the turn into the top right corner.

Barca have 18 points from six matches, three ahead of arch rivals Real Madrid who will be without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo at third-placed Sevilla on Sunday.

The Portugal forward sprained his right ankle in Wednesday's 3-0 Champions League win over Olympique Marseille.

Elsewhere on Saturday, fourth-placed Deportivo La Coruna won 1-0 at promoted Tenerife thanks to a second-half header from defender Diego Colotto.

Barca coach Pep Guardiola included Pedro in his team in place of the injured Thierry Henry and the home side dominated the early stages with their trademark slick passing.

Almeria goalkeeper Diego Alves did well to deflect a Xavi volley on to the post in the 18th minute after good work from Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Pedro's follow-up bounced off the same upright.

Barca were unable to exert the same dominance in the second period but although Almeria managed to string together several good moves they were unable to create any clear chances.

"I don't expect (Guardiola) will be too happy with the performance," Pedro said in a television interview. "We gave the ball away too often and missed a few chances."

Atletico Madrid eased the pressure mounting on coach Abel Resino, beating Real Zaragoza 2-1 in Saturday's late match (2000). Jurado and Lopez scored for Atletico, Ewerthon replied for Zaragoza from the spot, after Babic had missed an earlier penalty.


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