Almeria end misery with first win of season at Las Palmas

football17 March 2024 20:00| © AFP
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Almeria ended a miserable streak by earning their first La Liga win of the season on Sunday edging Las Palmas 1-0.

The Andalusian side went 31 league games without victory stretching back to May last season, but Leo Baptistao's 14th-minute goal snapped their terrible run in coach Pepe Mel's first match in charge.

Despite victory on the road, Mel's side are still 20th and 14 points from safety with nine matches remaining.

Almeria's 31-match run is the longest winless streak in the division's history, but they are now level with Sporting Gijon's lowest ever points tally from 1997-98.

Mel is Almeria's third appointment of the season, after Vicente Moreno started the campaign at the helm and Gaizka Garitano replaced him.

"Winning today means a liberation (for the team) ... winning three points and changing the dynamic," said Mel.

"I told them to enjoy football, that having fun was key.

"This is the path for the nine finals in front of us, but not for the league table, because I think that won't matter, but they are important games for pride, fans and the players."

Victory ensured Almeria will not tally fewer points than Derby County's 11 in the Premier League in 2007-08, which is the lowest tally across Europe's top leagues since teams started earning three points for a win.

They were beaten 3-2 by Barcelona in December and Real Madrid in January in two matches where the Liga stragglers suffered some bad luck and demonstrated they did not deserve to be winless.

Earlier, Celta Vigo came from behind to win 2-1 at Sevilla, while champions Barcelona travel to Atletico Madrid later Sunday.

Jorge Cuenca's goal earned Villarreal a 1-0 win against Valencia in a mid-table battle.

Rayo Vallecano beat Real Betis 2-0 to climb away from danger into 15th place, dealing the visitors, seventh, a blow in their hopes of European qualification.