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Pedro powers Barca to sixth straight win

  • Story Highlights
  • Barcelona owe sixth straight league win to first half Pedro Rodriguez strike
  • Almeria give defending champions tough fight on their home ground
  • Real Madrid can join Barca on 18 points with win over third-placed Seville
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(CNN) -- Pedro Rodriguez's superb first half goal gave Barcelona a 1-0 home win over Almeria to equal their best ever start to a Spanish league season.

Pedro Rodriguez settled the match in the Camp Nou with his strike on the half hour mark.

Pedro Rodriguez settled the match in the Camp Nou with his strike on the half hour mark.

The sixth straight victory leaves them three points clear of arch-rivals Real Madrid, who face a crunch clash at third-placed Sevilla on Sunday without world record signing Cristiano Ronaldo, who is injured.

Pedro, a graduate of Barcelona's youth academy, underlined his promise with a 31st minute strike, rifling the ball home to add to his goal in the Champions League victory over Dinamo Kiev in midweek.

But it was a largely unconvincing performance from last season's triple winners, who were frustrated by an Almeria side coached by former Real Madrid favorite Hugo Sanchez.

Barca boss Pepe Guardiola gave midfield ace Andres Iniesta his first La Liga start of this season and he set up Argentine star Lionel Messi for an early chance which went begging.

Pedro's goal might have opened the floodgates, but Almeria frustrated the Catalan giants with solid, often rugged defense and it was not until the 80th minute when striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic came close to stretching his record of scoring in every league game this season.

Meanwhile, Deportivo La Coruna continued their encouraging start to the new season as they moved up to fourth place with a 1-0 win at Tenerife.

A goal from defender Diego Colotto on the hour mark secured the three points for Depo and take them to 12 points alongside Sevilla.

In the late game Atletico Madrid scored a much-needed 2-1 home win over Zaragoza..

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