Barcelona battle back to defeat strong Sevilla

33 games ago FC Barcelona traveled to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in Sevilla. They lost that game 2-1. Since that Saturday afternoon Barcelona have gone an incredible 33 games unbeaten in all competitions. Last night they welcomed Sevilla to the Camp Nou as the Catalans looked to claim a win that would see them equal Real Madrid’s Spanish record of 34 games unbeaten.

Neymar
Neymar wins possession against Sevilla captain Coke.

Sevilla certainly showed why they were the last side to beat Barcelona as they took the lead last night. A second string Barcelona defence struggled to deal with the pace of Kevin Gamero and Vitolo. The latter of the two giving Sevilla the lead last night. Aleix Vidal and Gerard Pique were beaten when opposition duo of left back Benoit Tremoulinas and Michael Krohne- Dehli combined well on the left wing. Tremoulinas’s cross was fired home by the unmarked Vitolo with 20 minutes played. Jeremy Mathieu and Jordi Alba can share the blame for leaving the Spaniard unmarked just 6 yards out.

However the visitors lead would last only 10 minutes. A free kick conceded on the left hand side of the Sevilla box provided Lionel Messi with the opportunity to level the sides. With 30 minutes gone Messi curled the free (from an angle that wouldn’t suit most left footed players) into the top far corner.Goalkeeper Sergio Rico could only dive in despair but can take comfort in the fact no goalkeeper could ever realistically save that shot.  Yet another majestic goal to add to Argentinian’s ever growing record.

Messi Free angle 2
Messi striking his sublime free.

The sides remained level for the remainder of the first half but early into the second Barca took the lead. Just two minutes after the restart Messi found himself with the ball in the corner of the Sevilla box. He slipped the ball out to Luis Suárez who’s shot was nudged home by Gerard Pique who had stayed up from a previous corner. Suárez had a goal in mind but didn’t begrudge Pique who scored his first La Liga goal of the season with his instinctive poke home. Barcelona had chances to extend their lead but Rico in goal prevented Sergio Busquets and Neymar from doing so. Sevilla had chances of their own but they failed to make the most of their height advantage at set pieces. Further squandered chances in front of goal added to the woes of Unai Emery who’s side could easily have taken a point from this encounter.

Pique goal
Pique watches as his effort beats Sergio Rico.

Last nights victory insured Barcelona maintained their 8 point lead over second placed Atletico Madrid while Real Madrid now sit 12 points behind their rivals following their defeat to Atletico on Saturday. La Liga has some midweek fixtures coming up with Barcelona traveling to face 16th placed Rayo Vallecano on Thursday night while Sevilla host Eibar on Wednesday evening.Barcelona will be expected to make rotations midweek as their heavy fixture list is beginning to take its toll on the players who looked tired as the match drew to a close yesterday.They will be without Dani Alves for Thurday’s game as he picked up his 5th yellow card of the season last night resulting in a one match ban.

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