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Deportivo La Coruña
9 February 2014
• Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Sevilla
Referee: José Antonio Teixeira Vitienes
• Attendance: 24949
Alberto Moreno 15'
A. Sánchez 34'
L. Messi 44', 56'
Full time in Andalucia. Barcelona go back to the top of the Spanish Primera Division on goal difference thanks to a 4-1 away victory against Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. Alberto Moreno opened the scoring in the first half for the hosts, but goals from Alexis Sanchez and Lionel Messi saw Los Cules go into the break 2-1 up. Tata Martino's men excelled in the second half, and grabbed another two through Messi again and Fabregas. A great effort from Unai Emery's men in the first half, but they failed to keep up their tempo enough to stop Barcelona topping La Liga once again. I'm Martin Macdonald, thanks for joining us, see you next time!
90' + 1'
Three minutes of injury time remaining at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. I think Sevilla just want this to be over now, they've been trampled over in this second half.
Third and final change from Tata Martino as Alexis Sanchez comes off for Sergi Roberto, who makes his 13th appearance off the bench this season.
Assist Alexis Sánchez
Goal Cesc Fàbregas
GOOOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLLL FOR BARCELONA!! THEY DO ADD TO THEIR TALLY! Alexis twists and turns down the right-hand side and reverses a cross into the box for Fabregas, who delightfully dinks the ball over the oncoming Beto! 4-1!
Barca are still looking for goals here. Sevilla look dead on their feet, so you wouldn't bet against Los Cules adding to their tally!
Barcelona make their second change of the match as Xavi is replaced by Sergio Busquets. The substitute will provide some steel in the middle of the park as he positions himself just in front of the defence.
Adrianooooo!!! So close! The Brazilian latches on to a threaded pass through from Messi and has a shot at goal from an acute angle. He does well to dig out the strike but it goes just wide of the post! Unlucky!
Barcelona just professionally keeping possession in the last 10 minutes here in the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. It's really doubtful whether Sevilla have the legs to get back into this here. One goal maybe, but not two...
A small penalty appeal for Barcelona as Messi goes on a trademark run through the middle and into the box. He's stopped in his tracks by the challenge of Fazio, who comes sliding in. The Sevilla man may just have been let off the hook due to the conditions in the area.
Last throw of the dice from Unai Emery as he makes his final substitution. It'll be a like-for-like change on the wing as Jairo replaces Vitolo.
Ohhhh that needs a better touch from Cheryshev! The ball breaks to the Russian at the back post and all he has to do is take an assured touch down and have a shot at goal, but the ball comes off the top of his toe, allowing Valdes to pounce.
Fifteen minutes remaining here for Los Rojiblancos to salvage anything from this. Bacca seems to have the beating over Bartra and Pique in the air at the moment, but there's precious amount of crosses being put into truly dangerous areas from Sevilla. It's definitely a vulnerability for Barca.
First change of the match from Tata Martino as Pedro is replaced by Cesc Fabregas, who'll more than likely play a more central role than his predecessor.
That's wild from Cheryshev. Bacca cleverly flicks the ball to the on-loan Real Madrid man at the edge of the box, but he's leaning back as he makes connection on his strike, and it goes high into the stand.
Yellow Card Denis Cheryshev
Yellow Card Diogo Figueiras
Rakitic swings a wicker delivery the back post and the ball is headed back into the danger area. Barca panic at the back as they hack and kick at the back trying to clear, which they eventually manage to do through Iniesta.
Yellow Card Víctor Valdés
Bit early for time wasting, Victor! The Barcelona goalkeeper is shown a yellow card after the referee is unhappy with the amount of time being taken to hit a goal kick.
That'a a daft free kick from Rakitic this time. His set-pieces have been dangerous tonight but this occasion he attempts the diagonal to Diogo, but there's far too much on the pass, and with the slippery surface the ball just rushes out for a Barca goal kick.
Unai Emery shakes things up as he makes a double substitution. Vicente Iborra and Kevin Gameiro are withdrawn for Piotr Trochowski and Denis Cheryshev.
Just under 30 minutes remaining here for Sevilla to grab a couple of goals. They've certainly had their fare share of chances, and Barcelona aren't particularly inspiring at the back, so could definitely still happen. The threat of Barca will always be there...
The state of the pitch at the moment means that players are having to be much more careful whenever committing to sliding challenges. However, Rakitic doesn't care about this, and slides about 10 yards into the tackle with Pedro. The ref blows for a Barca free kick.
Yellow Card Pedro
Alexiiiiiis! Just wide! The Chilean receives the ball in the inside right channel and flashes a shot at goal, but the attempt just goes a whisker the wrong side of the left-hand post!
Goal Lionel Messi
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLL FOR BARCELONA!!! AND IT'S MESSI AGAIN!!! Iniesta collects possession in the final third and drives forward before knocking a pass to the right. The Argentine takes the ball into his path with ease before placing a precision shot into the left corner from the edge of the box! 3-1 Barca!
WHAT A DOUBLE SAVE FROM VALDES! The Barcelona keeper firstly palms away Bacca's curled strike to the far post, then gets up lightning quick to divert Gameiro's volley behind the goal!
Ohhhhh Vitolo what are you doing?! The Sevilla man initially does brilliantly to hustle Montoya into surrendering possession at the back, but as he drives forward into the box he opts for a delicate passed shot, that goes wide of the post! Really poor finish! A definite chance!
Vitolo takes the ball on a bursting run down the left-hand side and hits a wicked cross along the edge of the box, but there are no takers for Sevilla! That was begging to be headed in!
Thankfully, the rain appears to have subsided slightly during the break, and the surface looks slightly more playable. We'll see how the players get on, though, still looks slick!
We are back under way in this La Liga clash from Andalucia!
Never a free kick for the opening goal, resulting finish from Alexis, and Song arguably lucky not to be sent off. Sevilla have the right to feel aggrieved!
Half time in the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. Sevilla have arguably been the better side and took the lead through a deflected strike from Alberto Moreno, but go into the break 2-1 down after a goal from Alexis Sanchez and a stunner from Lionel Messi. The conditions on the pitch are worsening, so we'll see how the players cope in the second period!
Goal Lionel Messi
GOOOOOAAAAALLLLL GOOOOAAAAALLLL GOOOOAAAALLLL FOR BARCELONA!! THAT'S ABSOLUTELY SENSATIONAL!!! They counterattack at tremendous pace down the left and Pedro shifts the ball back inside to Messi, who tees the ball up before drilling a fantastic half volley into the far corner! BRILLIANT! 2-1!
Rakitic floats a free kick to the back post and Valdes is involved in a collision at the back post with Bacca. The ball comes free but, after a couple of hacks, Barcelona manage to clear up the park.
Sevilla hoof the ball up top and Bacca utilises his strength to fend off the challenge of Bartra, but the Colombian is judged to have used illegal means to retrieve the ball. Looked a fair challenge, but Barca get the free kick.
Yellow Card Daniel Carriço
I wouldn't want to be the fourth official right now. It looks like Emery has indeed realised the extent of the mistake by the linesman, and he's looking for someone to shout at in the technical area!
Sevilla can count themselves very unlucky to be level here. They've been by far the better side so far, but a mistake from the linesman has gifted Barca a route back into contention.
Unai Emery will be going spare if he sees the replay for that! Alexis was DEFINITELY offside!
Assist Lionel Messi
Goal Alexis Sánchez
GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLL FOR BARCELONA!!!!! LOS CULES EQUALISE! Messi clips a free kick to the edge of the six yard box and Alexis shifts his body in the air to divert a shot towards goal with his back! 1-1! Barca back in it!
Dear, oh dear. Barcelona have a throw in down the right but, just like that, Sevilla are gifted possession back after a foul throw by Montoya. Not often you see that from a pro!
Pedro takes on Diogo down that left-hand side and stepover or two sees him hit the byline, but is cross to the back post just has too much on it, and Sevilla manage to clear.
RAKITIIIIICC!!! THAT'S A TERRIBLE MISS! Bacca does superbly down the right to outmuscle Pique before sliding the ball into his team-mate, who takes a touch before smashing a shot wide from 18 yards. The Colombian was screaming for the return pass, but it didn't come!
A lovely move from Barcelona as Messi and Iniesta exchange a lovely one-two through the middle before the ball eventually comes to Xavi. The Barca captain then opts to have a shot at goal rather than playing in Montoya, who'd make a great run down the right channel. No end product, but much better from the visitors.
Iniesta receives the ball from Bartra in a central position but is forced to turn back as there is absolutely nobody showing for the ball in the final third. Definite signs of frustration among the Barca ranks here.
Neeeaaaarly for Alexis! Messi goes on a fantastic penetrating run through the middle and leaves a couple of midfielders in his wake before nudging the ball out to the Chilean, who aims to make the return pass, but it just doesn't have the legs, and Sevilla clear!
A major let-off for Barcelona! They aren't at the races yet!
BACCA!!!! HOW HAS THAT NOT GONE IN?! The Colombian rises highest in the box to thump a header at goal from a free kick, but his attempt cannons off the bottom of the post! So unlucky!
Yellow Card Alex Song
Intelligent play from Rakitic. The Croatian sees the challenge coming in from Song and uses his body to shield the ball, and ends up being clattered by the Cameroonian, who is shown a yellow card.
Absolutely nothing in terms of attacking play from Barcelona on show as of yet. Messi has been isolated, and has started to come very, very deep to receive possession. His threat has been negated so far!
It looked like it came off Marc Bartra on the way through!
GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAALLLLL FOR SEVILLA!!! THE HOSTS TAKE THE LEAD!! Rakitic leaves Pique for dead on the left-hand side and exchanges a one-two with Vitolo before laying the ball to the edge of the box. Alberto Moreno is on hand to smash a deflected strike past Valdes! 1-0!
Poor distribution from Pareja. The central defender has plenty of time to pick out a pass into the middle of midfield, but opts for a spectacular diagonal pass to Carrico. It doesn't come off, and Barca get the throw-in.
Lovely, lovely feet from Alexis. The Chilean feels the pressure of Alberto Moreno once again, but this time he quickly shifts the ball round the corner and looks to drive forward, but ends up being fouled by the full-back.
Unai Emery is beside himself at the touchline after the referee blows for a foul after some backing in from Vitolo on Pique. It actually looked like a foul on the Sevilla man!
Excellent pressing from Sevilla so far. The ball is sticking due to the state of the pitch and as a result, there is more leeway for the home side to hunt down possession in the final third.
Iniesta slides the ball out wide to Pedro, who quickly shifts his feet to come inside, but he is taken out with authority by the bulking figure of Fazio. Free kick to Barcelona down the left-hand side.
There's a couple of very interesting duels down the flanks tonight. Alexis versus Alberto Moreno and Pedro up against Diogo; could be some fireworks!
Alexis Sanchez comes inside to collect possession, but he is shadowed all the way by Alberto Moreno, who keeps at his back, biting away, and eventually claims the ball back for Sevilla.
Rakitic receives the ball to feet but appears to slip due to a combination of the slick pitch, and a challenge from Song. The latter isn't deemed to be an infringement by the ref, and play moves on.
Good tempo in the opening few minutes in the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
The ball comes back to Valdes via a pass from Montoya, but some relentless pressing from Gameiro forces the Barca keeper to clear the ball into the stand.
Already we can see that there is plenty of water on the pitch caused by the rain throughout the course of the day. The ball is moving pretty heavily, so we'll see how well the teams cope.
We are under way in Seville!
Barca have claimed three points from their previous two games at Sevilla and are unbeaten in eight matches against the Andalucian outfit.
The last match between the two sides in the league came in September, with an injury-time goal from Alexis Sanchez sealing a 3-2 win for Barcelona at Camp Nou.
Their quest to defend their championship saw mixed fortunes last night, as Atletico Madrid dropped points in a 2-0 defeat to Almeria, but Real Madrid came out 4-2 winners over Villarreal.
The Catalan side did recover slightly from that loss with a 2-0 Copa del Rey semi final first leg win over Real Sociedad on Wednesday, but will be eager to get back to winning ways in the Spanish Primera Division.
Barca currently sit third place in La Liga after last week's shock 3-2 home defeat to Valencia, but can move back level on points with Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid with a win over Los Rojiblancos this evening.
Sevilla, meanwhile, are missing Coke and Stephane Mbia, but will look for inspiration from the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Kevin Gameiro to grab a result tonight.
Javier Macherano and Jordi Alba are suspended, so deputising for the duo is Marc Bartra and Adriano.
Dani Alves and Cesc Fabregas are dropped to the bench for Barca, with Martin Montoya and Alex Song coming into the first XI.
Some interesting selections from Tata Martino...
Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Montoya, Pique, Bartra, Adriano; Song, Xavi, Iniesta; Alexis, Messi, Pedro.
Sevilla(4-3-3): Beto; Diogo, Pareja, Fazio, Alberto Moreno; Iborra, Rakitic, Carrico; Vitolo, Gameiro, Bacca.
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I'll be reporting on the action!
Good evening folks! Welcome to LIVE coverage of the Spanish Primera Division clash between Sevilla and Barcelona from the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan!
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