Barcelona 0-0 Sevilla: Messi misses late penalty as Javi Varas shuts out Catalans

Javi Varas took the plaudits as Pep Guardiola's side and Marcelino Garcia's side played out a stalemate in La Liga

Visiting goalkeeper Javi Varas was the star of the show as Barcelona and Sevilla played out a 0-0 draw at Camp Nou in La Liga this evening.

Barcelona dominated possession in the first half, and managed to create a few decent chances, but Sevilla goalkeeper Varas was the outstanding performer in the first half, pulling off numerous saves.

Sevilla gave Barcelona cause for concern in the 15th minute when Emiliano Armenteros attempted an opportunistic half volley from just inside the Barca box, which had Victor Valdes scrambling across his goal, but the ball went just by the post.

They came close again five minutes later when Dani Alves gave the ball away on the edge of the Barcelona box to Jesus Navas, who found room to strike a snap shot at the top left corner, but Valdes was on hand to tip the ball around the post.

The best chance of the first half came five minutes before the break and involved some top class link-up play between Adriano and Andres Iniesta down the left hand side. The two exchanged a neat one-two before Iniesta slid the ball into the box for David Villa blasted at goal first time with his left foot but Javi Varas remained big and saved with his legs.

The second half continued this formula, with Varas impressing in the Sevilla goal with a few very good saves. Barcelona came extremely close to taking the lead in the 72nd minute when Lionel Messi split the Sevilla defense with a sensational pass to the back post for Iniesta who lifted the ball over Varas only to hit the top of the bar.

Marcelino's side had a great chance to take the lead two minutes later when Jesus Navas picked out a pass to Ivan Rakitic, who had a free run at the Barcelona goal, but the Croatian's first touch let him down and allowed the Barca defenders to smuggle the ball to safety.

There was drama in injury time as Federico Fazio brought down Andres Iniesta in the penalty area and Barcelona were awarded a penalty kick. The decision caused uproar among the Sevilla players, and Freddy Kanoute saw red after grabbing the face of Cesc Fabregas. However, Sevilla hero Varas was on hand again as he saved Messi's penalty and turned it round the post. Fernando Navarro received a second booking in extended injury time after going in late on Pedro.

This result sees Barcelona drop to second place, one point behind rival Real Madrid. Sevilla is fourth on 16 points.