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October 30, 2010
• Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: Javier Turienzo Álvarez
• Attendance: 81020
And the referee stops the fight. He doesn't even bother with stoppage time, opting to put Sevilla and Gregorio Manzano out of their misery instead, Two each for Messi and Villa, plus one for Dani Alves as 10-man Sevilla were punished in much the same way 11-man Sevilla were before Konko's sending-off on the stroke of half-time. Check back throughout the remainder of the night for full match report, ratings and reactions on Goal.com
Goal David Villa
FIVE!!! The final knockout blow. Great feet and great movement down the right from the Blaugrana sees the ball fed to David Villa, who steps onto his left and fires low past Javi Varas.
Alves clatters a cross into Luna, who crumples to the ground. Barcelona have now gone 24 minutes without a goal.....Guardiola out??!
Another Dani Alves effort, this time over the bar. I wonder if he's had more shots in the second half tonight than some right-backs have had in their entire career.
Sevilla continue to lag in defence. They must just be counting down the seconds now.
Javi Varas rises to collect an attempted chip by Adriano. That's actually only Barca's 10th attempt despite their mountain of possession. I don't suppose it matters if you bag four of them!
Villa skips through the offside trap and squeezes a shot on target from a narrow angle, but Dabo retreated to clear off the line.
9-1 corner count... Bojan takes advantage of the fact that Sevilla seem incapable of defending by forcing Luna to concede a flag-kick.
My word... would you believe it. Sevilla have their first corner (8-1 is the count) after good play by Negredo.
Groans from the home crowd as Iniesta completely miscues a throughball. He'll surely be fined a few weeks wages for that one.
Pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass.... you guessed it... Barcelona are on the ball.
Victor Valdes comes storming out of his area to cut out a long attempted throughball. I think he just got bored of doing nothing.
Whistles greet Alvaro Negredo as he replaces Fredi Kanoute. That's all six changes made in total.
They keep showing the fourth goal on my monitor. Messi almost looked ashamed rather than elated when he knocked it in at the end there.
Puyol wraps the captain's armband around the bicep of Victor Valdes before he's replaced by Adriano. They might as well start chucking on the ball boys next, it's that straightforward.
STUPIDLY BRILLIANT GOAL!!! Can you guess who? Yup. Lionel Messi. The little fella picks up the ball just inside the Sevilla half, shrugs off one, runs diagonally beyond three more and then strikes left-footed into the bottom corner. Poor attempted challenges by Sevilla's defenders, yes, but that was a bit good. Again.
Kanoute is actually making a bit of a nuisance of himself as the central striker. Why couldn't Fabiano have done that in the first half?
Bojan's first touch just slides wide of the far post with Javi Varas nowhere to be seen.
A couple of changes from Guardiola. Bojan Krkic is on for Pedro and Javier Mascherano replaces Xavi, who will likely now be wrapped in industrial sized cotton wool ahead of their Champions League clash in midweek.
Lionel Messi rides a ridiculous amount of challenges to keep a Barcelona attack alive. The move finishes when Alves throws himself dramatically to the ground.
Iniesta gets to the bye-line for the dominant home side, but can't get a cross in. A very slight respite for the battered Sevilla troops.
Is Alves really a right-back or actually a fourth forward? He steals in behind the defence but pokes a pass just beyond Lionel Messi. No matter, the Brazilian was flagged offside anyway.
Goal Daniel Alves
GGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!! Well he could have scored a few moments ago, but he makes sure this time. Romaric's header sets up Dani Alves to volley home from eight yards. The problem for Sevilla is that Alves no longer plays for them, and the midfielder's aberation was pounced upon by the Barca full-back. He doesn't celebrate, but the Blaugrana are three up.
Xavi Hernandez lofts a ball into the middle, but if Barca have one weak point it is their lack of height, and here it fails them as the ball runs easily for Javi Varas.
Dani Alves and Messi exchange passes and the full-back beats two defenders on the slide, but his shot is easy for Javi Varas to save. Barca immediately get forward once more, but Messi can't feed Pedro at the far post. The Argentine may actually be mortal.
The pitch almost seems greener in the half which Sevilla are defending in the second half such was Barca's intent to camp in the other half in the opening 45. Kanoute actually gets forward for the visitors, but Capel is offside when he's put through by his skipper.
Well the teams are back out and the referee has blown to restart this contest... sorry, scrap that - this is not a contest. Didier Zokora is on for the visitors in place of Perotti and Dabo is on for the frankly anonymous Luis Fabiano.
The half-time whistle blows and Busquets is continuing his protests, which momentarily seems likely to cause a bit of a scrum around the tunnel area. All seems fine now though. So.... Barca two up, Sevilla a man down, and there is no hint of a contest about this one. Come back in about 13 minutes for part two of the walkover.
45' + 1'
Sagey Biscuits clashes with Romaric in the area and goes down holding his face. No need. There was never a penalty in that.
Yellow/Red Abdoulay Konko
OFF!! Another foul by Konko, this time close to the bye-line. And another yellow card. That is the last thing Sevilla need right now. It was already game over, but now reduced by a man, they could find this one becoming embarrassing.
Yet another corner. Barca are like a bunch of school bullies knocking the ball around a team of freshers at high school.
Yellow Card Abdoulay Konko
That's a yellow for Konko. He performs a dangerous looking kind of swipe on Busquets, who was smartly wandering off with the ball at the time.
David Villa shoots from the right after another near-2000 pass move, but Javi Varas gets a glove on it for yet another corner to the hosts.
Iniesta turns very well around one challenge, but straight into another. Sevilla have basically resorted to a 5-4-1 for the time being.
Iniesta's ball forward is just too long for Pedro on the left and Sevilla have a throw-in. They've had little else in 37 minutes.
David Villa free-kick, Barca fail to capitalise. We're more likely to see a Barca fourth or fifth than we are to see a Sevilla first as things stand.
Another Barca corner. Another just about scrambled away by Sevilla before the tiki-taki recommences.
Sevilla are stuck in a real quandry here because they don't want to open up and potentially concede a shed load of goals, but similarly without doing so you suspect they're going to have exactly zero chance of getting anything from this one.
Yellow Card Alexis
Yellow Card Carles Puyol
A yellow card each for Puyol and what appeared to be Alexis as they pushed and shoved in the area while waiting for a free-kick to come into Sevilla's box. Picky refereeing to say the least.
Great jinking and weaving by Pedro forces Renato to concede a corner. The wave of Barca attacks continue.
And we're back to the home side just stroking the ball around with apparent contempt for the players in white. That Sevilla spell didn't last long, and did them little good. It's a long road back from here.
Goal David Villa
GGOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!! I'm sorry, but that's just ridiculous. It was always likely to happen that Barca would hit Sevilla just when they were getting into it, but what a goal they did so with. Messi takes the ball forward and feeds Villa wide on the right. The former Valencia man cuts inside Luna and delivers an inch-perfect left-foot curler beyond Javi Varas. 2-0... and worth every penny.
Good stop by Victor Valdes. A cross from the right was met first time by Diego Capel, but the Barca number one got enough behind it to keep out the winger's cushioned left-foot volley.
Yellow Card Fred Kanouté
Fredi Kanoute gets the game's first card, despite Sevilla winning a free-kick. Seems it may have been something he said. Finally Gregorio Manzano's side have something of a foothold, but for how long?
Whistles around Camp Nou as Sevilla finally enjoy a spell of possession. Dani Alves cuts out a cross as Capel looked to capitalise at the far post.
Told ya!! Barca 77% possession so far. It's relentless. They clearly have a point to prove after Madrid's earlier win. Messi so nearly dribbles through the middle of the Sevilla defence, and then when the ball breaks Villa has a left foot effort smothered by Javi Varas.
I'd love to see the possession stats. It must be up around 80% for Barca right now, but that means little to the luckless David Villa, who is fazed out by Luna and Renato on the edge of the area.
Konko does well to break up a Barca attack down the left but when the ball is played upfield Kanoute is offside. Wingers Perotti and Capel are being largely by-passed at the moment, almost performing as auxilliary full-backs.
Xavi and Iniesta looking to combine for the Blaugrana, but Sevilla's ever-retreating backline is giving up little space.
The first corner of the game goes to.... surprise, surprise... Barcelona. Caceres cuts out an attempted pass to give the home side a set-piece opportunity.
More of the same from Pep Guardiola's men. Patient build-up play all across the side as they look to strech the away side and exploit the gaps.
Now how do Sevilla respond? Messi has been scoring pretty much all of Barcelona's goals of late, but they can't for a second take their eyes off the ball elsewhere. Not that they've been able to have much of it so far.
GGGGOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLL!!! Now that's exactly the start Barca were after! Lionel Messi yet again nets for the home side. Javi Varas fails to really deal with a cross from Pedro and the little number 10 mops up. The perfect beginning.
Unsurprisingly, it's Barca having the majority of the ball from the off. Sevilla, playing in a 4-4-2 formation have all ten players in their own half for the majority of the opening few minutes.
Here we go... the game is underway. Let the tiki-taki fun begin.
Good evening all, and welcome to Goal.com's coverage of Barcelona versus Sevilla from matchday nine of the Liga season. We've just seen Real Madrid record a come-from-behind win against Hercules, meaning the Blaugrana need the three points to remain in touching distance of Jose Mourinho's los Blancos side. We kick off at the top of the hour.
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