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March 17, 2012
• Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Sevilla
Referee: José Luis González González
• Attendance: 40000
L. Messi 25'
Shots on Target
Full time in Seville. Barcelona run out relatively comfortable 2-0 winners over Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan thanks to goals from Xavi and Lionel Messi. The gap between Barcelona and Real Madrid now stands at seven points. Thank you for joining us on Goal.com!
90' + 1'
Terrific chasing down from Pedro to win back possession for Barcelona. Everyone's eyes are on the referee now as we await the final whistle.
GOOOOOAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!! WAIT! NO! OFFSIDE!! Messi goes through on goal and rifles a shot into the bottom right corner but the linesman's flag was up!
Alexis Sanchez breaks the offside trap and gallops towards goal and attempts to slide a shot into the corner but Palop makes a terrific point-blank save!
Barca intelligently keeping the ball and making Sevilla work to attempt to regain possession. It looks to be game set and match for Pep Guardiola's side now.
Yellow Card Pedro
HUUUYYY!!! Jesus Navas passes inside to Manu to looks poised to shoot on goal but Dani Alves comes in with a terrific last ditch challenge to send the ball out for a corner kick!
Second Barca change of the match as Xavi comes off for Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean returns from injury and will look to stretch the game in the final third to try and waste some time for the visitors.
Yellow Card Adriano
Sevilla still searching for their opening goal of the match but Barca have looked more solid in the second half, with only Manu's chance at the far post the only golden opportunity for the hosts.
Keita attempts a one-two with Messi on the edge of the area but Sevilla manage to scramble the ball away. The Malian then concedes a cheap free kick and Sevilla get the ball up the park.
Yellow Card Gary Medel
Time is running out for the hosts to try and get something out of this match. Barca look very comfortable but a goal for Sevilla now would set us up for a very interesting finish.
Sitter from Andres Iniesta!! The midfield maestro found himself through on goal and attempted to dink the ball over the goalkeeper but his attempt went wide of the post!
A quiet period in the match at he moment. With the introduction of Seydou Keita Barca have became more solid in midfield and this has left Sevilla with less room operate.
The two substitutes who have just been introduced, Cala and Keita, are both down after a nasty head collision. A small break in play at the moment as both players shake off the affects.
It looks like Emir Spahic will be unable to continue after suffering a back injury. He will be replaced by Cala at the back. Cesc Fabregas also comes off for Barca and will be replaced by Seydou Keita.
Bad miss from Manu!!! Jesus Navas clips a cross to the back post and his team-mate slides the ball just wide of the post! He must score there!
Another Sevilla change that results in a chorus of boos from the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan faithful. Reyes comes off to be replaced by Diego Perotti.
Very patient play from Barca at the moment. They are calmly passing the ball around the midfield and are in no rush to find there third goal.
Mascherano finds himself in an advanced position down the right and whips in a fantastic cross along the six yard line but there are no takers for Barca!
First change of the match as Piotr Trochowski comes on to replace Ivan Rakitic. It is not a popular decision amongst the home fans!
Barca keeping the ball with short passing in the middle of the park at the moment. They are doing well to stifle the atmosphere in the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan as the fans were starting to really get behind their side.
Sevilla looking confident in the opening stages. They just need to improve on the quality of the service being given to Kanoute up front. It is all very tight in the middle of the park.
High tempo start to the second half. Reyes just with a small penalty shout after cutting in from the right and going down under the challenge of Pedro. It would have been very harsh as there was not a lot of contact.
Yellow Card Julien Escudé
@DavidKhan3 writes on Twitter: "Hm...I think this is Barca's to win. Talking about predictions for the scoreline, hm...probably a 1-4 scoreline." The game is very open at the moment so that is not an unlikely score. It will certainly be good for the neutral!
The second half is underway in Seville. Michel's side have a lot of work to do to save this game but it is by no means a Barca victory in the bag.
Half time in Seville. Xavi and Messi both on the scoresheet as the Catalans take a comfortable lead in at the break. Sevilla by no means out of this contest, though. Join us in 15 minutes for the second half!
45' + 1'
Great save from Palop!! Messi slides Cesc in and with all the time in the world the former Arsenal fan hits a central shot that is saved by the Sevilla goalkeeper!
Iniesta latches on to a loose ball just outside the Sevilla box and attempts to curl a shot into the top corner but Palop reads the attempt well and clutches the ball to his chest.
Barca calming the game down a bit now as Sevilla are on the ascendancy. Clever play from the visitors as Michel's side are looking dangerous at the moment.
Pedro sees himself through on goal again and fires a low left-footed shot at goal but Palop gets down excellently to make the save with a strong left arm.
Medel clips a ball into the chest of Kanoute and the Malian controls and swivels before attempting a half-volley on goal but his shot goes just wide of the goal. Better from the hosts.
Barca look relatively comfortable at the moment but with lapses in concentration like what we have just seen from Pique, Sevilla will feel that they are not out of this match.
A let off for Barca!! Pique was standing waiting for the ball to go into the hands of Valdes but Manu snuck in and headed at goal only for his attempt to hit the crossbar!
Yellow Card Piqué
Gerard Pique receives the first Barca booking of the match after Manu cleverly turned just inside the opposition half but was body-checked by the centre back.
Pedro finds space down the right and cuts inside and attempts to sneak a shot into the Sevilla near post but his left-footed strike is weak and Palop makes an easy save.
Sevilla are sinking without a trace now. Barca have kicked it up a gear and the backline of the home side look unable to deal with the sharp movement of the pacey attackers of the Catalan side.
Assist Andrés Iniesta Luján
GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!! A magical goal from Lionel Messi!! The Argentine receives a pass from Iniesta on the edge of the box and leaves Spahic for dead with a nutmeg before delightfully chipping the ball over Palop! Genius.
Manu shows a clean pair of heels down the left and drives forward before unleashing a powerful strike at the Barca near post but Valdes was there to beat the ball away. The rebound comes off the Sevilla man and out for a goal kick.
The game is very stretched at the moment. Sevila look bright down the right with Luna and Jesus Navas linking up well but they have failed to get any decent service into the box for Kanoute as of yet.
GOOOOOOOAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!!! Xavi curls the free kick towards the top corner and Palop cannot get there and the ball nestles in the net! 1-0 Barca!
Yellow Card Emir Spahic
Adriano sprints at the Sevilla goal in full flight but is cynically taken out by Spahic just on the edge of the box. Barca free kick and a booking for the Sevilla centre back.
Sevilla just easing their way into the match now. They are showing a lot of confidence when in possession and look dangerous on the counterattack.
Quick throw from Reyes sends Jesus Navas down the left wing and the Sevilla man cuts inside poised to shoot on goal but Mascherano comes in with a perfectly timed challenge to send the ball out for a corner.
Cesc slides a nice pass through the middle for Pedro and the Spaniard stabs a shot at goal but Andres Palop remains solid as the attempt bounces off his right arm. Close call there.
Barca have stamped their authority on the match in the early stages, but no concrete goalscoring chances have been created as of yet.
End to end stuff at the moment. Barca are spraying the ball around nicely but Sevilla are remaining solid currently.
Messi and Dani Alves exchange a lovely one-two down the right and the Brazilian drives forward at pace but his attempted cross to the back post is sliced out for a Sevilla goal kick.
Xavi fizzes a pass out to Iniesta on the touchline who uses a piece of trickery to get beyond Luna down the left, but the Sevilla full back recovers and the ball comes back inside for Barca.
Barca start the match and we are underway. Lets home we see some electric football being played tonight!
The players have took to the field now. Sevilla and Barca usually provide us with some terrific entertainment so lets hope of more of the same tonight!
Real Madrid's lead at the top of La Liga will be cut to seven points if the Catalan side can bag three points this evening.
Lionel Messi is just six goals away from equaling Cesar's goalscoring record for Barcelona. The young Argentine has plenty of time to achieve this but how many can he net tonight?
This is the first XI of Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Adriano; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Cesc, Messi, Pedro
The teams are in and this is how Sevilla will be lining up tonight: Palop; Luna, Spahic, Escude, Navarro; Medel, Rakitic; Navas, Del Moral, Reyes; Kanoute
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I will be reporting on the match this evening. You can follow me on Twitter at @MartinMac1 so feel free to post your thoughts, feelings, and predictions on the match!
Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Primera Division match between Sevilla and Barcelona at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
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