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September 29, 2012
• Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Sevilla
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
• Attendance: 40000
P. Trochowski 26'
Fàbregas 53', 89'
David Villa 90'+
That's all from me for tonight guys! Thanks for joining me for what was a rollercoaster of a game. Good night!
FULL-TIME: SEVILLA 2-3 BARCELONA. Vilanova's side produced an outstanding response after going two goals down early in the second half, following strikes from Piotr Trochowski in the first half, and Alvaro Negredo just after the break. With it all to do, they did it though, scoring three second-half goals to continue their 100% start to the 2012-13 Liga campaign. Six wins from six for the Catalan giants now, and they remain top of the league! They really upped their game after going 2-0 down, with a brace from Cesc Fabregas and a late, late goal from David 'El Guaje' Villa sealing the victory in injury time.
90' + 5'
90' + 5'
AND THERE IS THE FINAL WHISTLE!! What a comeback from Barcelona!
90' + 4'
The Sevilla team and bench cannot believe what they are seeing at the Sanchez Pizjuan. They have surrendered a 2-0 lead here to the league leaders, who look set to steal all three points against the odds!
90' + 3'
90' + 3'
BARCELONA HAVE DONE IT!! 3-2 TO THE VISITORS!! I criticised Villa for not shooting a few moments ago but he's shown he's far from rusty with what could be the winner here! The Spaniard plays a wall-pass off Messi before flashing a firm strike through the despairing dive of Andres Palop and into the back of the net.
FIVE MINUTES OF ADDED TIME!!
Sevilla are appealing for a handball from Thiago in the build-up to that equaliser but the referee has waved away their protests. It is all level here.
GOALLL!!! 2-2!! FABREGAS HAS LEVELLED THINGS UP!! Messi has grown in influence as the game has wore on and he's got the vital assist here. The Barcelona No. 10 controlled the ball before poking it through to Fabregas, who then slotted a calm finish under Palop from eight yards.
TOO INTRICATE FROM BARCA!! Villa is slipped through on goal by Messi but the striker opts to try and return the ball to his team-mate rather than shooting and Sevilla intercept. Strange decision from such a natural goalscorer.
But again the wall stands firm and deflects the shot away from goal. Sevilla are hanging on at the moment.
FREE-KICK #4 FOR BARCA 25 YARDS FROM GOAL...
The away side are committing more and more men forward as we edge into the final five minutes of this match. Still the score is 2-1 to Sevilla!
TELLO IS IN... BUT THE FLAG IS UP!! The Masia graduate looks to have timed his run to stay onside but the linesman on the far side thinks otherwise and sticks up his flag. A tight but correct call there from the official.
FABULOUS FROM NAVAS! The Sevilla trickster dribbles past one, two, three Barca players in the centre of the pitch and appears to be hauled back by Thiago but the referee sees nothing there and waves play on. Tough call for the winger, that looked like a foul!
That is the Spain international's last contribution of the night, as he is taken off to a standing ovation by the home side's coach, Michel. Negredo was of course responsible for making it 2-0 early in the second half with a fine chip over Valdes, before Fabregas reduced the deficit minutes later.
David Villa is on for the visitors as they continue their assault on the Sevilla box. But Sevilla aren't finished yet! Negredo bursts towards the Barca box from the left and thumps an effort towards goal that flies just wide of Valdes' right-hand post.
Here's yet another tasty stat, this one courtesy of my esteemed colleague, Goal.com's Spain Expert, Ben Hayward: "Cesc Fabregas' goal against Sevilla today is his first for Barcelona since February 8th, in the Copa del Rey against Valencia." THAT IS QUITE A DROUGHT.
Just under 15 minutes to go here, Barca are now against 10 men following Medel's fairly idiotic sending off. Will they complete the comeback?
It appears Barca also made a change there, Busquets making way for Thiago Alcantara.
The outstanding Ivan Rakitic has been withdrawn to be replaced by Geoffrey Kondogbia for Sevilla.
NOW PEDRO IS IN THE BOOK!! He's caught Navas from behind as Sevilla look to counter and can have no arguments with the booking. The home side, meanwhile, look to make a change.
Again the set piece is wasted though, as Messi fires a shot straight into the Sevilla wall.
Barca have another set piece in a dangerous position, this one is left of centre, 20 yards from goal..
Red CardGary Medel
Silly, silly behaviour from Medel. That is the last thing his side need as they look to hold on to what would be a huge three points against the side top of La Liga.
HANDBAGS AT THE SANCHEZ PIZJUAN!! A number of Sevilla players are surrounding the referee and it looks like Gary Medel has been sent off for the home side. Replays show the Sevilla man nudged his head into Fabregas' face off the ball, but the Barca man certainly made the most of it.
That's rash from Busquets. The Barca midfielder has made his way into Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz's notebook after clattering into Cicinho inside the Sevilla box. The referee had no choice there.
DECENT DEFENSIVE HEADER FROM NAVARRO!! Fabregas shifts the ball out to Pedro on the left, who then hooks the ball towards Sanchez at the back post. Navarro, the Sevilla left-back, does really well to stop the cross from reaching the Barca man though, and heads it out for a corner kick.
Xavi strikes it straight into the wall! The ball is then played over to Sanchez on the right this time, but he cannot find his way past Navarro and runs the ball out for a Sevilla goal-kick.
ANOTHER FREE-KICK FOR BARCA!! This one is slightly more central than the last. Messi and Xavi stand over the ball...
DID ALBA CATCH NEGREDO THERE?? The Sevilla attacker appears to be looking for contact as he races onto the ball inside the Barca box, and although the two players do collide the referee waves play on.
THAT WAS A CHANCE FOR SEVILLA! It seemed none of Jesus Navas' team-mates could keep up with there as he raced to the byline on the right and chipped a ball towards the penalty spot, but no Sevilla players were anywhere near him to meet it.
There's a foul on Maduro in the centre circle by Fabregas, and Sevilla have a free-kick and a chance to calm things down for a moment.
WHAT A SAVE THAT IS FROM PALOP!! Messi sends that free-kick curling towards the top right-hand corner of the Sevilla goal but Palop gets across brilliantly to tip the shot over the crossbar. That was top, top goalkeeping from the 38-year-old.
The Barca machine is limbering into action in this second half as they continue to dominate possession. Messi is at the heart of everything for the away side, and has just won a free-kick 30 yards from goal, just right of centre.
SANCHEZ SMASHES A SHOT JUST WIDE!! The Chile international, operating down the left in this second half, cuts on to his right foot on the left side of the Sevilla box but can only shoot into the side netting under pressure from Cicinho.
Barca are committing men forward in search of an equaliser here, but at the moment Sevilla are holding on to their lead well. We are seeing far more of Dani Alves and Jordi Alba in this second half, after they were quiet in the opening 45 minutes.
Dani Alves dinks a ball into the box as Barca continue to attack but Palop comes charging off his line to punch the ball away. Tito's men have stepped it up a gear since going two behind six minutes ago. Game on!
BARCA SCORE!! FABREGAS WITH A FINE FINISH!! The ball falls to the former Gunner on the edge of the box after a misplaced Lionel Messi pass, but that suits Fabregas, as he takes no time in lashing the ball into the bottom corner with a thunderous left-foot strike.
Barca have got a huge task on their hands now if they want anything from this match against such a well-organised and energetic Sevilla side. What an exciting 40 minutes we have left in store!
PEDRO VOLLEYS WIDE!! Alba gets down the left flank for Barca for what seems like the first time tonight before swinging a cross to Pedro at the back post. He hits the ball first-time on his right foot but can only watch on as it flies just wide of Palop's right-hand post.
SCRAP THAT!! IT'S 2-0 TO SEVILLA!! Negredo increases the home side's lead with a delightful chip over the onrushing Valdes after being played in by Medel, who had done well himself to rob the ball in midfield and start the attack. The Spain international took that one beautifully!
Some good play from Fernando Navarro at left-back for Sevilla stops Sanchez from bursting into the box as the away side look to start this second half on the front foot.
No changes for Barca at the break, you can't expect things to remain the same personnel-wise for long though if the score remains 1-0 to the home side!
Here we go at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Sevilla get this second half started.
HALF-TIME: SEVILLA 1-0 BARCELONA. Tito Vilanova will have some choice words to say to his men during the break here, with the home side 1-0 thanks to an arrowed strike from Piotr Trochowski in the 26th minute of the game. Barcelona again have failed to look their best despite starting well. Not for the first time this season Messi looks dangerous despite not featuring prominently, and has gone close on a couple of occasions. Is Barcelona's 100% start to La Liga set to end? Join me in 10 minutes for LIVE coverage of the second half to find out!
45' + 1'
The referee blows his whistle to mark the end of the first half, after an uneventful minute of added time!
Barcelona are totting up the free-kicks as we approach half-time here, the latest for a high foot from Spahic on Dani Alves. They still trail 1-0 though, to that well-struck Piotr Trochowski effort.
When I said Manu was a youngster in my entry on 39 minutes, I of course was lying... Thanks @IceX1992 for pointing that out, Manu is in fact 28 years old. For some reason I thought he was 22... Apologies everyone!
THAT'S A BETTER CROSS FROM RAKITIC!! The Croat lofts a dangerous-looking ball towards the back post after some decent interplay with the substitute Manu on the left, but no Sevilla players are attacking the ball, and it is collected by Alba.
Rakitic plays a short-corner with Navas but then wastes the ball having run towards the Barca goal, by ballooning across high up in the air that is dealt with by Song.
Corner to Sevilla...
Barca continue to work the ball well in the Sevilla half but are struggling to carve out any real chances at present, with the Sevilla defence continuing their solid start to the match.
The Sevilla goalscorer Trochowski has picked up a knock here and he had to be subbed off by the home side and replaced by the youngster Manu. He's certainly left a mark on the game despite only playing 39 minutes!
Manu Del Moral
DECENT EFFORT FROM NEGREDO!! The attacker curls a left-footed strike just wide of Valdes' right-hand post after being found on the right by yet another lovely little pass from Ivan Rakitic. The Croatia international is enjoying a fine game so far tonight playing in a central position behind Sevilla's lone frontman.
NEGREDO IS OFFSIDE... AGAIN. The Sevilla striker gets caught out by the Barca defence, and it is a shame really because Rakitic had split the Catalan backline wide open with a fine ball through to him.
One Spain international is penalised for a foul on another here as Navas goes ploughing through the back of Alba after losing the ball in an advanced position. Naughty from the Sevilla man. He knew exactly what he was doing.
I've just realised it was that man Trochowski who scored the goal that beat Real Madrid 1-0 back on Matchday 4 too. Big game player?
HERE'S A STAT!! Barcelona are undefeated in their last 5 matches against Sevilla.
The flag goes up on the near side for offside against Cesc Fabregas, and the Barcelona man looks outraged by that decision. He had been found superbly by Xavi, but the officials made the right decision, he was offside!
Sevilla claimed the scalp of Real Madrid earlier this season at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. Are they about to do the same to Barca?! Let me know your thoughts on Twitter, @charliefscott.
Yellow CardIvan Rakitic
Barcelona look fairly peeved by conceding here, and they very nearly go straight up the other end and equalise. A cross from the left is parried away by Palop, but only as far as Messi. The Argentine's volleyed effort was heading straight into the back of the net but for a vital diving block from Hedwiges Maduro.
I don't think many people were expecting that!! Sevilla take an unexpected lead!
GOALLL!!! SEVILLA SCORE!! Piotr Trochowski has given the home side a 1-0 lead here at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, after Guy Medel's shot was deflected into his path off the boot of Javier Mascherano. The winger took a touch to control the ball on the left before arrowing an effort past Valdes into the far corner of the net.
Messi curls the set piece in from the right-hand side but it is a poor ball and is easily headed clear by Rakitic.
Spahic is not having a good time against Sanchez on the Sevilla left at the moment, and is penalised for the second time in the last ten minutes for a lunging, mistimed tackle on the Chile international.
A quick counter from Sevilla nearly results in Jesus Navas finding himself clear through on goal, but he cannot quite get a toe onto Rakitic's sprayed pass and the ball runs out for a throw to the visitors.
Barca quickly work the ball over to Alba on the left, but just as soon as it has left the right hand-side it is arrowed back across to Sanchez. He cannot find space to get a cross into the Sevilla box though, and is dispossessed by Navarro.
Down goes Sanchez on the right, and it looks like Barcelona have a free-kick. Spahic the offender on this occasion.
RAKITIC CURLS ONE INTO THE ARMS OF VICTOR VALDES!! Sevilla work the ball well down the right-hand side through Navas and Negredo, with the latter eventually setting the ball off for the Croatian, who is waiting on the edge of the box. His shot lacks the necessary to test Valdes though, with the Barca stopper collecting the ball comfortably.
Barcelona's players are surrounding the referee after he fails to award Messi a free-kick for what is not the first time this evening. The former Barca boy Botia went right into him with an elbow 30 yards from the Sevilla goal there, but the referee was having none of it.
Negredo is flagged offside for the home side as he looks to get in behind the not-too-pacy defensive pairing of Alex Song and Javier Mascherano. He looked both onside, and in his own half from where I'm sitting. A strange decision from the linesman!
I've just seen a replay of that Messi chance and there was an outrageous round the corner flick from Cesc Fabregas during the move that led to his shot. Wonderful work from the former Gunner.
GREAT SAVE FROM PALOP!! The Sevilla goalkeeper does brilliantly to stop the Barca attacker from making it 1-0 with a low drive from an acute angle after yet more divine passing from the away side.
NEGREDO DRAGS A SHOT WIDE!! The Spain international has Sevilla's first effort at goal of the match, but slips his left-foot shot from the edge of the area the wrong side of the right-hand post after being played through on goal by Rakitic.
Here come Sevilla. Ivan Rakitic looks to play a one-two with Piotr Trochowski on the left for the home side but Dani Alves is alert and intercepts the ball well. He immediately sets off on a counter attack with Sanchez but the latter runs the ball out of play in the Sevilla half.
Xavi and Messi exchange some lovely passes inside the Sevilla half but are eventually stopped by Fernando Navarro down the Barcelona right.
Sevilla lose the ball in midfield to Busquets, and Barcelona have a hold of the ball once more in the centre of the park. Xavi picks Alexis Sanchez out with an exquisite lofted pass, but the linesman on the near side spares Spahic's blushes by flagging the attacker offside.
A timely interception from Alex Song on the edge of his own box stops Jesus Navas from racing into the penalty area as Sevilla threaten for the first time in this match.
SPAHIC NUTMEGS MESSI!! Honestly that isn't supposed to be the other way round! The Sevilla centre-back shows some silky footwork to flick the ball through the Argentine's legs and then pick the ball up on the other side. Nonchalant stuff!
Sevilla midfield enforcer Hedwiges Maduro catches Lionel Messi and Barca have a free-kick just inside the Sevilla half. They opt to pass it back to their defence and start from scratch though, rather than looking to play the ball forward.
Who would have thought it, Barca have got the ball down on the deck and started passing it about a bit. It's been a good minute since Sevilla last touched it, and I think that was at a goal-kick.
PEDRO FIRES OVER!! It's not taken long for the away side to carve out their first chance of the evening, and it has fallen to Pedro. Busquets slips a fine pass through to his fellow Spain international, but his right-foot shot goes flying over the Sevilla crossbar from 18 yards out.
Sevilla's target man Alvaro Negredo makes Javier Mascherano aware of his existence with a high challenge through the back of the Argentina international.
Barca get this match started, with the ball soon finding its way back to Alex Song, their latest in a long line of unorthodox centre-backs.
Out come the teams at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, and we are just minutes away from kick-off here!
PROMISING STAT #2: In Barcelona's last 6 away matches, there have been more than 2.5 goals every time.
PROMISING STAT #1: In 21 of their last 23 Primera Division matches, Barca have scored at least 2 goals.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Song, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Xavi, Fabregas; Pedro, Messi, Sanchez
Sevilla (4-2-3-1): Palop; Cicinho, Botia, Spahic, Navarro; Medel, Maduro; Navas, Rakitic, Trochowski; Negredo
So, without further ado/rambling, here are the two side's starting XIs...
And if your appetite is not suitably whetted yet, after announcing the teams, I'll be releasing a couple of juicy stats before kick-off that suggest that this one has goals in it!
You can let me know your predictions for how this match will pan out by logging on to the Twitter machine and firing your views over to @charliefscott.
How do I know that? Well, it's simple really. Barcelona have won five out of five in La Liga so far this campaign, while Sevilla are unbeaten. One of them is going to lose that record tonight, but the question is 'who is it going to be?'
Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of a highly-anticipated Liga match between Sevilla and Barcelona at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. It is set to be a cracker!
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