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March 13, 2011
• Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Sevilla
Referee: Miguel Pérez Lasa
• Attendance: 45000
90' + 2'
That's it!!! It's all over!!! Sevilla's second half performance earns them a 1-1 draw, and reduces Barcelona's lead at the top of the table to five points. A good weekend for Madrid! Thanks for joining us, on Goal.com!!!!
Three minutes of injury time now, and the attacks are relentless, but Sevilla are holding firm.
INIESTA!!!!! NO!!!! CLEARED!!!! INCREDIBLE! Messi's shot across goal rebounds to his feet, and his low effort skips through a sea of players, only to be cleared from underneath the crossbar. Thrilling stuff.
Into the closing stages now, and the play is exclusively inside Sevilla's half. Barca continuing to push for the winner, but time may be against them.
INIESTA!!!!! CROSSBAR!!! This time it is the turn of the midfielder to strike the frame of the goal with a long-range shot from outside the area. Great effort, and Varas was beaten all ends up.
Barca look as though they will be made to rue their missed opportunities in the first half. They have just six minutes to clinch the points. The ineffectual David Villa goes off, to be replaced by Keita.
BOJAN!!! The young striker drills a fabulous cross into the six yard area, and Messi slides in, but he is literally centimetres away from converting. Breathless stuff at the moment, with both teams going for the winner.
KANOUTE!!! The striker has made a huge impact since coming on at the break, and this time his volley is struck with venom, but straight down the throat of Valdes.
HUUUYYY!!!! Perotti once again breaks clear, and clips in a cross to Kanoute, but with space to control he opts to hit first time, and drags his shot wide. Barca looking slightly weary at the moment.
HUUUUYYY!!!!!! Perotti escapes down the left, cuts the ball across goal, and Navas arrives at the back post to drill in a low shot, that Valdes does well to block with his body. A great chance for the winger to double his tally.
PENALTY? NO! Navas appears to catch Bojan on the leg as the striker goes into the area, but the referee waves away his protests. Looking at the incident again, it looks to be a penalty.
Diego Perotti comes on for the last twenty minutes, and his pace on the counter attack could pose problems for Barca as they seek the winning goal.
Yellow Card Diego Capel
Messi jinks and weaves his way through, nutmegging Fazio, but Varas rushes from his line to block his effort. The Argentine is getting closer, however.
The introduction of Kanoute at half time has given Sevilla better balance, and they look a greater threat on the break when a Barca attack breaks down.
Sevilla chasing down the ball vigorously, making it difficult for Barcelona to pass their way through. Their performance has been much improved, while Messi seems to be suffering from his earlier injury, and is not at full capacity.
Yellow Card Fernando Navarro
Then, Navarro lunges it wildly on Busquets, catching the midfielder very late, and he too sees his name go into the book.
Yellow Card Gary Medel
Yellow Card Xavi
The match becoming slightly disjointed now as tempers are raised slightly. Both Xavi and Gary Medel go into the book for squaring up to each other.
Messi chips the ball across goal, looking for David Villa, but Varas intercepts with a brave punch, and wins a free kick for his troubles.
Barcelona getting control of the ball again, and making Sevilla work hard to get it back. You feel that there will be more chances on goal for them in the second half.
This is end to end stuff at the moment. Sevilla have improved greatly since the break, while Barcelona are attempting to reestablish their superiority.
NEGREDO!!!! WHAT A CHANCE!!!! A mistake by Adriano at the edge of the area, and the striker had the goal at his mercy, but as Valdes advanced, he slammed his shot over the crossbar. It was a guilt-edged opportunity.
Barca in trouble slightly here. They have given Sevilla a route back into the match, and the supporters have found their voice again. Negredo is causing havoc with his aerial presence.
Goal Jesús Navas González
GOALLLLL!!!!!!!! GOAL GOAL GOAL!!!! JESUS NAVAS!!!! Negredo escaped through the centre, and although he is pushed wide, the striker chips the ball across goal, and Navas is on hand to nod home. We have a game again - 1-1!!!!!
Sevilla will need to be considerably more offensive in the second half if they are to take anything at all from this contest. Navas drills a shot over the crossbar from the edge of the area.
We are back underway at the Pizjuan.... and Messi is back out on the pitch. Queue a sigh of relief from Cules' across the world.
45' + 1'
Messi is down, and looks to be in serious pain. He has yet to get back to his feet. There is concern here. It is half-time, but Barca will want their talisman back on his feet as soon as possible.
A chance for Sevilla! Navas whips in a cross, Adriano misses his header, but Capel wasn't ready to collect the ball, and the chance is gone. One minute of injury time.
MESSI AGAIN!!! This time he bends a free kick towards the corner, but Javi Varas is equal to his effort, palming the ball around the post. Barca really should be out of sight here.
MESSI!!!!! CROSSBAR!!!! Xavi picks the 23-year-old out with a lovely lob, and the striker smashes his header against the face of the bar. Should perhaps have scored, but another brilliant move nonetheless.
Yellow Card Adriano
Chance for David Villa, who breaks free on the right, but blazes his shot wide of the target. 'El Guaje' has been quiet so far.
Sevilla's wide players, Diego Capel and Jesus Navas, are so deep they are operating as additional full-backs. Manzano's side just cannot get out of their own territory.
Barcelona are regaining possession ridiculously easily, and Sevilla must stop gifting them back the ball. Pep Guardiola's side's ball retention has been of their own high standard.
Messi runs onto a through pass, and is clearly onside, but his touch lets him down and the ball squirms away from him. A golden chance to double the lead.
Lovely goal from Barcelona, and Sevilla need to remain composed and get to half-time now. Another effort prior to the break, and its curtains for their chances of taking anything from this match.
Assist Daniel Alves
Goal Bojan Krkic
GOOOALLLLL!!!!!!!! BOJAN FOR BARCELONA!!! Glorious ball over the top from Iniesta to find Alves, who calmly slipped the ball to the side to allow the 20-year-old to slot into the empty net. Deserved lead for the champions!!!
Yellow Card Didier Zokora
Dani Alves limping heavily at the moment - he has rejoined the action, but doesn't look entirely happy. More injury problems for Barca?
Yellow Card Martín Cáceres
PENALTY?? NO!!! Zokora and Dani Alves run into the box together, and as the former Tottenham midfielder sprints towards the ball, the Brazilian appeared to clip his heels. The referee isn't interested however, despite the protests.
Sevilla have did well to weather the storm in the opening stages, but they will need to attempt to escape their own half of the pitch, because Barcelona will continue to create chances if they don't.
Messi goes on a marvellous jinking run, but just can't find the space to get a shot in on goal, and eventually he is crowded out. You feel a chance will come eventually for the little Argentine, however.
Adriano bursts in from the left flank after being played in by Busquets, and Fazio was forced to come across and make an important block. Barca turning up the heat.
Sevilla are struggling to get a touch of the ball at the moment, with Barcelona patiently stroking it around, and making the home side work hard. At this point, all that is lacking is a final pass.
It is indeed Pedro who has went off, holding his thigh. Barcelona will hope the injury is not a serious one, but a chance for Bojan to impress.
Bojan is on the touchline and is ready to come on - meaning someone has picked up an injury. It may be Pedro, we will soon see.
First chance for the hosts - neat build up play from Caceres on the right hand side, and feeds Rakitic, but his shot is high and well off target.
Controversy - Messi steps up and bends the free kick into the corner, but the referee gives a free kick, seemingly for pushing by Busquets in the wall. It looks to be a shocking decision.
Free kick to Barcelona right on the edge of the area. Handball by Fazio. Real chance for a direct shot on goal.
Madrid's 2-0 win over Hercules last night has put pressure on the Blaugrana to maintain their advantage at the top, but Sevilla seem up for the challenge so far, and their positivity is being transmitted to the supporters.
Barca, as expected, have enjoyed most of the possession in the opening exchanges. A fantastic atmosphere inside the stadium this evening, however.
The teams are out, and we are underway in Andalucia.
Now, Barcelona: Valdés; Alves, Piqué, Abidal, Adriano; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi and Villa
Ok, team news now, and we have confirmation of Sevilla's starting eleven, which is as follows: Javi Varas; Caceres, Navarro, Fazio, Alexis; Medel, Zokora; Rakitic, Navas, Capel; Negredo
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of Sevilla versus Barcelona at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. The champions will look to reestablish their seven-point advantage at the top of the table with victory.
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