Four-Star Barcelona Stroll Past Ailing Sevilla

It was all too easy for the Catalans...

Barcelona stayed six points ahead of the chasing pack with a thrilling 4-0 win over hapless Sevilla at the Camp Nou.

A jaded, almost lazy-looking visiting side failed to make the most of their very few chances, while Barcelona's predatory instincts saw them to yet another home win.

It didn't take long to get started. After just three minutes Andres Iniesta strolled through the midfield before clipping a neat shot over Javi Varas from the edge of the area.

Daniel Alves then came close with a free-kick before Samuel Eto'o shot just over, but on the 12th minute mark there was a real opportunity for Sevilla to get back into it with virtually their first chance of the game. Diego Capel flighted a cross to the far post for Jesus Navas, who opted to shoot, but did so wide: Luis Fabiano, waiting in the middle, was furious.

He would have been disappointed on the quarter-hour mark as Samuel Eto'o showed Navas how it was done at the other end. More great build-up play from Iniesta saw the midfielder exchange passes with Xavi, then playing the Cameroonian through for a shot that Varas could only get a touch to.

It was all Barcelona from there until the half hour mark, with the impressive Capel drilling forward and playing a ball past the supine Gerard Pique, only for Luis Fabiano to fail to maintain possession.

There was another Sevilla chance as Capel flighted in an excellent cross for Arouna Kone, who lost his marker in Rafael Marquez, but blasted his header way, way wide of the target.

Heading into the break, though, the Blaugrana were once again in the ascendancy, and the third seemed to be only a matter of time away.

Indeed, thus it proved as with a fantastic counter-attack Barcelona killed off the game. Thierry Henry won the ball from Navas in midfield before striding forward, where Iniesta played a cutback to the onrushing Xavi. With the midfielder quite untroubled by the likes of Enzo Maresca, who were still double-marking in the box, the Spanish international smashed a lovely postage-stamp effort from 20 yards.

Then it was four, Iniesta once again being involved as he slipped a ball through for Henry to play a low drive across goal and into the far corner.

Needless to say the match was over as a contest, and indeed it slowed down as both managers made a series of changes, not least the removal of Iniesta for the disappointing Aliaksandr Hleb.

There were still a couple of chances, though, not least for Samuel Eto'o, who went through on goal on the break and founded Varas, only to dither over his shot and see it blocked by Escude.

No matter: Barcelona had done it again, maintaining a colossal goals for tally of 92 and a six point advantage over Real Madrid. Sevilla remain third on 57.

Ewan Macdonald,