Barcelona beat Sevilla after a sensational comeback
Seville: Barcelona scored two late goals to come from behind to record a sensational 3-2 win over Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, thus maintaining their 100 per cent record in La Liga.
With the Catalan giants in control during the early stages, it came as a surprise when the Rojiblancos went ahead through Piotr Trochowski in the 26th minute. From then on, though, the hosts grew in confidence and they doubled their advantage early in the second half through Alvaro Negredo.
Cesc Fabregas pulled one back for Tito Vilanova`s side in the 53rd minute and Sevilla were then reduced to 10 men for the final 20 minutes as Gary Medel was shown a red card. Barca pushed for more goals and they got them, with Fabregas netting his second before a David Villa strike saw the visitors make it six wins from six games so far this season.
Despite being away from home, Barca instantly asserted themselves on their opposition by retaining the ball and producing some spectacularly intricate football.
One such moment led to their first effort on target in the 13th minute as Xavi, Cesc Fabregas and Lionel Messi combined beautifully in the final third. Their passing created a chance for the Argentine superstar to shoot from the left side of the box but Andres Palop denied him by getting a strong hand to the ball.
It was clear from the start that Sevilla were going to rely on the counterattack in order to threaten the visitors, and the Rojiblancos broke at speed in the 26th minute. Medel`s effort from distance was deflected off of Javier Mascherano and straight to the feet of Trochowski. The German shifted the ball onto his left and rifled a shot past Valdes, with the keeper`s weak hand not enough to keep it out.
Barca almost silenced the raucous crowd by drawing level just seconds later. Fabregas challenged Palop for a lofted cross into the box and although the ball fell to Messi just 12 yards from goal, Hedwiges Maduro`s excellent block kept the hosts ahead.
Sevilla, though, took charge of the game from then on and three minutes into the second half they doubled their lead. Sergio Busquets` pass was intercepted by Medel and he fed Negredo between Alexandre Song and Mascherano. The striker held off the challenge of the Cameroonian before dinking a delightful finish over the onrushing keeper.
The Blaugrana were unperturbed and, after Pedro saw his volley cleared off the line, they halved the deficit with 53 minutes played. A brilliant piece of interplay ended with a loose pass falling to Fabregas, who curled home an accurate effort from 20 yards.
Vilanova`s men had rediscovered their dominance from the early exchanges but were denied from equalising on the hour mark through some terrific goalkeeping. Messi bent a brilliant 25-yard free kick that looked destined for the top corner but Palop rose brilliantly to claw it away.
As the Catalan giants` frustration grew, tempers began to flare. A number of rash challenges culminated in a confrontation between Medel and Fabregas in the 72nd minute. The pair came face to face and following an exaggerated reaction from the Barca player, the Chilean was shown a red card for an alleged headbutt.
Fabregas then popped up in the final minutes of normal time as he was picked out in the areas by Messi and he stabbed the ball past Palop to seemingly salvage a point for his team.
However, Barca continued to attack and their efforts were rewarded right at the death as second-half substitute Villa charged into the area before driving the ball home.
Consequently, Barca are now four points clear of second-placed Malaga at the top of the table, while Sevilla slip from fourth to fifth.
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