Barcelona reignited their name hopes after Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele scored in a 2-Zero victory over Sevilla on Saturday to place them two issues in the back of Atletico Madrid. Atletico nonetheless have two video games in hand, the primary of the ones coming in opposition to sixth-placed Villarreal on Sunday, however a dip in shape from L. a. Liga’s leaders has given their chasing competitors hope. Barca appeared useless and buried a couple of weeks in the past however this used to be their 9th win out of 10 in L. a. Liga, a surge that has put them again in rivalry, with Atletico taking part in in opposition to Actual Madrid subsequent weekend.
Sevilla began the day as arguably the shape staff on the most sensible, having gained all in their final six league video games, the final 5 of the ones with out conceding a objective.
However they had been 2d absolute best on the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, a dominant efficiency from Barcelona exposing them nonetheless as relatively wanting Spain’s most sensible 3.
It additionally creates an intriguing back-drop to Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semi-final 2d leg when those two groups meet once more, with Barca hoping to overturn a 2-Zero deficit at Camp Nou.
Pedri and Ronald Araujo might be doubts after each had been substituted in the second one half of with what gave the look of damage issues.
Trainer Ronald Koeman may just smartly stick to his new Three-Five-2 machine, which noticed Jordi Alba and Sergino Dest taking part in as wing-backs forward of a again 3 and Dembele deployed up entrance along Messi.
With out Antoine Griezmann, who dropped to the bench, Koeman sacrificed some creativity within the last 3rd for regulate throughout the heart, to not point out the specter of Dembele in in the back of.
Indubitably for the most productive a part of an hour Sevilla struggled to flee Barcelona’s press or determine any sustained drive, even after Julen Lopetegui presented 3 substitutes at half-time and switched formation to compare their fighters.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen used to be handed have compatibility to play through the staff physician in spite of hurting his proper thumb within the warm-up and in reality it used to be hardly ever examined within the first half of.
Barca managed the sport and whilst Alba and Dest by no means truly complicated up to Koeman would possibly have favored, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri had been a continuing danger throughout the heart, with the fast Dembele simply in entrance.
Possibilities, although, had been few and a ways between and it took a counter-attack for Barcelona to take the lead.
Fernando gave the ball away affordably up entrance and two passes had been sufficient, Messi curling the decisive one thru for Dembele to race transparent and end.
Lopegtegui reacted with 3 adjustments at half-time and two extra after the hour however even through matching Barcelona’s machine, Sevilla struggled to realize a foothold.
Alba got here up simply wanting De Jong’s pass, Dest slammed in opposition to the put up and Messi blazed over after any other surge from Dembele.
One in all Lopetegui’s substitutes Youssef En-Nesyri had Sevilla’s absolute best likelihood however headed over.
But with no 2d objective, a nervy finale used to be at all times most probably and En-Nesyri discovered the nook at the flip however had the objective dominated out for a handball, his tussle with Araujo seeing Barca’s defender cross off and he booted some chairs over in frustration.
However Sevilla’s push used to be transient, ended through Messi with six mins left.
He traded passes with Dembele, nipped within Diego Carlos and attempted to complete with a chip. Bono stored however the ball got here to Messi, one backyard out.
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