Barcelona reclaim top spot in the La Liga with 4-2 win against Sevilla

Barcelona's Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic (2R) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona against Sevilla FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 20, 2018. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP) (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)
Barcelona's Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic (2R) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona against Sevilla FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 20, 2018. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP) (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Barcelona returned to form in the La Liga by reclaiming top spot

Barcelona took on Sevilla at the Camp Nou after having picked up just 6 points in the last 5 La Liga games, and with Los Nervionenses on a win streak. But in the end, the Blaugrana prevailed at home.

In the 2nd minute, Barça took the lead. After Nélson Semedo cut in and passed it into Luis Suárez, the Uruguayan striker laid it off for Lionel Messi, who threaded through an exquisite ball for Philippe Coutinho, who fired it into the top right corner.

Sevilla nearly equalised as Guilherme Arana hit the post. But the side survived. Barcelona extended the lead in the 12th minute, with a display of the camaraderie between Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez.

Luis Suárez found Leo Messi in space on the right side after picking up a loose ball. The Argentine maestro cut inside onto his left foot, and provided a clinical finish into the bottom left corner to extend Barça’s lead.

But in the 18th minute, Leo Messi suffered a potentially long-term injury. The Argentine overextended his arm under a challenge from Sevilla left-back Guilherme Arana. His arm was bandaged, giving hope to the fans that he would return, but he ultimately didn’t.

In the 60th minute, Marc-André ter Stegen made a brilliant save to preserve Barça’s 2-0 lead. He miraculously reached a looping header from André Silva, and then saved a rebound with brilliant reflexes.

Just a couple of minutes later, Suárez made up for his previous miss by winning a penalty, and subsequently scoring it. The Uruguayan centre-forward nutmegged a Sevilla defender to find himself through on goal, before Tomáš Vaclík dived and caught him, receiving a yellow card.

More from Everything Barca

Sevilla pulled one back in the 79th minute, through an unfortunate deflection off Clément Lenglet. Pablo Sarabia fired a speculative shot from outside the box, but a touch off Lenglet allowed the ball to nestle into the top left corner, having left Marc-André ter Stegen wrong-footed.

Ter Stegen was again called into action in the 86th minute. His clearance was headed into the path of Pablo Sarabia. The shot was saved with ease, but his status as a top-class goalkeeper was reaffirmed with his second save off the rebound from Wissam Ben Yedder with brilliant reflexes.

Barcelona rounded off the goal bonanza in the 88th minute. Philippe Coutinho’s pass was intercepted and it bounced up nicely for Ivan Rakitić to volley home into the bottom left corner, his second such strike of the season.

Sevilla collected a consolation goal in stoppage time. Luis Muriel made a run in behind the defenders and found in a lot of space. The Colombian centre-forward curled it into the right corner first-time. But it was too late for Los Rojiblancos to make a comeback.

Ernesto Valverde has to be given credit for taking advantage of Sevilla’s unsure possession play. He implemented a counter-attack-based style of play in the second-half, as Nélson Semedo and Ousmane Dembélé shone on the right wing.

Marc-André ter Stegen was probably the best player to end the game. He produced two double saves which effectively won 2 points for the club, and showed why he should be taking over from Manuel Neuer in the German national team.

Next. 3 reasons why Neymar isn't returning. dark

But Arthur and Luis Suárez also produced very good performances. Arthur oozed confidence throughout the 71 minutes he spent on the pitch, while ‘El Pistolero’ picked up an assist and a goal to top off a performance studded with some brilliant passes.