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Sunday, 05 April 2015, 20:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Camp Nou

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Sunday, 22 March 2015, 20:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Barca and Sevilla claim wins

Lionel Messi stepped off the bench to help Barcelona prevail in a six-goal thriller, while Sevilla remain in the hunt for European qualification.

Last Updated: 05/05/13 at 22:04 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: Stepped off the bench to net twice for Barcelona

Lionel Messi: Stepped off the bench to net twice for Barcelona

Barcelona bounced back from their disappointing UEFA Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich with a 4-2 victory over Real Betis which has them sat 11 points clear at the top of the table and in need of just one more positive result to wrap up the Primera Liga title.

It appeared at one stage as if it would be another night to forget for the Catalan giants at Camp Nou, with Dorlan Pabon firing Betis in front less than two minutes in.

Barca offered a rapid response to falling behind, with Alexis Sanchez restoring parity with a close-range header.

Betis, though, were back in front two minutes before half-time when Ruben Perez crashed home from the edge of the box.

David Villa hauled the hosts level again on 56 minutes, and that was to be his last involvement as he made way for Messi. The mercurial Argentine required just three minutes to make his mark, curling home a sumptuous free-kick before going on to roll a second of the night into an empty net on 71 minutes to wrap up the points for Barca.

Sevilla kept their dreams of Europa League football alive for next season with a convincing 3-0 win over Espanyol, who tried their luck with a couple of wayward chances early on before Joan Capdevila handed the initiative to the home side with an 11th minute own-goal.

Sevilla midfielder Jesus Navas fired in a cross and Capdevila tried to make a block, but he ended up heading the ball into his own net from 12 yards out.

Andujar Coke then doubled the home side's lead after he linked up with Navas on the right, before Alvaro Negredo made the result safe in the 22nd minute when he slotted home Ivan Rakitic's assist.

Mallorca remain bottom of the table after only managing to draw 1-1 with Levante at home.

Real Zaragoza recorded back-to-back league wins for the first time this season as Rayo Vallecano succumbed meekly to a 3-0 setback at La Romareda.

The hosts' early pressure told after 25 minutes when Abraham's shot was harshly adjudged to have struck the hand of Jordi in the area and the referee pointed to the spot. Apono took the responsibility from 12 yards and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way.

Zaragoza needed only six minutes of the second period to extend their lead, Rodri snaffling up the rebound from close range after Helder Postiga had seen his header parried by Ruben.

Postiga was denied a goal when his header struck the post in the first minute of added time, but a third did arrive with seconds remaining when Apono fired in from 20 yards.

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S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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