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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Readers' Comments

I

worry about these types of conclusions on a teams brilliance when it was very clear that Argentina had 4 chances where they really should have scored and on chances alone then it would have been the more pragmatic Argentinians who would be the best in the world. I like the Germany team but this just shows that even with planning it relies on a great deal of luck and finding your opponents at just the right time.

dryice
Reward At Last For Years Of Careful Planning

W

e all know the British public don't have the patience to plan for 14 years. No chance. As soon as our young players don't win the world cup they get harrassed and abused to the point of mental breakdown. No, England likes to react to failure by sacking the manager and tearing up their best laid plans in favour of something shiny and new to keep the knee jerkers happy.

HarryBoulton
Reward At Last For Years Of Careful Planning

G

lad Messi was player of the tournament, there was no-one more deserving. Except Robben. And James Rodriguez. Or Muller and half the Germany team etc etc

sailingmagpie
Golden Ball award for Messi

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