Sevilla vs. Barcelona: Final score 1-4, Messi brace leads the Blaugrana comeback

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

Sevilla took an early lead but two goals from Lionel Messi helped Barca comeback and re-take first place.

Barcelona overcame poor weather conditions and an early deficit to defeat Sevilla 4-1. The Rojiblancos started strong and went up 1-0 behind a Alberto Moreno goal, but Barca had surged ahead by halftime thanks to goals from Alexis Sánchez and Lionel Messi. The Argentine striker added a third in the second half as well.

Sevilla took the lead in the 15th minute after a series of short passes that involved four different players before finally getting past Victor Valdés. Ivan Rakitić's run inside of Gerard Piqué, followed by a clever give and go Diogo Figueiras caused the Barca defense to get turned around as Rakitić laid the ball off towards the of the box where Vitolo took the slightest touch to Alberto Moreno whose shot through a massive crowd eluded Valdés.

Valdés was completely fooled by Carlos Bacca's header in the 20th minute but Barca was saved by the post which managed to keep the home side from taking a 2-0 lead.

In the opening 20 minutes of the match Sevilla generated a goal on five shots, Barca didn't even have one shot. The goal seemed to wake up the Blaugrana though but the goal remained elusive. Xavi and Alexis Sánchez both had chances to get their side even but Xavi's shot was poor and right at Beto while Sánchez managed to cause the ball to go backwards.

Finally in the 34th minute the equalizer arrived. After Messi was taken out 40-yards from goal, the striker took the long free kick and put the ball right on Sánchez's head in front of goal for the header over Beto. The replays showed Sánchez was offside but Barca got lucky as the linesman's flag stayed down.

Two minutes before halftime Lionel Messi moved Barca in front with a skillful rocket from the top of the 18-yard-box. Messi led the counter attack, sending the ball wide left to Sánchez who dribbled forward into the box before returning the ball back to Messi. The Argentine managed to control the ball as it skipped on the rain soaked surface and sent a shot past Beto into the side netting, giving Barca a 2-1 lead at the break.

Valdés showed off his skills in the 54th minute, keeping Barca in front with a tough double save. Bacca's shot from distance was the first attempt with the Barca goalkeeper blocked down with a fully extended diving save to his left. Kevin Gameiro was trailing the shot but his short range effort on the rebound was blocked by Valdés as well.

Barca took advantage of their keeper's work and extended their lead two minutes later. Andrés Iniesta broke free on the counter attack and found Messi central near the top of the Sevilla box. Messi blasted a low shot that went through some traffic and eluded Beto inside the far post to give the visitors a 3-1 lead.

Second half substitute Cesc Fàbregas added a fourth goal three minutes from full time to erase any hope of a Sevilla comeback.

The win moves Barcelona back into first place on the tiebreaker, even on points at 57 with Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid.

Sevilla:Beto, Fazio, Figueiras, Alberto, Pareja, Carriço, Rakitić, Iborra (Trochowski 64'), Bacca, Gameiro (Cheryshev 64'), Vitolo (Samperio 78')

Goals: Moreno (15')

Barcelona: Valdés, Montoya, Piqué, Bartra, Adriano, Song, Xavi (Busquets 83'), Iniseta, Sánchez (Roberto 89'), Pedro (Fàbregas 73'), Messi

Goals: Sánchez (34'), Messi (44', 56'), Fàbregas (87')

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