• Barca battle back to beat Los Rojiblancos
    08:41 | 29/02/2016

    The victory sees Barca equal Real Madrid’s Spanish record of 34 games without defeat.


    The Catalans were looking to respond to Atletico Madrid’s 1-0 win over city rivals Real Madrid on Saturday, which brought them within five points of Luis Enrique’s league leaders.

    However, their evening got off to a bad start when Vitolo fired Los Rojiblancos in front on 20 minutes, although Lionel Messi restored parity 11 minutes later with a sumptuous free-kick.

    Gerard Pique then completed the comeback win early in the second half with a close-range finish to extend Barca’s winning streak to nine league outings and equal Los Blancos’ record 34-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

    The visitors made the better start in Catalonia, but Enrique’s side created the first clear-cut chance on 13 minutes when Aleix Vidal picked out Luis Suarez at the near post, but the Uruguayan ace was denied at the near post by keeper Sergio Rico.

    Moments later the woodwork came to the Andalusians’ rescue twice in the matter of seconds as, first Messi struck the near post from a direct corner-kick, before Suarez rattled the crossbar on the follow-up.

    But the hosts were made to pay for a defensive lapse on 20 minutes as Michael Krohn-Dehli was played onside by Jeremy Mathieu and the Dane raced away down the left flank before passing to Benoit Tremoulinas, whose perfectly-weighted cross was volleyed home at the far post by Vitolo.

    Rico had to be alert to keep out Neymar soon afterwards as the Blaugrana looked for an immediate response, but they didn’t have to wait long for the equaliser, which arrived on 31 minutes from the left boot of Messi, who sent his free-kick from the left into the far top corner of the net with deadly accuracy.

    Messi then turned provider to set up Pique just three minutes into the second half, the Argentine combining with Suarez before holding the ball up and picking out the Spaniard for a simple finish from close range.

    Sevilla looked to get back into the contest in a bid to bolster their bid for European football and Kevin Gameiro forced Barca keeper Claudio Bravo into a sharp save at his near post, before Krohn-Dehli flashed a shot just wide of the target, while Steven N’Zonzi saw his cross nearly deflected into the net by the home defence.

    But the hosts had their own chances to wrap things up as Suarez wasted two golden opportunities in the closing stages, although they held on for all three points to deny Unai Emery’s team their first away win of the season.

    source Foxsports

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