Football

Messi gets Barcelona back on track after Sevilla victory

Goals from David Villa and Lionel Messi helped Barcelona get back to winning ways on Saturday night, after they recorded a 2-1 La Liga victory over Sevilla at Camp Nou.

Tito Vilanova's side were forced to come from behind, however, after the visitors took the lead against the run of play, when Alberto Botia beat Dani Alves in the air, and nodded past Victor Valdes, just three minutes before the interval.

Barcelona hit back though, when Villa headed Alves's cross home in the 52nd minute, before Messi netted his 38th Primera Division goal of the campaign, finishing off a typically slick passing move, with Cristian Tello claiming the assist for the Argentinian.

With 30 minutes still to play, Sevilla did have chances to draw level, with substitute Alvaro Negredo missing perhaps the best opportunity, as he blazed over the bar late-on.

The victory extended Barcelona's lead at the top of the table to 15-points, with second-placed Atletico Madrid hosting Espanyol on Sunday night.

An impressive haul of 68 points from 25 games has almost wrapped up the Spanish title, but attention now turns to cup competitions, with Tuesday's Copa del Rey semi-final second leg clash against Real Madrid next up for Messi and Co.

Barca will also be looking to overturn the 2-0 deficit from last week's Champions League last-16 first leg defeat against AC Milan at San Siro, when they host the Serie 'A' giants on March 12.

 

Barcelona: Valdes; Pique, Alves, Mascherano, Montoya; Iniesta (Xavi 69), Song, Alcantara, Messi, Sanchez (Tello 45), Villa (Busquets 79).

Sevilla: Beto; Navarro, Fazio, Coke, Botia, Maduro (Moreno 82), Rakitic, Del Moral, Navas, Medel (Kondogbia 55), Baba (Negredo 60).

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