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FC Barcelona have become experts of late at overturning negative results at Camp Nou. We’ve already had one example of that against Levante this month, and now it’s time to do it all over again after going down 2-0 to Sevilla in Wednesday’s quarter final first leg.
The task is going to be even trickier this time though. While Barça managed to bag an all-important away goal at the Ciutat de Valencia, they are returning empty-handed from the Sánchez Pizjuan.
More than ever, the players are going to support of their unconditional fans next Wednesday at 9.30pm CET, so if you’re in town, make sure you pick up a ticket. As if you need us to tell you that!
With Leo Messi and Sergio Busquets rested, Luis Suárez and Jordi Alba on the bench and Kevin Prince Boateng starting as centre forward just a day after his official presentation, the Barça starting line-up was more of a talking point than the actual football until a confusing incident on 26 minutes.
An Arturo Vidal interception went up for VAR review, which confirmed the ball had hit his shoulder and not his arm, but a misunderstanding led to the homes fans celebrating a penalty that was never to be.
Barça had been in control to that point, without turning their better play into chances, but the non-penalty incident instilled a new verve into the home side.
The game sprang into life with Ben Yedder scuffing one chance, bringing out a fine save from Jasper Cillessen with another and then bicycle kicking wide.
Barça’s best chance came when Arthur picked out his compatriot Malcom, who sweetly weaved his way past Juan Soriano but needed to do better with the finish.
Sevilla take lead
The Andalusians continued to threat after the restart, and were rewarded with the opener after 58 minutes. Quincy Promes whipped in the cross and Juan Sarabia connected perfectly. 1-0
At this point, a second for Sevilla was looking more likely than a Barça equaliser. It was time for Luis Suárez and Philippe Coutinho to go out and stir things up a bit.
They did just that, but it was indeed Sevilla who scored next. Ever Banega set it up and Ben Yedder converted his first ever goal against Barça, and dedicated it to the missing Emiliano Sala, with whom he shares an agent.
The final quarter of an hour saw Barça desperately looking to snatch an away goal, and Sevilla looking to potentially kill off the tie with a third. Neither side got what they wanted, but there will be another 90 minutes for them to try to do that in seven days’ time.
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