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FC Barcelona got back to winning ways in La Liga in an action packed top-of-the-table clash with Sevilla. Four goals ousted the Andalusians from top spot, while Marc Andre Ter Stegen produced some absolutely stunning saves to keep the visitors at bay.
But victory came at a cost. Leo Messi’s participation in the game was cut short by what looks like a nasty arm injury.
Two early goals
The night had started so well for him. The GOAT had only just finished collecting his Liga Player of the Month award for September when he was slipping a pass to Philippe Coutinho, and the Brazilian’s cool finish meant Barça were a goal to the good with their first attack of the game.
Ten minutes later, the Argentinian found himself free in space down the right wing. The Camp Nou buzzed with anticipation. As he raced through on goal there was a sense of inevitability about what was coming.
He picked his moment. He picked his spot. And that was his 25th league goal against Sevilla!
But that was the end of Messi’s involvement in the game. An awkward fall left him clutching his arm in evident pain and following eight minutes of treatment on the sidelines, he was eventually replaced by Ousmane Dembélé.
Messi was off, but Barça kept pushing forward. Another goal would have put this game to bed before half-time. But although the chances were there, the finishing was not.
Suárez from the spot
Sevilla’s push to get back in contention got stronger and stronger. And they’d have got one back had it not been a tremendous double save from Ter Stegen.
First Andre Silva and then Franco Vazquez were denied by the German, and immediately after Luis Suárez was brought down by Tomáš Vaclík at the other end and the referee was pointing at the penalty spot.
The Uruguayan stepped up, made no mistake and that was 3-0.
There was a word of warning when Pablo Sarabia pulled one back for the visitors with ten to go, his strike taking a heavy deflection off Clement Lenglet on the way in.
One each to finish
And things could have got very awkward had Ter Stegen not produced another stunning double save – and again the German’s heroics were followed by a goal at the other end.
A smashing volley from Ivan Rakitic and that really was game over.
There was time for substitute Luis Muriel to curl one in for Sevilla before it was over, but it was too late to change anything. Barça are back on top of the table!
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