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PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Barça gave themselves a great confidence booster after the disappointment of San Siro last Wednesday, when they beat Seville 2-1 at a freezing Camp Nou tonight. It was a hard won win, with a brilliant 15 minutes after the break crowned by second half strikes from Villa and Messi, which turned the scores around after Botia had given the visitors a first half lead.

In the end, Barça took three more points in the chase for the league title and gave themselves a good result ahead of the upcoming games against Madrid and Milan, whilst for Emery it was another defeat, leaving him without a win in 15 matches against Barça.

Six changes to starting line up

Barça made six changes from the team who started against Milan, with Montoya in at left back and Villa starting up front for the first time since his illness. Iniesta and Messi were both in the team though and the two created the first chance of the game, only for the Spanish international to fail to score when he was one on one with the Seville keeper.

0-1 at half time

Barça controlled possession in their usual style, but they were lacking a bit of sparkle in the box and found it hard to find a way through Emery’s well-constructed defensive wall. In contrast, the visitors scored with their first real chance, when ex- Barça man Botia headed home a right wing cross from Coke. It was a harsh punishment for a Barça side who were clearly the better team.

Immediate reaction after the break

The Barça fans gave their players a rousing welcome when they came out for the second half and the team reacted quickly. Tello was on for Alexis, which allowed Villa to move into the centre forward role and gave Alves free rein down the right wing. It was the Brazilian who provided the cross on 51 minutes for Villa to head home the equaliser, as Barça were rewarded for a sharper and more intense start to the half.

The Tello-Messi connection

Soon Barça were ahead after Thiago, Messi and Tello exchanged passes for the World Number One to fire home for yet another goal as the team enjoyed their best period of the game. Emery threw on Negredo as Seville chased the draw and the Spanish forward had a great chance, only for his shot to beat Valdes, but come back off the bar.

Roura reacted by bringing on Busquets for Villa to try and close the game down and the team settled to ensure the win and give themselves a great confidence boost ahead of Tuesday’s Cup semi-final against Real Madrid

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