Barca blitz Sevilla with awesome first-half display

Tomas Mccoy
April 7, 2017

Barcelona kick off two points behind Real Madrid and with an extra game played, but Messi's return after suspension and that of defender Gerard Pique, who was rested for the 4-1 win away over Granada, will be a major boost for Luis Enrique's side. In their absence, Marco Asensio, James Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata took the onus on themselves to trouble Leganes.

Real top the table with 71 points, two clear of Barca, and have a game in hand on their arch-rivals as they bid for a first title since 2012.

"But those of us who play for the national team want to win a title too". "We are doing great things together, but we still have a long way to go and we will need every player". In the 15th minute, Asensio's brilliant run from the midfield opened up space for Rodriguez to go unmarked into Leganes penalty box.

As the rain tumbled down on the Camp Nou, fourth-placed Sevilla - now on a six-game winless run - were in danger of capsizing as Messi picked a loose ball out of the air before thumping a volley low and hard into the visiting net on 32 minutes.

Sampaoli was one of the leading candidates when Luis Enrique announced his decision to step down at the end of the season last month. Jorge Sampaoli's side dominated possession and had 17 attempts on goal but lacked a cutting edge, particularly in the second half when they launched repeated assaults on the visiting area but could not get past the impressive Ivan Cuellar in goal.

Messi has been a beaten finalist three times with Argentina, at the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 and 2016 Copa America.

Ter Stegen made a comfortable stop from second-half substitute Pablo Sarabia before the same player hit the side netting with an effort from wide right.

Only a high quality display could help his case, but critics say that Sampaoli's high-pressing style has taken a toll and his squad is now drained, though the coach disagreed. The pair have scored more league goals than SIXTEEN other teams in the league, astonishing.

"He said he wasn't going to play again and they started putting up banners on July 9 asking for him to come back; you don't appreciate what you've got until it's gone".

Luis Enrique is planning on following in the footsteps of Pep Guardiola after leaving Barcelona at the end of the season. "We arguably even deserved to have a bigger lead".

Sevilla were reduced to 10 men in the 90th minute when Vitolo was sent for a second booking after a foul on Neymar.

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