Barcelona 4-2 Sevilla match report: LaLiga 2018/19 week 9
Barça beat Sevilla 4-2 to return to the top of LaLiga, but lost Lionel Messi to an injury that rules the star out for three weeks.
Barcelona vs Sevilla: match report
Barcelona went back to the top of LaLiga with a Marc-André ter Stegen-inspired 4-2 win over Sevilla on Saturday, but were dealt a major injury blow after Lionel Messi was forced off with arm damage that will see him miss next week's Clásico.
Messi out for three weeks after suffering arm injury
Messi, who scored Barça's second as the Blaugrana moved a point clear of surprise package Alavés, left the field in visible pain midway through the first half after falling awkwardly in a challenge with Franco Vázquez, with the club later confirming that the Argentine is to be out for around three weeks with a "fracture of the radial bone in his right arm".
Barcelona twice thankful to Ter Stegen double saves
After Philippe Coutinho had given Barça an early lead with a sweet, curling finish, Messi's low 12th-minute strike looked to have set the hosts on course to cruise to victory. But, having already hit the post through Guilherme Arana, Sevilla showed why they too were in a position to end the night leading the division and, but for a terrific double save by Ter Stegen - first from André Silva, then from Vázquez - would have reduced the arrears soon after the break.
As it was, Luis Suárez won and converted a penalty kick mere seconds after Ter Stegen's heroics, and Barça were, really rather fortunately, three ahead.
And not content with producing one crucial double stop, the German then did so again late on to deny seemingly certain goals for Pablo Sarabia and Wissam Ben Yedder - an intervention which, coming shortly after Sarabia had pulled one back with a deflected effort, prevented what would have surely been a hugely nervous finish at the Camp Nou.
Just as Suárez had earlier in the half, Ivan Rakitic immediately responded to his keeper's brilliance by establishing a hugely flattering three-goal advantage - fizzing a lovely strike into the corner from 20 yards - before Sevilla substitute Luis Muriel quickly cut the deficit back to two, bending in an equally fine shot to complete the scoring in time added on.
Barcelona 4-2 Sevilla: as it happened
Barcelona vs Sevilla: match preview
Barcelona and Sevilla can both end night top of LaLiga
Pablo Machín's men, who can reclaim first place with a point tonight, now arrive in the Catalan capital tasked with confirming their title credentials at the home of the reigning league champions; tasked with showing that they believe they belong in their current, lofty position in the table.
Barça, meanwhile, host Sevilla in the knowledge that only their good displays in the Champions League are papering over the cracks of what has been a mediocre LaLiga defence - but that they also have the opportunity to go back to the top of the league if they defeat a side they have already got the better of once this season, in August's dramatic Spanish Super Cup.
Neither coach expected to keep anyone back
Which is why, despite the return from the international break bringing with it three very tough fixtures in a row - Inter Milan and Real Madrid are up next for the Blaugrana - Ernesto Valverde does not seem about to keep anyone back tonight. A full-strength 11 is expected.
Sevilla boss Machín isn't likely to leave anything in reserve, either. Wissam Ben Yedder's goalscoring exploits have earned him his place alongside André Silva in attack, where the duo will provide a stiff the test a Barça defence not enjoying the best of times, it's fair to say.
Barcelona vs Sevilla: confirmed line-ups
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba, Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur, Messi, Suárez, Coutinho
Sevilla: Vaclik, Carriço, Kjaer, Sergi Gómez; Navas, Sarabia, Banega, Vázquez, Arana; André Silva, Ben Yedder
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