Lionel Messi is now finely tuned with El Clásico looming
Four goals and two players sent-off was the outcome of a game that saw Barça move to second in the table, just two points behind Real Madrid who they face in a fortnight. Ernesto Valverde's men next face a tricky away trip to Eibar where his side will be thin on defensive players. Gerard Piqué secured a fifth yellow card last night so will have no potential suspension issues ahead of the Madrid clash as Todibo was forced off with an injury. Araujo was red carded for a tug on Chicharito and with Umtiti still injured, Barça will have a make shift rear-guard for the game at Ipurua.
And then there is the episode involving Dembélé. The French winger was selected ahead of Griezmann, whose role at the Catalan club seems to have taken a step back with the return from injury of Lionel Messi. Dembélé played well in bursts and as is generally the case, overdid the trickery but in general he did look sharp. I have a feeling that Ansu Fati breaking through into the first team may have contributed to the winger finally pulling up his socks with the 16-year-old lurking in the shadows. The French player however blotted his evening with his outburst at match official Mateu stating that the referee "was very bad" following the Araujo dismissal. A foolish act from the 22-year-old, but one that will cost him at least a one game suspension but more likely two.
Barça did manage to win the game with a convincing 4-0 scoreline with some fine shooting on display from the Catalan side. Luis Suárez opened the scoring with a sublime effort but not before Sevilla had squandered three decent chances. Despite his endeavour, Sevilla striker De Jong is drawing a blank in front of goal. With other players making the headlines, one of the most significant events from the evening was the return of Leo Messi. The player embarked on one of his traditional mazy runs on the hour mark which forced the best from Vaclik in the Sevilla goal. On the 78th minute, the Argentine had the ball in the Sevilla net with a trademark top corner free-kick. Messi is finely tuned just ahead of El Clásico, that for me was the significant story of the evening.
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