Published: Mon, April 02, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Lionel Messi starred in Barcelona's draw with Sevilla despite carrying an injury

Lionel Messi starred in Barcelona's draw with Sevilla despite carrying an injury

Franco Vazquez opened the scoring for Sevilla from close range in the 36th minute and Colombia global Luis Muriel doubled the home side's lead by smashing in on the rebound five minutes into the second half.

The damage could have been far greater had the home side not been so wasteful in attack, while Barca rarely looked like striking down the other end until Messi came off the bench to replace Ousmane Demebele in the 58th minute.

Barcelona has a 12-point lead over second-place Atletico Madrid, which hosts struggling Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday. This result really just keeps Barcelona undefeated in the league, as a win or loss really wouldn't have meant a whole lot in the standings for them. "He makes a difference every time he touches the ball".

The first 87 minutes of Saturday's game against Sevilla didn't go Barcelona's way.

"La Liga? We don't see it as ours yet, rather much less so".

"The team just kept on working and didn't give up and it was down to him to score the equaliser".

The first two games of the weekend ended in 1-1 draws between Girona and Levante and Athletic Club Bilbao and Celta Vigo.

"In the second half, they were comfortable with that situation, because they have quick players like [Jesus] Navas".

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He had been left out of the starting line-up due to a hamstring complaint, with coach Ernesto Valverde perhaps keeping one eye on Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final against Roma.

With Cristiano Ronaldo rested for Real Madrid's 3-0 win at Las Palmas, Messi now has a four-goal lead over both the Portuguese icon and teammate Suarez in the race for the Pichichi. Las Palmas stays 18th, seven points adrift of safety.

Luis Suarez threatened the home team in the first 10 minutes of the game with a shot at goal, which, however missed its mark, and after that scare came another when Joaquin "Tucu" Correa got off his shot a little too slowly.

"Everything is positive except one thing, the injury of Nacho", Zidane said.

Bale opened the scoring in the 26th minute after a long throughball by Luka Modric, making a run from near the midfield line before entering the area and finding the top corner with a powerful left-footed shot.

The question now is whether Zidane was suitably impressed to pick Bale in Italy.

"Liga games are like this when your rival takes the game to you".

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