Perfect performance (5-0)
Barça treated the fans to a fantastic performance at the Nou Camp tonight, hitting five past Seville with two goals apiece from Messi and Villa and one from Alves to chalk up their fifth win on the trot.
Barcelona (FCB).- This was the best Barça of the season so far as they handed out a footballing master class to Seville, who found themselves one down after just four minutes and going in at one goal and one man down at the break after Konko had seen red on the stroke of half time. With Madrid also winning at Hercules, Barca stay second, a point behind the leaders.
Focus and intensity from the off
It couldn’t have been a better start for Barça who came out of the blocks at pace - Xavi had a shot go just past the post within 55 seconds of the kick off – and Messi had them one up within four minutes. Although Seville tried to get into the game, Barça were keeping possession and getting it back quickly when it was lost as they played with complete focus and intensity from the off.
Back after his two game absence, Xavi was leading the team with his trademark passing and control, wearing the opposition down with their possession and making a hatful of chances. Villa finished off a lovely move set up by Messi on 24 minutes with a beautiful shot that curled past the keeper to make it two. Seville were now well and truly under the cosh – a situation not helped by the second yellow Konko picked up on 45 minutes after he was forced to bring down Pedro as he bore down on Varas’ goal.
Alves makes it three
Manzano was forced to shuffle his defence at half time, with Dabo and Zokora coming on for Perotti and Luis Fabiano as the Seville boss aimed for damage limitation. Unfortunately for him, ex-Seville man Dani Alves was alert to a poor back pass from Romaric on 52 minutes and whacked the ball past the keeper for a third goal which he refused to celebrate out of respect for his ex-team.
More Messi, more Villa
There was still another 40 minutes to go though and the Barça players - especially Leo Messi -were hungry for more. Just past the hour mark, the Argentinean won a ball in the middle and raced through to the edge of the box to hit the ball low past the keeper. At four nil up, Guardiola decided to bring off Xavi, Pedro and Puyol ahead of next week’s Champions League game.
The Nou Camp crowd was really loving it now, with a massive Mexican wave lapping the stadium and the team responded with one more goal as Villa picked up a pass from Busquets to fire home for his second to round off a great performance from Guardiola’s team, who looked to be back at their very best.
1-0, Messi (min 4)
2-0, Villa (min 24)
3-0, Alves (min 52)
4-0, Messi (min 63)
5-0, Villa (min 90)