Barcelona increased their advantage atop La Liga to eight points by defeating Sevilla 3-0 due to Real Madrid’s early setback.
Barça didn’t waver and took control of possession right away. But they were unable to penetrate Sevilla’s staunch defence. As a result, Robert Lewandowski struggled throughout the first half to get into the game.
The fact that Barça had 70% of the possession at halftime, but only two shots on goal, will have disappointed the team’s ardent supporters.
Xavi’s team talk at the break seemed to have an impact as Barça started the second half with much more of an offensive focus.
Just before the hour mark, Franck Kessié finished a fantastic team move by finding Jordi Alba in the area, and the full-back punched home to steal the lead as compensation for their hard work.
FULL TIME!!!!!!!! #BARÇASEVILLA pic.twitter.com/6BBTJ9kEoh
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 5, 2023
With 20 minutes left, a brilliant Raphinha pass found Gavi alone in the box, and the midfielder easily added another goal for Barça.
A few minutes later, Raphinha put his name on the scoresheet when Jordi Alba sent an inch-perfect ball for the Brazilian to score, putting Sevilla’s demise to rest.
With the outstanding outcome, Xavi’s team seizes control of the La Liga title battle and is now eight points in front.
The victory at Camp Nou improves Barcelona’s winning streak to 14 games overall. Next weekend, the club will travel to Villarreal for a league match, then Manchester United in the Europa League.
Blow for Barcelona as Sergio Bosquets leaves the pitch injured
Sergio Busquets, Barcelona’s captain and midfielder, has been substituted with an injury just a few minutes into the match against Sevilla.
The seasoned superstar started in midfield with Frenkie de Jong and Pedri for Xavi’s starting lineup against Sevilla.
Nevertheless, only three minutes into the match, the midfielder appeared to have injured his ankle following a collision with Youssef En-Nesyri, who stepped on the Barcelona captain.
A few seconds later, Busquets requested a substitution since he could not continue. Since Busquets had been in great form in recent games, this is a big setback for Barcelona.
Losing another significant player before a hectic stretch of challenging games could cause problems for the La Liga leaders, who also have Ousmane Dembele out injured.
Thus, Xavi will pray that his captain, whose future beyond the current campaign is still up in the air, has not sustained a major injury and will soon be able to play again.
Fans will be hoping the 34-year-old can recover quickly because he has important matches against Villarreal and Manchester United.
Barcelona are running away with La Liga ? pic.twitter.com/O7lKn3EtUk
— GOAL (@goal) February 5, 2023
Xavi hails superb Raphinha after key Sevilla win
As a result of Raphinha’s crucial contribution to Barcelona’s 3-0 La Liga victory over Sevilla, head coach Xavi saved special praise for the Brazilian.
Before a busy stretch of games across various competitions this month, his performance has increased his prospects of remaining as a constant fixture in Xavi’s starting lineup.
“The day to dare was today. We created many opportunities against Sevilla’s weak block,” according to post-game statements from Diario AS.
“As for Raphinha, he was intense, he attacked spaces, and he gave us crucial components in attack, and he is acting decisively.”
“Now that he is a great player, he appears to stand out more.”