Barcelona have clinched another Spanish double last night after labouring to a hard fought 2-0 victory over Europa League winners Sevilla.
The game started in a tense mood with Barcelona trying to attack and Sevilla happy to contain them and hit on the counter. Sevilla’s midweek hero Coke slashed wide after Vitolo presented him with a good chance, but the Andalusian fans were raucous after Mascherano received his marching orders for hauling down Gameiro who appeared to be clean through on goal, a purnishment which earned a straight red card.
Luis Suarez’s withdrawal with a hamstring injury kept Barca pegged back throughout, but Ever Banega’s dismissal in second-half stoppage-time turned the tables.Banega curled the subsequent free-kick over the wall and toward the top corner, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen showed his class with a superb save to tip the ball over the bar. Gerard Pique nearly handed Barcelona the lead in the dying minutes of the first-half, beating his marker to Ivan Rakitic’s corner from the left, only to thump his header inches over. Neither side could find the breakthrough, but momentum titled in Barcelona’s favour in stoppage time as Sevilla were reduced to 10 men after Banega brought down Neymar just outside the area and Sergio Rico had to save from Messi and Jeremy Mathieu to force extra time.
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The game went into extra time and Lionel Messi who had been subdued throughout sent in an inch-perfect pass that put Jordi Alba through to calmly score in the 97th minute and send the stadium to raptures However, Rico was left helpless as Alba raced onto Messi’s pinpoint chipped pass over the defence and coolly slotted home. Carrico was booked for a rough tackle on Messi, and his protestations earned another immediate yellow card, before Neymar sparked Barca’s celebrations in earnest as he prodded home after more Messi magnificence.