Barcelona de­feated 2-1 by Sevilla in Span­ish league, dash­ing hopes of get­ting to the top

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Barcelona lost 2-1 at strug­gling Sevilla on Satur­day, miss­ing the chance to take the pro­vi­sional lead in the Span­ish league.

Striker Michael Krohn-Dehli scored in the 52nd and set up Vi­cente Iborra’s goal in the 58th to give Sevilla its first home win against Barcelona in eight years.

Ney­mar scored Barcelona’s lone goal by con­vert­ing a 74th-minute penalty kick. Barcelona struck the post five times and was stopped by an out­stand­ing per­for­mance by Sevilla goal­keeper Ser­gio Rico.

“It was a game in which we had a lot of chances,” Barcelona coach Luis En­rique said. “It’s al­most un­be­liev­able that we walk out of here with just one goal.”

The de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons played with a de­pleted squad be­cause of in­juries, in­clud­ing to key play­ers such as Lionel Messi and An­dres Ini­esta. Sevilla also ar­rived with­out many of its reg­u­lar starters be­cause of in­juries.

Barcelona re­mained with 15 points from seven rounds, drop­ping from sec­ond to third place in the stand­ings ahead of Sun­day’s games. Sevilla moved to 11th place with the vic­tory in front of nearly 40,000 fans at its Sanchez Pizjuan Sta­dium.

Sevilla had lost four of its first five league games be­fore earn­ing its first vic­tory against Rayo Val­le­cano last week.

“We needed a vic­tory like this, es­pe­cially against Barcelona,” Rico said. “We played bet­ter than they did. The three points come at a good time, we needed the re­sult.”

It was Barcelona’s sec­ond loss in the last three rounds, both com­ing in away matches. It fell 4-1 to sec­ond-place Celta Vigo last week.

A vic­tory on Satur­day would have put the Cata­lan club in front of leader Vil­lar­real, which plays Sun­day at win­less Le­vante and will be look­ing for a sixth suc­ces­sive league win.

“It hurts to lose a game like this,” Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic said. “We had many op­por­tu­ni­ties but they scored in the first chance they had and in­creased the lead in the sec­ond. Some­times it’s like this. We have to keep our heads up.”

Barcelona hadn’t lost at the Sanchez Pizjuan since the 2006-07 sea­son, hav­ing won five of the last eight games in Sevilla.

It played bet­ter and had most of the chances through­out the match on Satur­day, but Sevilla got off to a quick start in the sec­ond half and took the lead with two goals in six min­utes.

Krohn-Dehli scored from in­side the area af­ter a low pass by Kevin Gameiro and, shortly af­ter­ward, the Den­mark midfielder crossed in for Iborra to head in the sec­ond.

Ney­mar pulled one back for Barcelona with a low shot from the penalty spot af­ter San­dro’s ef­fort de­flected off the arm of de­fender Benoit Tre­mouli­nas in­side the area.

Barcelona had an in­cred­i­ble scor­ing chance in the 23rd, but it was de­nied by the wood­work three times on the same play.

Ney­mar’s free kick struck the post and ric­o­cheted off the goal­keeper’s back be­fore hit­ting the post again, and the ball then rolled across the en­tire face of goal on top of the line with­out go­ing in, curl­ing away just at the last minute. Luiz Suarez got to the ball on the other side but his an­gled shot also struck the post.

Suarez had a goal dis­al­lowed for off­side in the 22nd and struck the cross­bar in the 38th with a lobbed ef­fort over Rico. San­dro also hit the wood­work from close range in the 80th.

In other games Satur­day, Granada drew De­portivo La Coruna 1-1, Sport­ing Gi­jon edged Es­panyol 2-1, Eibar de­feated Las Pal­mas 2-0 and 10-man Malaga beat Real So­ciedad 3-1 for its first win of the sea­son.

Fifth-place Atletico Madrid and fourth­place Real Madrid meet Sun­day in an ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated derby match at Atletico’s Vi­cente Calderon Sta­dium.


Barcelona’s Ger­ard Pique ges­tures dur­ing their La Liga soc­cer match against Sevilla at the Ra­mon Sanchez Pizjuan sta­dium in Seville, Spain on Satur­day, Oct. 3.

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