Spanish League Tightens Up As Barca Draw Away To Sevilla

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Sevilla came from 2-0 down to blow the La Liga title race wide open with a 2-2 draw against leaders Barcelona on Saturday.

Stunning finishes from Lionel Messi and Neymar inside the first half looked to have Barca well on course for a 10th consecutive win in all competitions.

However, Ever Banega pulled a goal back before half-time thanks to an error from Claudio Bravo and the hosts improved display after the break was rewarded when Kevin Gameiro slotted home Aleix Vidal’s cross seven minutes from time.

Real Madrid’s 3-0 win over Eibar earlier in the day means the European champions now trail Barca by just two points with seven games remaining.

Cristiano Ronaldo registered his 49th goal of the season with the opener at the Bernabeu before Javier Hernandez and Jese Rodriguez made the most of rare starts by rounding off the scoring.

Sevilla are now unbeaten in 32 games at home stretching back 13 months, but they were blown away the visitors in the first half hour.

Neymar teed up Messi to curl into the far corner in with consumate ease on his favoured left foot after 14 minutes.

The Brazilian then made it 2-0 with a sumptuous free-kick to register his first league goal for nearly two months.

Luis Suarez should have made it a goal apiece for Barca’s star attacking trio, but he blazed over from a narrow angle after being played in by Neymar.

That miss handed Sevilla a lifeline and they were gifted a route back into the game seven minutes before the break when Bravo could only turn Banega’s long-range effort into his own net via the post.

Suarez passed up an even better chance to restore Barca’s two-goal advantage after the break when he skied the ball over the bar with an open goal to aim at.

At the other end Carlos Bacca did the same when presented with a more difficult opportunity as Sevilla pressed for an equaliser.

And it duly arrived when Gerard Pique gave away possession to Jose Antonio Reyes and he released Vidal, who in turn crossed for Gameiro to finish off a fine move.

“I thought in the first-half we were much the better team, we played very good football, controlled the game and caused them a lot of problems,” said Barca boss Luis Enrique.

“It was a shame that in the few minutes we lost control we conceded the goal that opened the game up.

“The second-half was much more even, both teams had their chances but neither was superior. We committed an error and we have paid for it.”

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