Barcelona, Oct 7 (IANS) In eight dizzy first-half minutes, Barcelona racked up three goals against the hapless Sevilla, ultimately blanking their rivals 4-0 at Camp Nou Stadium.
The win puts Barca at the second spot in the La Liga table, just two points below Real Madrid, after the first eight weeks of the current campaign, reports Efe news.
The battle in the areas near the goals defined Sunday evening’s match, in which Sevilla accounted for most of the activity early on in the first half and had as many as four clear chances to get on the scoreboard, although they came up with nothing. Barcelona, however, on its first big opportunity did manage to get on the scoreboard and it was all downhill for Julen Lopetegui’s boys from that point forward.
Luis Suarez seems to rule the pitch in times of chaos, and on this outing the Uruguayan opened the scoring in the 27th minute with a scissors-kick goal after a centering pass from Nelson Semedo.
Up until then, Sevilla had dominated the action, the ball possession and the forays into the area, but a shot by Luuk de Jong was not on target and his team paid heavily for that lost opportunity, which also lost them the momentum they were trying to build up.
Things really got going for the Catalan squad in the 27th minute when Semedo sent the ball to Luis Suarez, who drove it home for the 1-0, followed up by Arturo Vidal five minutes later — and validated on the VAR — and then again just three minutes after that on a great individual effort by Dembele, making it 3-0.
After the break, Lopetegui — seemingly without much to lose — tried playing with three in the center seeking more drives toward the Barcelona goal, but it didn’t work and De Long muffed things once again on a bad night for both him and his team, hitting the post when he was all alone out in front of goalkeeper Ter Stegen in the 49th minute.
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde gave Arthur and Arturo Vidal a rest, sending in Busquets and Rakitic, but it was Lionel Messi who got the 4-0 on a great individual play in the 78th minute, thus demonstrating that Sevilla is one of his prime victims, having scored 37 goals in the 38 matches he has played against them.
As the game drew to a close, Barcelona wound up with just nine men on the pitch after Ronald Araujo was booted on a straight red card and Dembele was handed his second yellow.