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HindustanTimes Fri,31 Oct 2014

Football

Where there’s a Villa, there’s a way
AFP
Madrid, September 30, 2012
First Published: 23:13 IST(30/9/2012)
Last Updated: 01:55 IST(1/10/2012)
David Villa scores the winning goal against Sevilla on Saturday. Getty Image

Barcelona struck twice in the final minutes to complete a controversial fightback as they beat 10-man Sevilla 3-2 to go eleven points clear of bitter rivals Real Madrid on Saturday.

Piotr Trochowski put Sevilla ahead after 26 minutes and when Alvaro Negredo doubled the advantage after the break it looked as though the Andalusian side would achieve a remarkable double over the top two, having beaten Real a fortnight ago.

However, Barca fought back with Cesc Fabregas reducing the arrears after 53 minutes and then the talking point of the night was the dismissal of Gary Medel for a clash with Fabregas which led to him being red-carded with 18 minutes to go.

Barca pressed forward and it was Fabregras who equalised with a minute to go before substitute David Villa got the winner in the fourth minute of injury time. The pressure is now very much on Madrid before they then go head-to-head with Barcelona in the first El Clasico of the season in the league next weekend.

Barca started stronger and Pedro Rodriguez fired over in the opening minutes.

Goalkeeper Andres Palop then got down well to stop Lionel Messi inside the area after 13 minutes.

Sevilla's Ivan Rakitic had a tame shot from the edge of the area before, on another breakaway, Trochowski gave the home side the lead. The ball came to him after Javier Mascherano tried to clear the danger and from the left-hand side of the area the Sevilla man slotted the ball into the corner. 

Back from the brink

Straight after the restart Sevilla got their second goal after Sergio Busquets gave the ball away in midfield.

Medel found Negredo who clipped the ball over the keepr for a fine finish.

Barca went close through Pedro Rodriguez before Fabregas pulled a goal back with a shot from the edge of the area.

Medel was controversially dismissed for a headbutt on Fabregas and then, in the closing minutes, it was the former Arsenal man who ran through to beat Palop. There was still time three minutes into injury time for Villa to latch onto a Messi pass for the winner.

Also on Saturday, Malaga maintained their unbeaten start as they cruised to a 4-0 victory over Real Betis with the game turning on an early penalty and the sending off of goalkeeper Casto Espinosa.

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