Sevilla holds Barca at home | sports | Hindustan Times
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Sevilla holds Barca at home

sports Updated: Mar 15, 2011 01:09 IST

Barcelona's advantage over Real Madrid at the top of La Liga was cut to five points when they surrendered the lead and were held to a 1-1 draw in a thrilling clash at battling Sevilla on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola's side had their usual swagger in the first half at the Sanchez Pizjuan and looked to be cruising when substitute Bojan Krkic, who replaced the injured Pedro, put them ahead in the 30th minute.

However, after Alvaro Negredo held off two defenders and crossed for Jesus Navas to nod in the equaliser four minutes after halftime the match burst into life, with end-to-end action and both sides coming desperately close to snatching a winner.

Barca midfielder Andres Iniesta crashed a shot off the crossbar with just under five minutes remaining and had an effort cleared off the line in added time after goalkeeper Victor Valdes had saved brilliantly from Sevilla winger Navas.

Messi nursing injury
Lionel Messi is one of several players nursing minor injuries after the match, the league leaders said after medical checkups on Monday.

Argentina forward Messi, who is level on 27 goals with Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, has a bruised right knee after he clashed with Sevilla goalkeeper Javi Varas shortly before halftime at the Sanchez Pizjuan.

The World Player of the Year looked in severe pain but hobbled off the pitch unaided and was able to play the whole of the second half.

City edge out Reading
Manchester City set up a titanic FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United with a battling 1-0 win over Championship side Reading at Eastlands on Sunday.

City reached the last four for the first time in 30 years after scoring the only goal of a dour match when England defender Micah Richards powerfully headed home a corner after 74 minutes.

City were made to battle all the way by second division Reading, who beat West Bromwich Albion and Everton on the way to the last eight.

They defended superbly against Roberto Mancini's expensively assembled team, largely unimpressive apart from the hard-working David Silva.