Barcelona Thrash Sevilla But Finish With Nine Men
7 October 2019 Sport
Barcelona closed the gap on Real Madrid at the top of La Liga with a 4-0 win over Sevilla that saw them finish the match with nine men.
Ernesto Valverde made a number of changes to his team, with Jean-Clair Todibo starting alongside Gerard Pique at the back.
Nelson Semedo started at left back, while Antoine Griezmann was dropped to the bench for Ousmane Dembele and Arturo Vidal favoured over Sergio Busquets.
Sevilla had three glorious opportunities to open the scoring in the first half, but they were all spurned by Luuk de Jong who is still looking for his first goal for his new club since signing from PSV Eindhoven in the summer.
De Jong was made to rue those misses as Barcelona scored three times in eight minutes.
Luis Suarez broke the deadlock with a stunning overhead kick before Vidal prodded home an Arthur cross in behind the opposition defence to make it 2-0.
It was 3-0 not long after when Dembele cut inside his marker and guided a low finish past Tomas Vaclik.
The match was as good as finished at this point, but there was still time for Lionel Messi to score his first goal of the season, curling a trademark free kick home with 12 minutes left.
A frenetic finish saw Barcelona reduced to nine men after debutant Ronald Araujo was shown a straight red card for hauling down Javier Hernandez as he surged through on goal before Dembele was flashed a second yellow for protesting.
However, this did nothing to affect the final outcome, with Barca just two points behind Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.