Sports

Sampaoli's last chance saloon at Barcelona

Sampaoli's last chance saloon at Barcelona

This season, Messi has been as prolific as ever, scoring 41 goals in 40 games for Barcelona. The club can extend its lead on top of the table when it plays Leganes on Wednesday.

- Barcelona have won their last eight La Liga games at the Camp Nou, their best run at home under Luis Enrique.

This defeat leaves them 11 points behind second-place Barcelona and three behind Atletico Madrid, who have usurped Sevilla in third place.

And the miss proved costly as Suarez handed Barcelona a 25th minute lead via a cheeky bicycle kick as Gabriel Mercado's defensive touch fell kindly for the Uruguayan following a good Messi ball into the area.

Moments of Barcelona magic have become commonplace at Camp Nou, but that shouldn't make them any less impressive.

Luis Enrique's charges continued to dominated upon resumption of the second half, although Sevilla did look a bit more lively in the second half.

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Real Madrid remain in control of La Liga, with Barcelona trying to dethrone Cristiano Ronaldo, 32, and the rest of Los Blancos. The Andalusians have really hit a terrible run of form and come into this game without a win in 5 matches, having failed to see off lowly Sporting Gijon at home at the weekend. Sampaoli never said as much, but it's widely accepted that he'd love to take on the job at Barca - who wouldn't?

Few expected Sampaoli's side to return to winning ways against a Barca side that seem to have the bit between their teeth again, but no one expected them to be three goals down at half-time in the Camp Nou rain.

Madrid have been victorious in four straight matches and has scored at least a goal in its last 50 games in all competitions.

Messi was unavailable to face Granada due to suspension while Luis Enrique chose to leave the Spanish worldwide out of his squad in order to have him fresh ahead of the busy month of April, which includes a visit to Real Madrid on 23 April and the two legs of the Champions League quarter-final against Juventus. We will soon discover once the game, scheduled for Butarque stadium in Madrid, gets underway.

Sevilla lost further ground in the race for the LaLiga title as they had to settle for a 0-0 draw with relegation-threatened Sporting Gijon at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Sunday.


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