Pedri’s late goal moves Barcelona to No. 2 in 1-0 win over Sevilla

Barcelona, Spain, Apr 3 (EFE).- A fabulous tally by Pedro Gonzalez “Pedri” in the 72nd minute was what it took on Sunday for Barcelona to down Sevilla 1-0, putting the team into the No. 2 spot on the La Liga table.

It wasn’t the best time for Sevilla to try and break its almost-20-year streak of losses at Camp Nou stadium, this time before a crowd of some 76,000. The southern Spanish club has been losing steam as the season has progressed and came into the fray on Sunday after three consecutive La Liga draws – as well as seven draws out of their past nine matches – and having been eliminated from Europa League competition.

Barcelona went after the win right from the start, imposing its rhythm on the match, but that alone wasn’t enough to down Sevilla, one of the most solid teams this year, although they didn’t fire a single shot-on-goal during the first half. Nevertheless, the Andalusians’ Kounde and Diego Carlos were in excellent form.

Although it dominated play, Barca was unable to capitalize on a number of good chances during the match, but finally Pedri, the 19-year-old striker, manufactured a miracle goal with fancy footwork on the edge of the area before sending the ball right into the corner for the 1-0.

Barca has been on easy street recently, having soundly routed Real Madrid before the international break in a 4-0 drubbing and now blanking Sevilla, which has been the capital squad’s main title challenger throughout this year’s campaign.

Although time was short after Pedri’s tally, Sevilla had a chance to tie things up when Marc-Andre ter Stegen ill-advisedly sallied forth from near the net but then just managed to knock away Agustinsson’s surprise opportunity shot.

With the win, Barcelona is in second place, with 57 points, tied in the point count with No. 3 Atletico de Madrid and No. 4 Sevilla, but all are far behind Real Madrid, sitting atop the table with a virtually unassailable 69 points.

Nevertheless, since Xavi Hernandez took the reins at Barca last November, the team had advanced from an embarrassing ninth place to second and, if they can maintain this momentum, will probably finish in that position.

After the match, Xavi acknowledged the second-place reality, but added that the team would “keep fighting” to overtake Real Madrid as long as it remains “mathematically possible.”


Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Dani Alves, Araujo, Pique, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, Pedri, Frenkie de Jong (Gavi, min.74); Dembele (Nico, min.91), Ferran and Aubameyang (Memphi, min.81).

Sevilla: Bono; Navas (Montiel, min.78), Diego Carlos, Kounde, Rekik (Rafa Mir, min.82); Rakitic, Gudelj (En-Nesyri, min.78), Jordan; Lamela (Tecatito, min.67), Ocampos and Martial (Augustinsson, min.82).

EFE gmh/arh/bp

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