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Dublin: 4 °C Monday 18 November, 2019

Rare Pique goal and stunning Messi free-kick hands Barca victory over battling Sevilla

The visitors had given La Liga’s leaders a scare at the Nou Camp.

Spain Soccer La Liga Pique was on the scoresheet. Source: AP/Press Association Images

GERARD PIQUE’S FIRST La Liga goal of the season helped Barcelona move eight points clear at the summit with a 2-1 win over Sevilla.

The Spain defender coolly slotted home the winning goal of an entertaining contest just after half-time, ensuring the hosts – who saw closest rivals Atletico Madrid beat Real Madrid on Saturday – avoided a slip-up against the last team to beat them in the top flight.

The win extends Barca’s unbeaten run to 34 games, but they were made to work hard against a Sevilla side that showed no fear against the league leaders.

Sevilla came into the match on the back of a seven-game streak without defeat and Vitolo gave them a deserved lead after 20 minutes, before Lionel Messi soothed Barca’s nerves when he scored from a brilliant free-kick.

Pique’s goal just after the interval gave the home side a slender lead that they held onto throughout a captivating second half, in which their title credentials were tested by a buoyant Sevilla.

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