First Division - Day 2

Barcelona 1 - Sevilla 1

Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Puyol, Márquez, Andersson, Oscar López (Ramón Ros 82'); Xavi, Gerard; Quaresma (Sergio Santamaría 79'), Ronaldinho, Luis Enrique; Sergio García (Iniesta 91'). 4-2-3-1.
Sevilla: Notario; Daniel Alves, Javi Navarro, Alfaro, David; Casquero (Aitor Ocio 84'), Martí; Gallardo (Marcos Vales 73'), Baptista (Luis Gil 68'), Reyes; Darío Silva. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Barça: Márquez, Andersson, Oscar López, Sergio García for Reiziger, Cocu, Van Bronckhorst, Saviola / Sevilla: No change.

0-1. 09. Reyes (penalty). After Darío Silva brought down by Víctor Valdés.
1-1. 60. Ronaldinho. Picked up ball in midfield and ran through to shoot in off bar.

No less than 80,000 fans turned up for the match between Barcelona and Sevilla, which kicked off five minutes after midnight after the Andalucians refused to play on Tuesday. The Catalans had wanted to play earlier to be able to include their international players who were off the following day, but in the end the only one who started the game was Quaresma after the Dutch manager insisted on his five players reporting for duty on Tuesday afternoon.

Rijkaard therefore included B team striker Sergio García in his starting line up, and the under 21 international was to have a lively match, even though he couldn't take advantage of the several opportunities he was presented with. With five minutes on the clock he had already tested Notario three times, the last of which following a delightful back-heel pass from Ronaldinho, but he lost his footing and shot wide.

But Sevilla steadied the ship, and Darío Silva got the ball in the net only to be ruled offside. A couple of minutes later the excellent Reyes got free down the left and slipped the ball through to Silva again, and this time Víctor Valdés sent him crashing down. The young keeper was lucky to be let off with a yellow card, but could do nothing to stop Reyes slotting home the subsequent penalty.

There had been quite a bit of friction in the build up to the match because of the kick off time, and this spilled on to the pitch shortly before the break when Luis Enrique squared up to Pablo Alfaro and Javi Navarro. Luckily things calmed down after the break, and both sides had opportunities to score. But then Ronaldinho produced what the fans had come here for, picking up the ball in his own half from Valdés and running half the length of the pitch past the defence before thundering a shot in off the crossbar. For the sleepy supporters it made it all worth while, and there was a festive atmosphere even though the game ended in a draw. After the pains of the last few seasons, there is hope at last.