First Division - Day 23

Sevilla 1 - Barcelona 1

Sevilla: Palop; Daniel Alves, Escudé, Dragutinovic, Adriano; Jesús Navas (Maresca 82'), Poulsen, Keita, Diego Capel; Luis Fabiano, Kanouté (Renato 64'). 4-4-2.
Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Oleguer, Thuram (Márquez 46'), Milito, Abidal; Xavi, Edmilson (Ronaldinho 46'), Iniesta; Messi, Henry (Gudjohnsen 58'), Giovani. 4-3-3.

Team changes: Sevilla: Adriano, Jesús Navas, Keita, Kanouté for Mosquera, Maresca, De Mul, Renato / Barça: Oleguer, Xavi, Edmilson, Giovanni for Zambrotta, Márquez, Deco, Bojan.

1-0. 34. Diego Capel. Got on the end of Navas cross to turn ball in on far post.
1-1. 76. Xavi. Ran on to Messi through ball and poked shot underneath Palop.

Sevilla and Barcelona drew 1-1 on Saturday evening, a result which didn't favour the objectives of either side. Both teams needed the three points, the Andalusians to move up into the European spots and Barça to close the gap on leaders Real Madrid. But it was the locals who dominated throughout the first half, Víctor Valdés having to make a string of saves from Alves, Luis Fabiano, Jesús Navas and Diego Capel before Capel got on the end of a Navas cross to open the scoring ten minutes before the break.

Rijkaard threw on Ronaldinho at half time, but he was still not at his best and failed to hit the target from any of direct five free kicks. With a quarter of an hour to go Márquez almost turned another Navas cross past Valdés, but play went up the other end and Xavi combined with Messi to poke a shot past Palop and level the scores. Soon afterwards Keita became the latest victim of Messi when he was sent off after picking up a second booking for a foul on the Argentinian forward, and the game ended with Messi and Capel trading shots across goal at either end.