Barca hold title chase alive


SEVILLE, February 28

Barcelona forwards Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi fired the Catalans to a confidence-boosting 2-0 win at in-form Sevilla on Saturday to keep the pressure on La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid.

Dembele latched on to a through ball from Messi and knocked it through the legs of Sevilla keeper Bono to give Barca a deserved lead in the 29th minute after dominating the first half and barely giving their hosts a hint of a chance.

Sevilla improved after the break but Barca continued to have the edge and found a second goal five minutes from time when Messi played a one-two with teenage midfielder Ilaix Moriba and netted with a scrappy finish after his first effort was saved.

The result ended a six-game winning streak in the league for Sevilla, who remained fourth in the standings on 48 points, while Barca climbed above Real Madrid into second place with 53 points, two behind Atletico but having played two more games.

Barca defender Gerard Pique praised his side for putting their 4-1 Champions League drubbing by Paris St Germain and a shock 1-1 draw with Cadiz behind them. ā€œIā€™m so proud of the team, we have had some big setbacks recently but we have bounced back,ā€ he said. ā€” Reuters



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