Barca beat Sevilla to extend La Liga lead, Madrid lose to Mallorca

Barcelona extended their La Liga lead over Real Madrid by a substantial eight points with an easy 3-0 win over Sevilla on Sunday. The Catalan side, aiming to win their first Spanish championship since 2019, punished second-placed Madrid for their previous 0-1 defeat to Real Mallorca, creating a huge gap before their opponents. However, the coach Xavi Hernandez said Barca would not allow any “euphoria” to creep in, urging his players to close the door on the possibility of Madrid’s return. “They are still favorites because they are the defending champions of La Liga and the Champions League,” Xavi said.

“I know that Real Madrid will continue to play until the end. There have been historical comebacks, we cannot let that happen.”

After a tight first half Jordi Alba broke the deadlock an hour ahead, with further goals from Gavi and Raphinha helping to end the victory.

This is their 10th win in their last 11 matches, while Barca are currently unbeaten in 15 matches in all competitions.

Xavi’s side have conceded just seven goals in La Liga this season, their 15th clean sheet.

The original Barcelona game plan was reset when the captain Sergio Busquets was forced to miss the game because of an ankle sprain after only 4 minutes, being replaced by Franck Kessie.

Jorge Sampaoli’s Sevilla, 16th after a poor start to the season, played deep with five defenders and managed to let the Catalan side down.

In the end, Alba scored with a neat finish from Kessie’s superb assist.

Raphinha headed Gavi’s second goal with a low pass that sent the youngster a touch on the post.

The Brazilian winger produced a sharp pass with 17 slick passes to score, in an impressive start in place of the injured player Ousmane Dembele.

Alba crossed to Raphinha to finish from close range to score the third goal, closing a day of eye-catching competition for the home team.

Former Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic was cheered by the home fans but was disappointed by the lack of harmony of his team.

“I think to be able to win something from the Camp Nou you have to be a lot braver,” the Croatian told DAZN.

– Annoyed vinixius

Real Madrid’s hopes of winning the La Liga title were dashed after the defeat to Javier Aguirre’s determined Mallorca. Marco Asensio miss a penalty.

NachoHis header back into the net in the 13th minute divided the two teams in a tough clash, often slowed down by numerous fouls by the hosts.

In the midst of a constant battle between winger Vinicius Junior and Mallorca players and fans, the iceland team held back Los Blancos to score an impressive victory.

Vinicius fouled 10 times and Mallorca fouled a total of 29 times.

“I think everything that is and has happened is not Vini’s fault, Vini just wants to play, and more than that, there is a provocative atmosphere,” explained Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.

“They fouled him, that’s what’s happening.”

Real Madrid without a goalkeeper Thibaut Courtoisinjured during the warm-up, along with the injured Karim Benzema, Eder Militao and Ferland Mendy, among other absentees.

The match heated up from the start, largely due to the historical conflict between Vinicius and Mallorca.

After Nacho’s early own goal, Vinicius was shown a yellow card for stepping on Pablo Maffeo’s foot, leaving the Brazilian in disbelief after multiple fouls on him that went without a card.

Vinicius pulled the Madrid badge on his shirt while looking at the home fans to agitate them further.

Early in the second half, Mallorca captain Antonio Raillo responded by handing Vinicius the Mallorca badge on his shirt to kiss.

Madrid had a golden opportunity to equalize 1 hour before Mallorca’s goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic defeated Vinicius, but the Serbian rejected Asensio immediately.

Madrid will quickly see defeat behind them when they travel to Morocco midweek for the Club World Cup.

Real Sociedad, the third-placed team, could not close the six-point gap against Madrid when they lost 0-1 at home to Real Valladolid.

Before that, Valencia, ranked 17th, lost 0-1 to Girona, who kept their first clean sheet of the season.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from the aggregate feed.)

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