Barca battle back against Sevilla to extend lead
Barcelona struck twice in the final minutes to complete a controversial fightback as they beat 10-man Sevilla 3-2 to go 11 points clear of bitter rivals Real Madrid.
Piotr Trochowski put Sevilla ahead after 26 minutes and when Alvaro Negredo doubled the lead after the break it looked as though the Andalusians would achieve a double over the top two, having beaten Real a fortnight ago.
However, Barca fought back with Cesc Fabregas reducing the arrears after 53 minutes before the main talking point of the match 18 minutes from time when Gary Medel appeared to headbutt Fabregas and was shown a red card.
Barca pressed forward and it was Fabregras who equalised with a minute to go before substitute David Villa got the winner in the fourth minute of injury time.
Barca coach Tito Vilanova felt it was right to send off Medel.
"If a player goes towards another and hits them in the head then the referee does the right thing to apply the law. That is a red card here or anywhere. It is difficult to referee and easy to make mistakes but not in this case," he said.
Sevilla coach Jose Miguel Gonzalez "Michel", who was sent to the stands in the closing stages for complaining too much, refused to get drawn into questions about Medel's dismissal.
"Sometimes things are just crystal clear but still rules are about interpretation and I never talk about referees," he said.
"My players were excellent against an excellent rival. I won't say it was an unjust result but it was frustrating and leaves a bitter taste in my mouth."
The pressure is now very much on Real Madrid, who faced Deportivo La Coruna overnight before they go head-to-head with Barcelona in the first El Clasico of the season in the league this weekend.