Barcelona beat Sevilla, go second in La Liga

Pedri of Barcelona celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the La Liga Santander match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC at Camp Nou on April 3, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain.


Barcelona's revamped team under coach Xavi Hernandez have moved into second place in Spain's La Liga for the first time this season after defeating Sevilla 1-0.

Pedri broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute at Camp Nou on Sunday to move the Catalan club past Sevilla because of head-to-head tiebreakers.

The victory kept Barcelona's slim title hopes alive but they remain 12 points behind leaders Real Madrid - and with a game in hand.

Madrid salvaged a 2-1 win at Celta Vigo on Saturday with a couple of penalties by the league-scoring leader Karim Benzema.

We will keep fighting until the math shows that we have no chance," Xavi said.

We were hoping (Madrid) would have stumbled yesterday but it didn't happen.

Barcelona join Sevilla and defending champion Atletico Madrid on 57 points having won eight and drawn one of their last nine matches in all competitions. They haven't lost in 13 consecutive games.

Barca were mostly in control but struggled to create significant scoring chances. Veteran defender Gerard Pique almost opened the scoring with a header that struck the crossbar in the 69th. Pedri finally got the winner by faking his shot twice outside the area before firing in a low strike.

Real Betis routed Osasuna 4-1 to stay within range of the final Champions League place.

Juanmi scored twice and William Carvalho and Alex Moreno added a goal each for the hosts' second victory in the last nine matches in all competitions.

The result left Betis four points behind Barcelona, Atletico and Sevilla.

Athletic Bilbao ended their two-match winless run with a 2-1 triumph over Elche to stay in eighth place, near the European spots.

It was the fourth loss in five matches for Elche, who are six points above the drop zone.

In other results, mid-table Valencia were held to a scoreless draw at home by relegation-threatened Cadiz while 10-man Rayo Vallecano drew 2-2 with Granada after conceding a penalty kick four minutes into added time.

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