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Barcelona boss Luis Enrique: Comeback victory will strengthen LaLiga campaign

Barcelona boss Luis Enrique: Comeback victory will strengthen LaLiga campaign

Messi threatened for Barcelona on a number of occasions early in the second half as the Catalans went in search of a victor, but the Argentine had a shot blocked by Adil Rami, before Sergio Rico tipped a volley over the crossbar after some good work from Luis Suarez. The right-back allowed Vitolo straight through on goal after failing to intercept Pablo Sarabia's throughball and the winger kept his cool in front of Ter Stegen to break the deadlock.

Seventh-placed Athletic Bilbao was held to a 0-0 draw at Espanyol for its third straight game without a league win.

Barcelona roped in Paco Alcacer, Jasper Cillessen, Lucas Digne, Denis Suarez, Andre Gomes and Samuel Umtiti at the start of this season for a combined outlay reportedly totalling more than 120 million euros (around $130 million).

Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba will not recover in time to play for Barcelona against Sevilla as the pair close in on a return to full fitness.

"The last game [against Sevilla] is a useful reference point, but it won't determine what we'll face".

Sevilla are undefeated at home in the La Liga this season.

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Lionel Messi's goal against Sevilla on Sunday took his tally to 500 for Barcelona. That makes him even better. The absence of Andres Iniesta should allow him to have a greater influence in midfield and the battle between Rakitic/Busquets and N'Zonzi will be one to watch.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi during a match between Sevilla and Barcelona in Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, Seville, Spain on Nov 6, 2016. What we look for is the best Messi possible.

Enrique was also asked about the weird incident that saw Messi booked for taking too long to put his boot back on, despite his laces coming apart, and the No 10 throwing it on the ground once he became aware of the referee's decision.

Despite the narrow defeat the player also had warm words for coach Jorge Sampaoli, who he credited with always seeking victory no matter the opponent since taking over at Sevilla. But given Sevilla's current form, it would be extremely hard to see the Blaugrana emerging from this match victorious.

Barcelona's mentor Luis Enrique was left incensed by the decision taken by the referee.

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