Barcelona head into the international break, still unbeaten, still top of the table and on the back of a 2-1 win over Sevilla at Camp Nou.
Ernesto Valverde again gave us a line-up that raised eyebrows, throwing in Paco Alcacer for a rare start, while Lionel Messi made his 600th appearance for the club.
Barca came flying out of the blocks and went for it from the off. Messi wriggled past two defenders before having a low shot saved, then teed up Sergio Busquets whose shot was cleared off the line. Luis Suarez was then sent clean through but couldn’t get his effort past David Soria. All that, in the first four minutes.
Ivan Rakitic was up next, firing wide before Andres Iniesta also had a pop from range which wasn’t too far away as Barca continued to attack.
At the other end, a rare mistake from Samuel Umtiti allowed Luis Muriel a chance but his shot flew out for a goal kick.
Barca eventually broke the deadlock after 23 minutes, but needed a little bit of luck along the way. Suarez’s ball forward should have been dealt with by Sergio Escudero, but he made a mess of it and Alcacer pounced with a neat finish to make it 1-0.
Barca continued to have the better of the rest of the half with Iniesta in particular looking sharp, but had to settle for just the one goal advantage at the break.
The second half was a completely different affair, Sevilla emerged far more determined and they grabbed an equaliser on the hour mark. A corner was swung in and headed home by Guido Pizarro.
Valverde then sent on Paulinho for Iniesta while Pique strode forward and had a shot which beat the goalkeeper and clipped the crossbar.
Minutes later and Barca were back in front, Ivan Rakitic crossing and Alcacer just getting a foot on it to poke home his second of the night.
Valverde then opted to take off Alcacer for Gerard Deulofeu and might have had a penalty late on when Rakitic went down after being caught by Escudero.
The referee wasn’t interested but ultimately it didn’t matter as Barca saw out the win to stay four points clear at the top.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic (Mascherano, 89), Busquets, Iniesta (Paulinho, 60); Messi; Suárez, Alcácer (Deulofeu, 66).
Goals: Alcacer (23’, 65’)
Sevilla: Soria; Corchia, Kjaer (Geis, 74), Lenglet, Escudero; N’Zonzi, Pizarro; Navas, Banega, Sarabia (Nolito, 62); Muriel (Ben Yedder, 76)
Goals: Pizarro (59’)