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Barcelona turn on style to thrash Sevilla

  • Story Highlights
  • Barcelona thrash Sevilla 4-0 with Andres Iniesta scoring superb opening goal
  • The victory takes Barcelona six points clear of arch-rivals Real Madrid in Spain
  • Argentine Lionel Messi was rested for the game as he battles stomach upset
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(CNN) -- Barcelona restored their six-point lead at the top of the Spanish Primera with a 4-0 rout of Sevilla at the Camp Nou.

The inspirational Iniesta put Barcelona on the way to victory with a brilliant goal on Wednesday.

The inspirational Iniesta put Barcelona on the way to victory with a brilliant goal on Wednesday.

Talisman Lionel Messi was missing through a stomach upset, but it made little difference for the Spanish champions-elect who were two up inside the first 16 minutes.

Andres Iniesta, who was deployed in Messi's position, scored the opener with a goal worthy of the Argentina maestro.

He took the opportunity from 20 meters to curl the ball past visiting keeper Javi Varas.

Samuel Eto'o missed a great chance to put Barca two up before making amends as he connected from Xavi's pass.

With a two-goal cushion, Barcelona were able to coast to victory against a Sevilla team who have now lost their last three matches.

The second half was only four minutes when the brilliant Iniesta set up Xavi for the third with French international striker Thierry Henry adding his 16th of the season in the 54th minute.

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With massive games at Valencia and against Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal, coach Pep Guardiola was able to take off Iniesta on the hour mark and later Xavi.

Valencia, fired by two goals from summer transfer target David Villa, beat Real Betis 2-1 to move within two points of third-placed Sevilla who entertain Real Madrid on Saturday.

The win cements cash-strapped Valencia's grip on the final Champions League qualifying spot.

Malaga are five points behind in fifth place, while Atletico and Villarreal, who are playing on Thursday, can cut the gap to three points with wins over Racing Santander and Recreativo Huelva respectively.

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