- Ivan Rakitic has claimed that he had discussions with his friends at Barcelona before Sevilla's game against Atletico Madrid
- The title race in La Liga have been thrown wide open after Barcelona closed the gap on Atletico to just a single point
- Sevilla's win over Atletico also boosted their chances of claiming the last Champions League spot
Ivan Rakitic has opened about how his former Barcelona teammates sent messages to him before Sevilla's win over Atletico Madrid.
The victory made the title race in the Spanish topflight division more interesting as Barca have now closed the gap on Atletico to one point.
La Blaugrana recorded a narrow win over Real Valladolid at the Camp Nou courtesy of a 90th-minute goal from Ousmane Dembele.
Rakitic played a huge role in Sevilla's hard-earned win over the league leaders as his side are also looking to finish in the Champions League spot.
After the game, the 2018 World Cup winner hinted that his friends at Barca chatted with him to inspire his new team to beat Atletico.
Rakitic told Spanish news medial outlet El Transistor:
"Some friends from Barcelona had written to me, like, you know what you have to do ... but here each one fights for his own, we want to be in the Champions League."
The Croatian midfielder was also asked about beating former Barca teammate Luis Saurez, now of Atletico.
"I have spoken with Luis Suárez, we exchange shirts at the Wanda; when you lose you don't have friends, neither Suárez nor anything, nobody likes to lose."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that Lionel Messi's inspired Barcelona to move within a point behind league leaders Atletico Madrid following victory over Real Valladolid, Mirror.
Ousmane Dembele's 90th-minute goal gave La Blaugrana the edge in what looks like a frustrating night at the Camp Nou.
Before the game, Messi was heard in the tunnel motivating his teammates knowing fully well that they will go a point behind Atletico if they win.
"We have to step it up a gear.
“We have to play with more rhythm.
“We have to win this however we can."