The home side started started confidently, dominating possession in and around the Sevilla penalty area, with Andres Iniesta pulling the strings.
The game continued in this vein but Barca could not find a breakthrough, as Sevilla defended well, aided by a couple of very good saves from their goalkeeper Beto.
The away side continued to frustrate their opponents, and five minutes from half time added insult to injury with a goal against the run of play. Former Barcelona youth team player Alberto Botia met Jesus Navas's cross and headed past Victor Valdes.
Barcelona brought on Cristian Tello at half time to add some directness to their play, and less than 10 minutes into the second period, it paid off.
Ten minutes later Barca were ahead. A great exchange of passes between Lionel Messi and Tello eventually found the Argentine in the box, where he controlled the ball before stroking it past Beto.
The home side brought on Xavi shortly after, just as Sevilla were starting to push for an equaliser and regained a larger measure of control.
Sevilla should have been level five minutes later, though, when Alvaro Negredo ran clear of the defence, but he shot over the bar with only Valdes to beat.
The game became very open for a while after that as both sides missed good chances to score. Barcelona brought Sergio Busquets on with 10 minutes to go and saw out the match.