(Barcelona- Jordi Blanco) – Koeman’s Barça ran out of happiness from the victory. After a magnificent start to the season in which they swept Villarreal and won with proven solvency in Vigo, Sevilla put a stop to their illusions. 1-1 in an even game, to which Koeman’s team responded quickly, hopefully, to the Andalusian goal but with no other option to add their third victory against a competitive rival to the limit.
Messi was left without scoring his favorite rival (37 goals in the previous 39 games), he did not shine as Ansu was supposed to (substituted at game time with hardly any signs of life) and a team that fought him was left halfway until the end, which touched 2-1 in added time through Trincão but could not take any more.
Sevilla proved not to be a filling team at all and showed that Julen Lopetegui’s plan is excellent. Barça could win, yes, but also Sevilla. Not because of having many clear scoring chances, but because of the intention that the two teams put on him. Barcelona disappointment? Probably … Although the feelings he left, without being the best and being far from his two previous meetings, showed that Koeman continues to have things clear.
It was, without a doubt, the most uncomfortable game that Barça has faced at the start of the season. Well planted, better organized and with very clear ideas, Sevilla quickly showed Koeman’s team that it was going to be a difficult game to resolve. So much so that he came out determined to discuss the command of the game (he finished the first half with greater possession of the ball, 48-52) and without fear in the auction.
Offensive and brave, his power was overlooked before reaching ten minutes, when at the exit of a corner thrown by Suso Kounde he beat everyone, Frenkie de Jong was too weak in the rebound and left the ball dead, in the front of the small area for the other De Jong, Luuk, to finish off with power to the net.
A blow was ventured for Barça … which responded with fortune almost immediately, in a long pass from Messi to Jordi Alba who was badly rejected by Jesús Navas to leave the ball free to Coutinho, who finished off the net with complete tranquility. The Barça team was lucky, avoiding that with the scoreboard in favor Sevilla could stand comfortably on the field, but that tie gave way to a match with as much local intention as a visitor response.
Vertical in their transitions, played with more speed than precision, neither the one nor the other enjoyed clear chances before the break but it was clear that the game was uphill for Barcelona, unable to prevail as it did against Villarreal and Celta.
As firm as the first half ended, Sevilla began the second, even taking a step forward, with greater pressure, drowning the output of the Barça ball and causing increasingly evident nerves in Barça, which neither with the entry of Pedri and Trincao to the hour of game recovered sensations.
Excellent in his sobriety, in the crossing and the pass, the night could be ruined for Araujo in a bad rejection to the center of En-Nesyri that crashed in the crossbar, which gave even more impetus to a Sevilla that took advantage of the blackout de Busquets and De Jong, forcing Koeman to vary his scheme, with the entry of Pjanic to support that naked midfield and accompanying him Dest, whose debut was on the left, taking the place of Jordi Alba.
Barça wanted, surrendered to Koeman’s plan without dissimulation, hard-working in attack and quick in defense, but could not before the seriousness and daring of a Seville that defending away from his area posed as many problems as he could suffer. Thus, neither one nor the other ended up taking the prize of triumph …
Although if in the case of Sevilla a good point could be considered, for Barça it meant the first slowdown, unexpected in view of their two previous games of the season.