A disappointing night for Barcelona at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán as the Blaugrana managed to get only a point from Seville. The defence of Barcelona came to the rescue throughout the match but the attack was completely destabilized by the Andalusians defence. The race for La Liga is now heated as the difference between League leaders FC Barcelona and rivals Real Madrid is only of 3 points with Madrid having a game in hand. Let’s start with the player ratings of Barcelona players.
Marc Andre Ter Stegen(7.4/10):
Another brilliant performance from the German and yet another clean sheet to his name. Ter Stegen was absolutely rock solid and calm throughout the night when Seville in the second half tried to score past him. The save against Ocampos was one of the moments when we all thought it would lead to a goal but Ter Stegen had his hands on the ball.
Despite not holding the width on the far left, the Spaniard was a soldier at the back. Alba made 2 clearance and 3 interceptions throughout the 90 min. The most notable being his block when he was in a 2v1 situation in his own box. In the offensive phase, Alba managed to provide 2 key chances and also created a big chance.
The French international was composed throughout the match. Even during pressure, he calmly rolled the ball ahead to his teammates. Lenglet made 5 clearance, 1 interception and 2 tackles on the night. With such performances, Lenglet is cementing his name in the eleven as a permanent starter at the back.
Pique played very high on the pitch with occassionally also playing with forwards. His anticipation and reading of the opponents, helped Barcelona in a lot of ways tonight. Despite Seville pressuring the centrebacks, Pique still managed 96.1% accurate passes with 3 out of 4 long balls being accurate. He also won 4 out of 5 aerial duels on the night.
The Portuguese was arguably the best men on the pitch for Barcelona. The improvement Semedo has shown in this match, proves he will shine in the upcoming matches. Nelson was excellent in carrying the balls and also making timely runs. His defensive duels are something which is quite astonishing. He won all his ground duels(8/8) against the likes of Munir and Reguillon. With such performances, he can assure the Barcelona faithful that he is here for a long haul.
Despite the hardcore criticism, Rakitic managed to silence everyone with his performance. The Croatian for the first 30 min of the game was unstoppable. Despite getting slowed down after the first half, Rakitic wasn’t much of a disappointment. Like his last match, he again provided 3 out of 4 accurate long balls to his teammates.
Another okayish game for the midfield maestro. It’s now 3 games and Busquets is nowhere near his pre-lockdown form. Tonight, he wasn’t much of a threat on the ball but off the ball he was making good sliding tackles and also had 7(5) ground duels and 5(4) aerial duels. If Busquets doesn’t regain his form than he might get benched in the upcoming matches.
Like his incredible previous performances, this just wasn’t his night as the ‘Bulldozer’ didn’t perform as per expectations. There is not much to say about his performance but we hope such bad night doesn’t occur much since he is definitely a vital cog in the team.
The Danish was quite throughout the 63 minutes he played. He was looking passive with his approach and as the game progressed, he was often found defending the Seville wide players. This puts Setien in confusion whether to start Martin in the next match or opt Fati instead.
As termed by a lot of fans, Suarez can be frustrating to watch sometimes and Suarez actually was frustrating tonight. Despite coming from a long 3 month injury, Setien still opted to start him but he was doing every possible move wrong. In the dying minutes, he also missed a low cross from Alba which could have handed the 3 points. His touches to his linkup play, all seemed to be sluggish.
La Pulga had a rough night as the Seville defence were rigid and physical, making it hard for Messi to dribble past them. At times, he was trying to find spaces to operate but Seville were successful in intercepting the ball from Messi. His free kick in the first half which seemed like a hope of taking the lead but Kounde did brilliantly to head it over the post.
Arthur came into the play during the 63rd minute in place of Braithwaite. Unlike his last match performance, tonight he looked good on the ball. But Arthur was constantly slowing down Barcelona’s defence to attack transition making it hard to take advantage. He wasn’t progressing the ball and often played back or sideway passes to his teammate.
Despite both Suarez and Braithwaite were having a poor game, Setien brought in Griezmann very late into the game. Griezmann wasn’t able to help the team much during his 13 minutes of the play.
After his incredible cameo against Leganes, the Barcelona faithful expected that Riqui would start the game but infact he was again found on the bench. Setien also deployed the little spaniard very late into the game. He got mere 8 minutes
*All stats taken from SofaScore
Post match interviews:
Gerard Piqué: “I think it is going to be very difficult to win this league given these two rounds. I see it very difficult for Real Madrid to drop points.”
Quique Setién: “We knew that it was going to be almost impossible to win all our remaining games. I’m not satisfied, but one point is still more than nothing.”