Rakitic in action against Barcelona
Match reports


After winning their two previous league games, the leaders were too much for Sevilla who were level at half-time but eventually fell to goals from Jordi Alba, Gavi and Rapinha
Cuerpo Superior

Sevilla FC have extended their drought at the Camp Nou. In fact, they couldn't even get a point against a Barcelona side who were the better team and who found the back of Bono's net in the second half. Although Sampaoli's side went in at half-time on level terms, Barcelona's pressure was reflected on the scoreboard after the hour mark. It was a blow from which the Sevilla side were unable to recover, and they return home empty-handed after their two previous wins in the league at home. Pape Gueye, who was in the starting line-up, and Bryan Gil, who came on in the second half and threatened when he was able to get into the final third of the pitch, did not disappoint on their debuts.

Nothing had changed and Xavi faced a setback after just three minutes when Busquets injured his ankle trying to get the ball back from En-Nesyri. With Kessie on the pitch in his place, Barcelona began to get more and more of the ball, threatening Sevilla's composed start to the game. Lewandowski had the first clear chance for the home side when he was denied by Gudelj and Bono, who turned the ball behind for a corner. Araujo had another clear chance with a header from a corner, but the ball went just wide of the post.

Sevilla were trying to get forward quickly on the counter-attack, but the pressure after a turnover in possession was having an effect, stifling any attempts from the visitors. Just past the midway point of the first half, Lewandowski made the winner of LaLiga's Zamora trophy work with a tight shot from the edge of the area that Bono managed to fingertip behind for a corner.

Bono's first-half save from Lewandowski denied Barcelona a first-half lead

Apart from the occasional chance that didn't come to fruition, the only dangerous combination play of the first half came from a Badé challenge, a ball that ended up deep on the right for En-Nesyri's run. After a cross that was blocked by Araujo, the ball came back to the Moroccan, who saw Gueye coming through. The man from Senegal, unfortunately, was unable to connect from the edge of the area and the ball went wide. After the break, Sampaoli's men regained a good share of possession and managed to play more in the opposition half, although the only chance in the area was a cross from the home side that Gudelj cleared for a corner.

Xavi's men came forward in numbers and so broke the deadlock

The Sevilla coach made some substitutions at the start of the second half, bringing on Gil and Lamela for Óliver and En-Nesyri. This did not bear fruit though, as Barcelona dominated from the start of the second half. Whilst a goal did not come straight away, the home side were strong in defence and Ter Stegen was not tested. 

After the hour mark, following some interplay between Rapinha and Kessie, the ball ended up on the left flank with Jordi Alba there to finish past Bono. To make matters worse, in his 100th match as a Sevilla player, Acuña went off with what appeared to be a thigh injury and was replaced by Ocampos.

Apart from Gil’s occasional run down the left, Sevilla were unable to get back on track to find an equaliser. And before they had time to react, Rapinha's cross to the far post was finished off by Gavi, a goal that made a draw for Sevilla even less likely. As the half went on, Barcelona found it easier to break through Sevilla's defensive lines.

This was shown through Rapinha, who would be named Man of the Match, scoring the third goal for the home side with ten minutes remaining. Gueye was replaced by Fernando, and Barcelona kept on coming forward as they sought to score another. 

Our attention now turns to a key match at home on Saturday against RCD Mallorca.

Cuerpo Inferior


3: FC BARCELONA: Ter Stegen, Koundé, Araujo, Christiensen, Jordi Alba, Pedri (Balde, 83rd min), Busquets (Kessie, 8th min.), De Jong, Rapinha (Ferrán Torres, 84th min), Gavi and Lewandowski.

0: SEVILLA FC: Bono, Montiel, Badé, Gudelj, Rekik, Acuña (Ocampos, 65th min), Óliver Torres (Bryan Gil, 46th min), Rakitic, Joan Jordán, Gueye (Fernando, 83rd min) and En-Nesyri (Lamela, 46th min).

GOALS: 1-0, 58th: Jordi Alba; 2-0, 70th: Gavi; 3-0, 79th: Rapinha.

ÁRBITRO: José María Sánchez Martínez, from Murcia. Yellows for Rakitic, Joan Jordán.