It was another tough day for Barcelona, as the defending champions lost their second straight La Liga match on the road, this time to Sevilla. With plenty of chances to win, the Blaugrana were unable to convert and saw a lethal opponent get a giant victory. Here's a few takeaways from what we saw on Saturday:
1. Dani Alves may be worse than Douglas right now. Sure, it's a bit harsh... fine, let me do Alves justice: he's at a Branislav Ivanovic level right now... does it help? (Thinking.) Okay, you got the point. Dani is a legend, is fantastic, can do spectacular things, but he has been absolutely horrible so far. He's almost inexistent at times, unless it's him defending against a team with a great winger that burns him to death, like Nolito and Celta Vigo some days ago. There is no point in comparing him with Sergi Roberto right now, it's almost unfair to Roberto. It's unbelievable how Dani was incredible just six months ago and now it looks like Barça is playing with ten men when he's on. It's depressing.
2. Bad luck has been a problem, but the finishing is the worst one. Before he hit the post with a spectacular finesse shot, Luis Suárez had a clear-cut chance before ten minutes and hit the defender. Sandro Ramírez hit the post on a play in which he should have scored in the second half, and Neymar saw the goalkeeper end his night, but did have some good chances himself. It's not a problem we only saw on Saturday: Barça has been atrocious when it comes to finishing chances. It's not a creativity issue, because the team is able to find good opportunities to score even amid the plague of injuries to the most creative players on the squad; it's the strikers who have to improve. Had they been just a little more accurate, Barça surely would have won in Seville. Score more goals, and you win. Sounds like a stupid thing to say, but Barça have been so bad at doing it that this stupid idea applies.
3. Sevilla continues to be a bitch, in the best possible sense of the word, of course. It's unbelievable how to the Rojiblancos find a way to step up against the Blaugranes, even though they've been on a terrible form lately. Unai Emery gets his players to increase their level of intensity in different ways, and they're certainly well coached to get ready for Barça's style and to take advantage of any chance they get. It's the first time Emery beats the Catalans, but it certainly looks like the third or fourth. He knows how to make life difficult for us, that's for sure. Tons of respect, Sevilla. You deserve it.