Barcelona suffered their first La Liga loss of the season in very bad fashion, playing their worst game of the campaign and losing 2-0 to a Sevilla side that could have scored a lot more. Without Lionel Messi for the entire first half, the Blaugrana failed to show any creativity and deservedly dropped points to a Sevilla team that looked really good for the entire 90 minutes.
Except Barça didn’t lose, because Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez happened. They scored two goals in less than 50 seconds to give Barça the most improbable comeback of the season. Incredible. Just incredbile.
Barça had somewhat of an encouraging start to the game, moving the ball well and having the front three constantly look for each other. But the encouraging start was just a start, and Sevilla quickly took over as the better team. They defended well, and when they had the ball they created a lot of very good chances on the counter. They were also dangerous on set pieces, and there were quite a few headers that went just wide.
Sevilla never stopped attacking, and they deservedly got a lead when Joaquín Correa made a sensational move on the left wing and found Franco Vázquez for an easy tap-in on the six-yard box. Barça had their best chance just before the end of the half with Gerard Piqué somehow missing the mark just two yards away from goal.
At halftime, a very bad performance had Barça down a goal. Would Lionel Messi make an impact if called up from the bench?
Instead of making improvements, Barça made another defensive error that led to a goal for Luis Muriel and a 2-0 lead for Sevilla. The Blaugrana looked like a team that just couldn’t go to another level and were destined to lose on the night, but Ernesto Valverde still tried to give his team a chance by bringing Messi on.
It’s not a coincidence that Barça looked a much better side as soon as the best player in the world came on, and the team started to find some really good chances. Sevilla took advantage of the space Barça left behind and began to create, and waste, opportunity after opportunity on the counter. They could regret missing so many chances, but the clock was ticking for Barça.
Even though they improved after Messi came on, Barça never really looked like scoring and Sevilla still looked in a strong position to get three points. As much as Messi, Coutinho and Jordi Alba tried in the final minutes, the league leaders just could not find any offense and left the pitch without scoring.
Except they did score. Twice. In one minute. First Luis Suárez from one yard, then Lionel Messi from the edge of the box. Somehow, someway, Barça did not lose. Wow.
Sevilla: Rico; Mercado (Layún), Kjaer, Lenglet, Escudero; N’Zonzi, Banega; Navas (Nolito), Vázquez, Correa (Pizarro); Muriel
Goals: Vázquez (36’), Muriel (50’)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Paulinho (Denis), Rakitic, Iniesta (Alcácer); Dembélé (Messi), Suárez, Coutinho
Goals: Suárez (88’), Messi (89’)