Barcelona are not guaranteed to finish Matchday 30 as La Liga leaders thanks to a goalless draw away to Sevilla at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. Sevilla were as tough as advertised, but Barça were simply awful for almost the entire match and could lose first place in the standings if Real Madrid win on Sunday.
Barça made a strong start to the game, keeping possession in Sevilla’s half and using the ball well to create a couple of dangerous moments. Luis Suárez had the first crack at goal, then Ivan Rakitic fired a bullet into the side netting, but Barça couldn’t capitalize on their early dominance. The best chance of the half came on a beautiful Lionel Messi free-kick, but Koundé made a nice goal-line clearance to save his team.
It took a while but Sevilla finally grew into the game with more effective pressing and some smart tactical fouls to stop Barça’s momentum, and they had a good moment as well with a shot by Koundé that went just wide. The home team didn’t create any real chances and Ter Stegen wasn’t called into meaningful action, but Sevilla played well enough in the final 15 minutes to keep Barça from creating danger of their own.
The final seconds were full of action when Lionel Messi pushed defender Diego Carlos after a foul by the Brazilian, and there was a nice little shoving match between several players until cooler heads prevailed and yellow cards were shown.
There was no way Barça could be any worse to start the second half: poor passing, terrible defending and a general lack of intensity that gave Sevilla complete control of the game, and Ter Stegen had to make two very good saves to stop Barça from conceding in the first 20 minutes.
The Blaugrana managed to improve a little bit and regain possession in the final minutes, forcing Sevilla to retreat and protect their goal. The problem is Barça couldn’t create anything, and it seemed like they were going to just pass the ball until the final whistle. Then Luis Suárez missed a golden chance with his left foot after a perfect cross from Jordi Alba, Reguilón missed a golden chance for Sevilla, and the goalless draw was sealed.
The final whistle came, and Barça still haven’t won a big road game under Quique Setién. Awesome.
Sevilla: Vaclík; Navas, Carlos, Koundé, Reguilón; Jordán (Gudelj 68’), Fernando, Torres (Banega 45’); Ocampos (Vázquez 84’), De Jong (En-Nesyri 68’), Munir (Suso 58’)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Vidal (Griezmann 76’), Busquets, Rakitic (Puig 88’); Messi, Suárez, Braithwaite (Arthur 62’)