Barcelona extended their unbeaten run in La Liga to 15 games and have now won 9 of their last 10 matches in the league thanks to a great 2-0 victory over Sevilla at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. Barça played an excellent game, especially at the back, and Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembélé scored the goals to give the Blaugrana three big points on the road.
The first half was intense and hard-fought, with very few chances and virtually zero space for either team to operate. Ronald Koeman surprised with a back three and a five across midfield but the plan worked well as the Blaugrana managed to press high up the pitch and always have width on the wings while also having movement and possession in the middle.
Messi and Dembélé played as a front two and were simply a living hell for the Sevilla defense, who could not find a way to deal with their movement as the two roamed freely around the final third and constantly dragged defenders out of position. Their work didn’t result in many chances, but Sevilla were so worried about them that they couldn’t get into a rhythm offensively and had to constantly foul to avoid getting in trouble.
Messi and Dembélé combined for the only goal of the half thanks to a marvelous through ball by the captain and a sublime finish by the Frenchman. Barça had nothing to worry about defensively and headed into halftime as the better team, but Sevilla were competing hard and the game was still up for grabs.
Barça started the second half well, continuing to press high and create chances, with three big ones before the 65th minute: first it was Jordi Alba who couldn’t get to a cross from Frenkie De Jong, then Sergiño Dest hit the post, and Messi missed a golden chance after an unbelievable run by Dembélé.
Unable to double their lead, Barça had to survive some pressure to Sevilla who brought on plenty of attacking players and started to fire crosses into the box, but the Blaugrana dealt very well with every wave of pressure from the home side with Clément Lenglet especially dominant at the back.
As we reached the final 10 minutes Barça grew into the game again thanks to a great substitute cameo by Ilaix Moriba, who brought plenty of energy and was involved in the second goal which was finished by Messi to wrap up the win for Barça.
The final whistle came to end a brilliant win for Barça, who played a complete game on both sides of the ball and had chances to win by at least three goals. The defense was impressive and the intensity was fantastic. Well done, boys!
Sevilla: Bounou; Navas, Koundé, Carlos (Rekik 46’), Escudero; Jordán, Fernando; Gómez (Suso 46’), Rakitic (Rodríguez 63’), Munir (En-Nesyri 46’); De Jong (Torres 63’)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Mingueza, Piqué (Araujo 67’ (Umtiti 82’)), Lenglet; Dest, De Jong, Busquets, Pedri (Moriba 71’), Alba; Messi, Dembélé (Braithwaite 82’)
Goals: Dembélé (29’), Messi (85’)