Barcelona continued their unbeaten start to the season and have now won three La Liga games in a row thanks to a convincing 3-0 victory against Sevilla at the Román Sánchez Pizjuán on Saturday night. The Blaugrana had to weather the early storm against a team that really needed a result, but eventually showed their superiority and cruised to a big win on the road.
Sevilla badly needed a result and came out like a desperate team, playing with incredible intensity, pressing Barça high up the pitch and creating huge chances running in behind the Blaugrana’s high line and coming close to scoring at least three times. Marc-André ter Stegen had to play a huge role early on, and it felt like the Sevilla goal was just a matter of time.
But Barça did something rare for them: score against the run of play, and they did it 20 minutes in on a lightning quick counter attack started by Ousmane Dembélé who then found Robert Lewandowski inside the box, and after the Pole’s chip over the keeper was cleared off the line it was Raphinha who got the final touch by heading in the opening goal off the rebound.
Barça needed to find the back of the net to calm down and settle into the game, and after managing to weather the early storm the visitors started to have more of the ball and slow Sevilla’s momentum. The home team stopped having easy chances on the counter, and all of a sudden it was all Barça at the Pizjuán.
They still needed a second goal to establish control, and it came with 10 minutes to go in the half in impressive fashion: Jules Kounde played a beautiful ball over the top to find Lewandowski, who chested the ball down and scored a gorgeous volley to make it 2-0 on the road.
Sevilla looked lost after the second goal and couldn’t stay organized, and gifted Barça two huge chances to put the game to bed in the dying seconds. But Kounde missed an open header inside the six-yard box, and Dembélé couldn’t convert an easy one in the final play of the half, and at halftime Barça were in full control but still left the door open for Sevilla to have at least some hope of coming back in the final period.
Sevilla almost scored less than a minute into the second half but Eric García made a goal-saving block on Erik Lamela’s shot inside the box, and it felt as though the home team would put up the same fight that they did early in the game.
Barça needed a third goal to truly put the game to bed, and it came in 50th minute when a cross from Dembélé into the box found Kounde who headed it onto the path of Eric García, and the Spaniard made it 3-0 and objectively killed off the contest.
With the win secured and Sevilla visibly shaken by Eric’s goal, Barça pretty much cruised for the rest of the game and tried to score a fourth on the counter every time the home team went forward and left themselves wide open at the back.
But no more goals were scored, and the final whistle came to give Barça all three points for the third straight game. Barça certainly could have played better in the opening 20 minutes but a fast start from Sevilla was to be expected, and the Catalans did a great job of absorbing the early pressure, no conceding a goal and then showing their superiority for the rest of the game. It’s highly unlikely they wouldn’t have done this last season, and it shows evolution from the team and the coach.
The unbeaten start to the league continues, and things are looking good.
Sevilla: Bono; Montiel (Suso 64’), Fernando, Nianzou, Acuña; Jordán (Delaney 46’), Gudelj (Carmona 46’), Rakitic; Isco (Gómez 70’); Lamela, En-Nesyri (Dolberg 56’)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Eric (Roberto 55’), Balde (Alba 64’); Gavi, Busquets, Pedri (De Jong 63’); Raphinha, Lewandowski (Fati 75’), Dembélé (Ferran 63’)
Goals: Raphinha (21’), Lewandowski (36’), Eric (50’)