Fatigue returns to Barça

De Jong put forward a Sevilla who was better for many minutes and Coutinho tied. Messi and Ansu Fati could not shine and Koeman's team paid for it.


As two horses in the Grand National, Seville and Barcelona reached the finish line exhausted looking for a triumph that was denied to both teams who had to settle for a draw to one that both may know little by little. Sevilla started hitting and Barça, when it seemed most lost, clung to the best version of Coutinho to equalize the fight immediately and from then on the duel had moments in which Lopetegui's men and reactions from the locals sent. What cannot be denied to either of them is wear and tear. Nobody dribbled a race, a withdrawal or a dispute Something that was normal at Sevilla, but not at Barça.

The point of intersection of both teams was Bayern Munich. The Germans mercilessly crushed Barcelona in Lisbon a month and a half ago and two weeks ago they defeated Sevilla falling waste with ramps on the grass as soon as the referee signaled the end of extra time. Therefore, Barça was very clear that they were facing a team before which any physical or intensity concession could be paid for with a severe correction. If Koeman's team resembled the Lisbon wreck and Sevilla approached the Budapest wrestlers, the match was going to be Lopetegui's.

And despite the fact that Sevilla came out commanding and imposing their physique in the first minutes of play, little by little Barcelona found themselves and stood up first and dared to bite later. The weight of the starting game corresponded to the visitors who in eight minutes had already forced two corners into Neto's goal.

In the first, Ocampos's shot went high and in the second Luuk de Jong shot Neto after Barça fell asleep again in the corner kick, where Sevilla returned to take advantage of two against one and De Jong could not with Koundé, who left the ball so that the Dutch striker from Sevilla scored the 0-1.

The goal rewarded a Sevilla clearly superior to Barcelona, who lacked the necessary intensity to stand up to those of Lopetegui, who looked at him satisfied from the stands when he completed his penalty game.

A stroke of genius from Messi, who came down to order Barça's game, got Barça into the game at a critical moment. The Argentine wanted to connect with Alba in his patented play, which Navas tried to cut with the bad luck for Sevilla that the ball was dead for Coutinho to shoot Bonou. With very little, Barça had equaled the contest, which from then on was something else.

Those of Koeman, clinging to solvency behind an Araújo who seriously threatens the ownership of Lenglet, because every time he comes out he plays better, and a Coutinho who worked as if he was wearing the Bayern shirt, stopped Sevilla's feet.

The Andalusians continued to dominate the game and had more the ball, but Barça needed less to bring danger to the rival goal. Barça suffered only from the lack of success, again, from Griezmann, who in the first half continued to refuse to face the rival door (and at the beginning of the second he again missed an easy control) and De Jong, who the game was great from the beginning. When he did not lose the duels due to intensity, he made mistakes in apparently easy deliveries that compromised a Net who returned to give the feeling of tranquility with the ball at his feet.

The match was to be decided in favor of the team being able to maintain the physical level exhibited in the first half. And in that aspect, the role of the technicians when making the changes would be fundamental, especially at Barça, because Sevilla has been showing for a long time that they sweat blood until the last minute.

Both coaches moved the pieces in unison. Koeman gave entry to Trincao and Pedri through Griezmann and Ansu, who did not have his day, while in erl Sevilla Munir and En Nesiry entered through Ocampos and Suso.

The relays gave more presence to Sevilla, who returned to take the reins of the game. Araujo almost scored an own goal and the pressure from Sevilla put the Barça defense in a lot of trouble, which was unable to get the ball and gave corners that Koundé finished off again and again around the goal. That Sevilla physically imposed on Barça was already a reality that was verified when Alba was already injured, leaving his place for debutant Dest while Koeman chose to settle the center of the field with the departure of Pjanic for Coutinho. Barça had chosen to resist as it was a half hour that aimed to become very long.

Again, in the final arreón, Barcelona once again gave a feeling of danger thanks to a shot from Messi, a boarding school by Sergi Roberto which De Jong hit and a shot from Trincao. Without oxygen in their lungs, both teams reached the finish line exhausted looking for the win but having to settle for a draw.

Photos from as.com
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