The Barça gets serious

Dembélé and Messi achieve a crucial victory that places Koeman's men two points behind Atleti and, incidentally, warns Sevilla ahead of the Cup.


Barcelona took pride in the key moment and won a game that can serve as a turning point in the Barcelona season. The blaugrana broke their spell against the tronío matches and beat Sevilla 0-2 in Sánchez Pizjuán adding their seventh consecutive victory away from home, which means adding 39 of the last 45 possible points and provisionally placing second in the table surpassing by one point to Madrid and staying two behind the Atlético leader, but with one game more than the whites and two more than the colchoneros.

Koeman took a new step forward in the team drawing playing with three centrals, two long lanes and sacrificing Griezmann. Perhaps the decision of the Dutch coach responded more to the need to find something that worked over surprising Lopetegui. Whatever the intention, it worked in both cases.

If we stick to the first option, it worked because the Blaugrana team was much more aggressive without the ball and brave, going out from the beginning to pressure the home team's ball output. And if we look at the surprise to the rival, the position of Dembélé at the top as a center forward was fundamental, seeking to exploit his speed against Koundé. The Barça attacker was a toothache for his compatriot.

The tension with which Barcelona came out dismantled Sevilla's offensive capacity from the start, where Lopetegui chose to place Luuk de Jong instead of En Nesyri. In the first 45 minutes, the Sevilla players did not shoot once between Ter Stegen's three clubs.

Barça, on the other hand, after a few minutes of maximum concentration, gradually approached Bono's door. Dembélé warned at 22 minutes, Messi tried to surprise the foul while the copper was beaten in an already classic duel with Diego Carlos that cost each one a warning in the first half.

When the game began to unravel in favor of the Catalan team, Dembélé's goal came, who took advantage of a measured pass from Messi behind the centrals. The Frenchman won the race and, for once, did not want to adorn himself with cuts: he shot Bono as soon as he was within range.

Barça overcame the scare that always gives itself after scoring when Ter Stegen failed to get the ball out and gave an occasion project to Papu, who did not get to shoot leaving the game pending to see if Barça would hold the pace game and concentration, or whether the tactical changes demanded by Koeman's drawing would work for Lopetegui.

The modification of the sevillista technician did not wait. Rekik, Suso and En Nesyri entered after the break. Beyond the change of men, Sevilla accepted Barça's stake and also started playing with three centrals.

But Barça not only endured the type, but also had opportunities to extend their advantage: Dest shot at the post after a great team move and a minute later Messi wasted a ball that Dembélé served on a tray after another sensational ride.

Lopetegui needed another turn of the screw and spent the two remaining changes introducing Oliver Torres and Óscar. Koeman only moved the bench in the absence of 25 minutes, retiring Piqué, still in shooting, for Ronald Araújo to reappear. Five minutes later he was forced to remove Pedri, injured, to admit Ilaix.

In the last stretch of the match, Sevilla once again shook the Blaugrana team, which grew the dwarfs when Araújo suffered from his left ankle injury. It had lasted 16 minutes on the field. Sevilla pressed, Barça, suffered with a team already under circumstances on the field that paid off with the second goal, as agonizing as the game was, from Leo Messi after leaning on Ilaix. The party was sentenced. Barça kept their pride and says they don't give up.

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