Barcelona and Sevilla shared the spoils in a hard-fought encounter at the Camp Nou earlier today as Julen Lopetegui's tactical know-how gave the Catalans plenty to think about ahead of the international break. The Andalusians dominated large swathes of the game against Barcelona and gave an excellent account of themselves in a difficult fixture.
Barcelona have shown improvement in their midfield and defence this season and while most of their players had fairly decent outings, the Blaugrana failed to maintain their intensity in the final third. Sevilla have managed to trouble the likes of Manchester United, Inter Milan, and Bayern Munich over the past two months and nearly manage to shock Barcelona in their own backyard tonight.
Sevilla enjoyed a surprising amount of possession in the opening stages and their innovative set-piece play worked wonders with Luuk de Jong scoring the opening goal. Barcelona stepped up to the plate and responded immediately as a searching Lionel Messi ball resulted in an uncharacteristic error from Jesus Navas and gave Philippe Coutinho the equaliser.
Barcelona and Sevilla were on a fairly even footing in the first half and created a few chances at either end of the pitch. Sevilla posed a significant threat on the counter and fashioned excellent chances for Luuk de Jong and Joan Jordan.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first as Julen Lopetegui's well-drilled side continued to create the lion's share of chances in the game. Barcelona did manage to keep a fair amount of possession and were able to thwart Sevilla's high press but failed to trouble Yassine Bono in the final third.
The Andalusians could have gone ahead after Ronald Araujo nearly poked the ball into his own net in the second half. Barcelona took it up a notch towards the end of the game but Sevilla's organised defensive lines denied the Catalans a victory yet again.
Barcelona Player Ratings
Neto - 6/10
Neto had several nervous moments against Sevilla's high press and his footwork was shaky at best at the Camp Nou. The Barcelona shot-stopper did play a few good passes but will need to improve ahead of a hectic schedule.
Gerard Pique - 6.5/10
Gerard Pique was reliable at the back for Barcelona and marshalled the Catalans' defensive lines to good effect throughout the game. The Barcelona veteran held his own against Sevilla's suffocating press and was comfortable with the ball at his feet.
Ronald Araujo - 7/10
Ronald Araujo was one of the few positives that Barcelona can take from this game. Apart from a stray foot that nearly cost the Uruguayan defender an own goal, Araujo was a rock at the back and used his pace to nullify many of Sevilla's counter-attacks.
Jordi Alba - 6/10
Jordi Alba did play a role in Barcelona's goal in the first half but struggled against Jesus Navas on the flank. The Spaniard picked up a niggle in the second half and was replaced by Sergino Dest.
Sergi Roberto - 5.5/10
Sergi Roberto's morale will have been high after his game against Celta Vigo but the Barcelona right-back did himself no favours with his performance tonight. Barcelona's utility man offered next to nothing going forward and was not at his best against Sevilla.
Frenkie de Jong - 6/10
Frenkie de Jong had a fairly mixed outing against Sevilla. The Dutch midfielder did have his moments on the pitch but was not comfortable against the Andalusian press and made a few errors with his passing. The Barcelona midfielder played in an advanced position in the second half and had an excellent chance to win the game for the Catalans.
Sergio Busquets - 5.5/10
Sergio Busquets looked exhausted on the pitch today and struggled to maintain the intensity that Barcelona have shown so far this season. The Catalan veteran did manage to make a few interceptions but was largely ineffective against Sevilla.
Philippe Coutinho - 7/10
Philippe Coutinho worked extremely hard for Barcelona on the night and scored his first goal of the season in Blaugrana colours with a well-placed finish. The Brazilian was surprisingly taken off in the second half and did not finish the game.
Antoine Griezmann - 5.5/10
Antoine Griezmann endured another difficult night for Barcelona and failed to make much of an impact against Sevilla. The French centre-back made a few intelligent runs during his time on the pitch but was largely ineffective and replaced by Francisco Trincao in the second half.
Ansu Fati - 6.5/10
Barcelona's wonderkid did see a fair share of the ball on the left flank but failed to work his magic in the final third tonight. The teenager took on Marcos Acuna on a few occasions but was unable to come up with the final product against Sevilla.
Lionel Messi - 6.5/10
Lionel Messi did come up with a few inspirational moments against Sevilla but was unable to push his side to get the winning goal tonight. The Argentine genius was hounded off the ball on a number of occasions and was far from his supernatural best.
Pedri - 7/10
Pedri came on to the pitch in the second half and did have a few positive touches for Barcelona. The youngster did well during his time on the pitch and can potentially make the creative midfield role his own in the years to come.
Francisco Trincao - 6/10
Francisco Trincao enjoyed plenty of the ball on the right flank in the second half but will have to work on his final product as the season progresses. The Portuguese winger did have an excellent opportunity to score but was denied by Yassine Bono.
Miralem Pjanic - 6/10
Miralem Pjanic came on for Coutinho in the second half and did play a part in wresting the ball from Sevilla towards the end of the game. The former Juventus midfielder took far too much time to take his decisions, however, and will need to take it up a notch at Barcelona.
Sergino Dest - 6.5/10
Sergino Dest had a bright debut for Barcelona and performed well under pressure. The Ajax sensation did create a chance for Lionel Messi in the second half and will see more time on the pitch after the international break.
Also Read: La Liga 2019/20: Team of the season