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Sevilla 0-2 Barcelona: 5 Talking points as Blaugrana move second in the points table | 2020-21 La Liga

Sevilla FC vs FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander
Sevilla FC vs FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander
Joshua Ojele
Modified 28 Feb 2021

Barcelona grabbed a well-deserved 2-0 victory against Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium to move second in the 2020-21 La Liga table on Saturday evening.

Barcelona employed a new-look back-three that allowed them more bodies high up the pitch, resulting in much more pressing. However, both teams largely cancelled each other out in the opening exchanges.

The visitor' back-three allowed two extra men in the flanks, which meant France international Ousmane Dembele started in an unfamiliar central role in attack alongside Lionel Messi.

Both men linked up expertly up front, keeping the Sevilla defenders on their toes and looking to put the hosts to the sword.

With Julen Lopetegui’s men creating next to nothing in attack, Messi and Dembele combined to score Barcelona's opener in the 29th minute.

Lionel Messi drilled in a defence-splitting pass to the path of the Frenchman, who neatly fired the ball past Bono for his third league goal in as many games.

Sevilla still sat deep instead of looking for a way back into the game, something that would be their undoing.

In the second half, Barcelona came out all guns blazing, looking to double their lead.

The visitors came close to a second goal on the night when full-back Serguno Dest rattled the post with a brilliant strike before Messi fluffed a finish after Dembele had teed him up.


Sevilla made a few attacking changes in a bid to restore parity. However, Barcelona soaked up the pressure and protected their slender lead.

With the hosts throwing bodies forward in search of an equaliser, Lionel Messi atoned for his earlier miss by scoring in the 85th minute.

After a quick one-two with Dembele, Messi slalomed past his marker, tapping home a rebound for his 19th goal of the campaign to seal all three points for Barcelona.

With the win, Barcelona have leapfrogged Real Madrid are now only two points behind league leaders Atletico Madrid - who have two games in hand.

Barcelona have now won nine of their last ten league matches while extending their unbeaten streak in the Spanish top flight to 15.

On that note, let's look at five talking from the game.

#5 Barcelona are finally dominant against a top-four side

Sevilla FC v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander
Sevilla FC v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander

Barcelona cruised to a comfortable win at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

In an utterly dominating performance, Barcelona grabbed their first win against a top-four team in the La Liga this season.

In their two such games earlier in the campaign, Barcelona lost 1-3 at home to Real Madrid before falling by a solitary goal to Atletico Madrid two games later.

Federico Valverde, Sergei Ramos and Luka Modric all got on the scoresheet to inspire the Galacticos to a 3-1 victory, while Yannick Carrasco’s first-half strike gave Diego Simeone’s men a 1-0 win.

Barcelona also fell to a 2-0 loss against Sevilla in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final earlier this month.

Ronald Koeman’s men now host Sevilla in the second leg of the Cup competition next time out. Their victory in the league might just be the confidence boost needed to overturn the two-goal deficit.

#4 Barcelona's three-man defence pays dividends

Sevilla FC vs FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander
Sevilla FC vs FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander

Ronald Koeman took a new tactical approach against Sevilla, something that unexpectedly paid rich dividends.

Instead of his usual 4-3-3 formation, Koeman named a three-man defence of Clement Lenglet, Gerard Pique and Oscar Mingueza. That meant Jordi Alba and Sergino Dest played as wing-backs, which helped Barcelona in their wide play.

With extra bodies supporting both midfield and attack, Barcelona were able to pin Sevilla in their own half, giving the hosts little or no room to attack.

Lenglet and Minguez, particularly, performed brilliantly, as the duo kept Lopetegui’s men at bay all night. The two players finished with a combined seven tackles won, three clearances and two interceptions, while winning 11 of 14 ground duels.

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Published 28 Feb 2021, 10:46 IST
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