4 talking points from Barcelona’s disappointing draw at Sevilla

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images) /

Barcelona was involved in the most entertaining goalless draw in La Liga.

It was even stevens at the Ramon Pizjuan as resolute Sevilla forced Barcelona for a share of the spoils in a nerve-wracking draw. Despite the match ending goalless, there was no dearth of high-octane action. The hosts superbly asphyxiated the mighty Catalans with solid defensive work but left a lot to be desired going forward.

They missed a couple of chances on the break with could’ve easily sealed all three points, whereas Barca appeared totally devoid of ideas upfront, failing to conjure anything of note.

Their best moments came only through a pair of Lionel Messi free-kicks which sailed just above the bar, but Luis Suarez must be kicking himself for dragging his shot desperately wide after going one-on-one with Tomas Vaclik.

The draw leaves the door ajar for Real Madrid to reclaim top spot with a win on Sunday against Real Sociedad. Here are some talking from last night’s enthralling encounter:

Stubborn Sevilla keep Catalans at arm’s length

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For the first time since October 2011, the Sevillistas rendered Barcelona goalless, and for the good measure. They were well organised at the back and gave the visitors no chance. Even though the side started in 4-3-3 shape, they were more like 5-3-2 or even 5-4-1 without the ball, effectively blocking all passing lanes and forcing the Catalans to content themselves with mere hopeful punts in the box. The return of Suarez too didn’t help their cause either whatsoever, as Sevilla expertly kept him at bay for a vast majority of the match.

No Messi magic this time

Make no mistake, Messi was hard working and found himself constantly running through the channels, but Sevilla kept everything so tight that he literally had to drop as deep as the defence to help them build from the back!

This effectively took the mickey out of Barca, who resultantly appeared toothless upfront. This also goes on to show the chronic-dependency of this side on their captain as he was left to pull all the strings by himself. And even though his landmark 700th goal didn’t arrive, Messi was once again the best player for the visitors.

Sevilla was wasteful on the counter

As good as the hosts defended last night, they were equally frustrated in the attack and missed some gilt-edged chances that which could’ve secured them the deserved three points. With the Catalans holding a lion’s share of possession, Sevilla was happy to sit back and hit them on the break. This ploy yielded two big chances after the interval.

As the full-backs got heavily involved in the attack, Munir was fed down the left and after cutting inside, fired straight at Ter-Stegen with a tame effort. However, it was Reguilon who missed the biggest chance of the night as he failed to beat the German from just eight yards out after Jordi Alba accidentally headed Franco Vazquez’s cross right into his path. A huge let-off for Barca.

The title race was blown wide open again

Even though the stalemate extends Barcelona’s lead at the top by another point, Real Madrid now has the chance to regain pole position with a victory over Real Sociedad on Sunday. The Catalans are on 65 points after 30 games, a tally which they can match by beating La Real.

However, they still go top owing to superior head-to-head record this season. Barcelona was visibly exhausted last night, but the unforgiving fixture list means there’s no respite for the holders even as cracks begin to develop in their armour. Squeaky bum-time in La Liga ahead!

Next. Tottenham join Inter in the race for Barcelona star. dark

So, what did you think of the match?