Barcelona had a fireproof tonight as they visited Sevilla´s stadium Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, one of the most difficult crowds to play in front of, but Setién´s squad would avoid them today as they can´t afford to not get the three points if they want to stay above Real Madrid. On the other side, Sevilla´s Lopetegui are defending with their lives the 3rd spot they are currently at as the battle for the Champions League tickets is one of the most thrilling and tight ones of this LaLiga´s last phase. Big match that turned out disappointing.
News on the starting lineups were on the Barça side, where coach Setién left French Griezmann on the bench and bet for Suárez and Braithwaite to join Messi in the attack. Lopetegui presented his usual starters. Both teams played on a 4-3-3 system. Barça started off better, they had more energy and they showed their best passing version on the oponent´s half, while Sevilla were really struggling to escape their box. However, home team had the first chance through a crossed shot by defender Kounde that left close to the post.
Despite Barça´s domain, they did not have their first opportunity until the 20th minute through a free kick taken by Messi that Kounde saved with a header from the goal line. Sevilla were still unable to overcome Barça´s high pressure, so Lopetegui made the most oout of the new “time out” to readjust his midfield and put Oliver Torres and Jordán back so the defensive line could connect more with them. This change provoked the game to get even nd that Sevilla had more the ball. First half ended on the same initial score, as there were barely any scoring chances for either team.
Sevilla returned from the locker-room bosted by Banega´s entrance by Oliver Torres in order to add some more ball possession to Lopetegui´s team in the middle. Ocampos had a good chance to score through a tough shot that Ter Stegen saved. Sevilla had now gone forward and Barça could not take the ball. Now it was Setién´s turn to make substitutions, so he put Arthur in the middle by Braithwaite to add more strength to the middle.
Barça kept denied on the opponent´s half and they were running out of time to avoid a draw that can potentially turn very expensive on the race for LaLiga title. Sevilla fell back the last fifteen minutes and let Barcelona gain the presence on their side they had lost before. Setién put all his attacking players on the pitch as Griezmann entered the game, but Barça did not put Sevilla´s keeper Vaclik in trouble either. Barça drop two points at El Pizjuán and now they leave the first spot within reach for Madrid if they beat Real Sociedad on Sunday.