A tense match at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán as Sevilla continued their unbeaten run with a draw against the league leaders. The home side had the better chances after the break and could well have won it
A fully deserved point for Sevilla FC against FC Barcelona. Despite the visitors' dominance in the first thirty minutes, Lopetegui's side were able to get back into the game and Barcelona were unable to particularly trouble Vaclík. Although the Catalans did dominate towards the end of the match, Sevilla were the side who were troubling their opponents on the counter attack, but the match ended goalless.
Barcelona began strongly, finding space in Sevilla's half and were able to test Vaclík inside two minutes, but he was equal to Luis Suárez's shot. They dominated the play and took advantage of Sevilla losing possession of the ball in the middle of the park to launch quick counter attacks with Messi as the focal point. The Argentine went close from a free kick after a quarter of an hour but Koundé raced back to the goal-line to clear for a corner.
Messi's only clear chance was a free kick which was cleared by Koundé
Messi had another free kick from further out after a non-existent foul by Diego Carlos on Braithwaite, but this time Vaclík saved comfortably, as he would do twice in the match. Barcelona were dominating possession whilst Sevilla were stopping their plays outside the area, thanks to good work both from the centre halves and Jordán. Óliver and Munir were creating Sevilla's attacks, however the best chance would fall to Koundé, whose low, driven effort beat Ter Stegen but went just wide of the far post.
The final 15 minutes before the break were much more even, with Sevilla growing into the game and giving Barcelona less space on the counter attack. There was controversy before the break, as Messi clearly pushed Diego Carlos to the ground after had play had stopped, which saw a yellow card... given to Fernando and Busquets. The Andalusians started well in the second half, with Banega coming off the bench and helping Sevilla to take control in the middle of the park. Setién side's would only manage one shot on target in the second half, a long-range free kick from Messi which Vaclík was comfortably equal to.
The match went from strength to strength, and Barcelona took control as they pushed for a win, but they left themselves open to counter attacks. Both Ocampos and Munir had chances but both were well saved by Ter Stegen. Lopetegui's changes brought security to the side and Fernando shone. Reguilón had a big chance in injury time, but was unable to connect with the rebound in the box. Sevilla then had to dig deep as Barcelona threw the kitchen sink at the Sevilla defence, but were unable to carve out a late winner.
Sevilla have played an important role in the title race, but what does matter is that they are continuing to pick up points as they extended their unbeaten run to seven. Whatever happens this weekend, they will still be in the top four. The next match will take place on Monday against a Villarreal side who have won all three games since the restart.
0. SEVILLA FC: Vaclík, Jesús Navas, Koundé, Diego Carlos, Reguilón, Joan Jordán (Gudelj, 69'), Fernando, Óliver Torres (Banega, 46'), Munir (Suso, 59'), Ocampos (Franco Vázquez, 84') and De Jong (En Nesyri, 69').
0. FC BARCELONA: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Vidal (Griezzman, 77'), Busquets, Rakitic (Puig, 88'), Messi, Braithwaite (Arthur, 63') and Luis Suárez.
REFEREE: José Luis González González, from Castile and León. Yellow cards for Reguilón, Fernando, Banega, Piqué and Busquets.