As Barcelona announced the starting XI to take on Sevilla in the league, several eyebrows were raised. Ronald Koeman had brought back the three at-the-back formation he has used briefly this season, without Ronald Araujo head-lining the defence. However, his game-plan was soon clear as Barcelona pressed Sevilla’s midfield out of the game to register a 2-0 win.
In a tie dominated by Koeman’s tactical prowess, several stats stood out as Barcelona hit two past Julien Lopetegui’s Sevilla.
Away games have been Barcelona’s kryptonite in the last five odd seasons, and that weakness has slowly crept into the league as well. However, they say defence is the best attack, so it is only fair to include this statistic in this category.
While it was the midfield who won Barcelona the game today, with each of Pedri, Frenkie de Jong and especially Sergio Busquets putting in an absolute shift, there are no standout statistics that do them justice. However, for one man in the attack, it was a joyful occasion as he continued to terrorise Sevilla.
Ousmane Dembele has scored three goals vs Sevilla, more than vs any La Liga opponent in all competitions, involving in four out his last six games vs the Andalusian side.— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) February 27, 2021
— Opta pic.twitter.com/vlRehokOBZ
No reason to leave Lionel Messi too far behind when talking about attacking prowess today. The Argentine assisted Ousmane Dembele for the opener and then played a one-two off Ilaix Moriba to seal the game late, further extending his bizarre tally against Sevilla.
Lionel Messi has now scored a total of 38 goals and 19 assists (57 goal involvements) in 42 games against Sevilla. pic.twitter.com/y6JhJcLsp3— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) February 27, 2021
Barcelona have several chances to close off the game early today, or add to their tally. Each of Dembele, Messi, de Jong missed chances, but it was Sergino Dest who came the closest, striking the top-right of the goal from close range in an attempt to go for the roof. That brought up a rather intriguing statistic.
Saving the best for the last, Barcelona finally recorded a win over Sevilla after three games. But more importantly, they dominated the Andalusian outfit at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. The scoreline barely reflects Barcelona’s performance, but it still helped them move to second place in the league table, only two adrift of Atletico Madrid.
La Liga chief Javier Tebas talks summer transfers and fan return to stadiums
In a conference held by ADEA Forum (Association of managers and executives of Aragon) in Zaragoza, Javier Tebas spoke on a wide range of topics surrounding La Liga.
Mostly, the La Liga president spoke regarding the league’s bounce back from the pandemic and some potential plans for the league to restore public crowds. He also discussed the losses incurred, the summer transfers, among other things.
The Condition of La Liga
Tebas started the conference by claiming that the situation for the Spanish league is comparatively better than other leagues.
Speaking on this, he said, “The situation is worrying, but not so much. I think that of this pandemic the Spanish League is the one that is going to turn out less badly compared to the others.”
He then spoke about the losses incurred in Spanish football, with the net loss amounting to €1 billion by the 30th of September.
On the losses, Tebas said, “Of this billion, 750 have been financed by banks or investment funds, the latter the majority based in London, and the rest have been done by the clubs pulling their cash.”
Additionally, he mentioned that it was big clubs that were affected stronger than the smaller clubs, due to the huge loss of income from the lack of crowds, among other profitable economic activities that clubs such as Real Madrid and Barcelona enjoy above others.
A return for crowds to stadiums
When speaking on a return of crowds to stadiums, the La Liga chief seemed tremendously confident in their ability to host crowds as early as tomorrow. He claimed that they would have to run at between 20% to 30% capacity; nonetheless, the Spaniard was confident that teams would be more than capable of hosting crowds very soon.
Speaking on the same, he said, “There is a working group for the return [of fans] to the stadiums. I hope that in the last league games we can see the public in a proportional amount.”
Upcoming transfer window
Speaking on the summer transfer window, the president claimed that there will indeed be a lower amount of transfers as there were in the previous window. Tebas said, “They have already been lower in winter. There may be occasional and exceptional operations, but globally it will decrease. There will be exchanges of players. It’s going to be lower than last year.”
Accordingly, clubs are going to have to dig into their academy reserves more and more as the global and financial situations amend over time.