Connect with us

Match Reviews

Three talking points from Barcelona 3-0 Sevilla



Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

After Real Madrid’s loss against Mallorca, Barcelona had the chance to go eight points clear at the top of La Liga when they took on Sevilla at the Camp Nou yesterday.

The Seville outfit are far from their best, but the historical importance of the fixture meant they would turn up at their highest possible level.

The first half proved to be a tough one for Barça, as expected, as Jorge Sampoli’s compact lines of five-each kept them at bay. However, courtesy of a slick move from Franck Kessie and Jordi Alba, the Blaugranes opened the floodgates in the 58th minute.

Gavi added the second 12 minutes later before Raphinha closed curtains with a third in the 79th minute.

Following this impressive win, we take a look at the three topics of discussion.

1. Raphinha clutch, once again

Every other game Raphinha has played, it has seemed that he was off-form, trying too hard, and even not fitting into the team properly. However, he continues to come up clutch for Barcelona time and again. The man is a goal and chance creation machine.

For context, he opened the scoring against Real Betis in midweek, assisted the only goal against Getafe, assisted the winner against Intercity, scored the winner against Osasuna, and even assisted the only goal against Valencia.

Yesterday, too, when everything seemed to be going wrong for him, the Brazilian created the first goal for Barcelona with stunning hold-up play inside the box. After which he found Kessie, who assisted Alba.

Raphinha then produced a stunning pull-back pass from inside the box that found Gavi a meter in front of goal. Finally, he scored one of his own courtesy of Jordi Alba’s immense attacking iq.

Keep Raphinha on the pitch long enough, he will almost definitely come up with the goods.

2. Clever midfield tweak from Xavi

Eight minutes into the game, Barcelona were dealt with a huge blow as Sergio Busquets limped off the pitch injured. He was replaced by Franck Kessie, who slotted in alongside Frenkie de Jong as the double pivot.

However, both of de Jong and Kessie like to rove forward into open spaces with the ball and attack the box. Consequentially, neither of them looked at their sharpest for the initial moments, after which Xavi made a clever tactical switch.

Pedri was asked to drop deeper while Kessie acted as the primary third-man runner. His physical presence and two-footedness opened up several offensive avenues for Barça, eventually leading to the first goal.

3. Jordi Alba continues to stun

Gamechanger. (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

Jordi Alba may have lost his place in the defence to Alejandro Balde, but when called upon, the Spaniard remains one of Barcelona’s best offensive options.

He may not have retained his speed from yesteryears, but Alba has found other ways to harness his game. For example, as was visible multiple times yesterday, and against Girona, the veteran attacks the box behind the right centre-back, almost as a support striker.

This provides Xavi with a contrasting option from Balde, whose instinct is to attack the byline given his pace. The goal and assist yesterday are all proof of the same.

Further, Alba is also a threat from deeper areas. His passing range has improved massively in the last few seasons, and he is able to find runners behind the backline with ease.

Alba has only started nine games this season in La Liga, playing a total of 14, but in that time, he has one goal and three assists. All while creating eight big chances – second highest in the team -, and averaging 1.9 key passes per game – joint highest.

Now 33, Jordi Alba remains one of the most underrated Barcelona player of all time.

Trending Articles