Barcelona vs Sevilla Report
Barcelona faced Sevilla with hopes of snatching another 3 points in La Liga. Unfortunately, they could only manage a bitter 0-0 draw.
The hosts began with a 4-3-3 formation with Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and David Villa forming the front zone. Sevilla relied on a 4-2-3-1 structure, placing Manu Del Moral as the main man in charge of the goals.
Iniesta came close twice in the first 10 minutes, forcing goalkeeper Varas to react rapidly. However, it was Abidal’s mistake in his own half on 12 minutes that gave Navas a great chance on goal. But with Valdes alert, the score line had to stay the same.
Sevilla kept fighting with courage as they refused to be intimidated by the home crowd. Indeed, they managed to stay in control for most of the first half.
Barcelona almost thought they had received a golden opportunity to grab what would have been a precious lead, when they accused Fabio of handling the ball inside the box on 26 minutes. Their protests didn’t bring any major change though, as the referee waved play on.
Frustration then began to show on the faces of Los Cules, who just seemed unable to beat the active Varas despite making visible efforts.
In the second half, Messi immediately revealed the intent of the improving Barca side with a dangerous free-kick from 30 yards out. Surely, the impressive Varas and his strong defenders were the ones who helped Sevilla stay alive for much longer.
It appeared the Catalans decided to keep the pressure on their opponents with a series of long-range shots - thanks to nice moves by Messi, Villa and Iniesta.
Coach Marcelino opted for a change of style after the hour mark, sending on Kanoute for Manu Del Moral. That substitution still did not take anything off the load on the shoulders of the Sevilla back players. More precisely, it did not benefit Varas in any way.
Cesc Fabregas then came on in the last quarter of the match for the hosts, making the Barca front even hotter. The Catalans kept pushing and pushing in search of the winner, but it wasn’t until the 92nd minute that their moment truly arrived.
Iniesta went down inside the box subsequent to a foul by Fazio; it had to be a penalty. Things got delayed though, due to Kanoute getting in Messi’s way then grabbing Fabregas round the neck.
The Malian eventually saw red, but with Messi missing from the spot, the drama was not too disturbing for the visitors. More entertaining action in the very late stages of the match saw Valdes get booked and Navarro get sent off.
The match finally ended goalless at the disappointment of the relentless home side. Sevilla’s Varas could fairly look upon himself as the hero of the game; whereas in the meantime, it is Real Madrid who can laugh - having claimed the top spot while Barcelona sit in second place.