Sevilla’s excellent protection held Barcelona to a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou on Sunday as Ronald Koeman’s crew dropped its first factors within the Spanish league.
Striker Luuk de Jong put Sevilla forward within the eighth minute when he blasted house a free ball that fell to him within the field after a nook. It was the primary league aim conceded by Barcelona this season.
Barcelona hit again two minutes later. Lionel Messi drifted again into midfield and lobbed ahead a go-to satisfy Jordi Alba’s run from the left facet. Jesus Navas tried to intercept, solely to knock it into the trail of Coutinho who fired it house.
Sevilla’s protection clogged up the center of the sphere the remainder of the best way. Holding midfielder Fernando and center back Jules Kounde deactivated the playmaking of Messi and Coutinho, whereas additionally stopping incursions by Ansu Fati from the left flank.
“We had a game plan that we wanted to carry out,” coach Julen Lopetegui stated. “They leveled quickly, but we got right back in the match and had chances to do more damage that we couldn’t convert.”
Lopetegui’s well-coached facet has stored up its glorious crew play from the final season when it gained the Europa League and completed the league in fourth place.
“Today was a difficult, complicated match. We knew it would be,” Coutinho stated. “They had a lot of players in the middle of the defense and it made it difficult. We will have to find ways to fix that. But this has just started.”
Barcelona’s midfield pair of Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets had been pressured into passing errors, and Ronald Araujo needed to cease a solo assault by Lucas Ocampos halfway by means of the primary half after a foul go by Busquets was picked off.
Each coach noticed their assaults stall within the second half and substituted two forwards every with half an hour left. Koeman modified Fati and Antoine Griezmann for newcomers Francisco Trincao and Pedro “Pedri” Gonzalez, whereas Lopetegui despatched on Munir El Haddadi and Youssef En-Nesyri for Ocampos and Jesus “Suso” Fernandez.
En-Nesyri made a rapid impression, breaking down the left and placing in a brief cross that Araujo cleared onto the crossbar in what was virtually an own-goal within the 64th.
Araujo began for Barcelona instead of the suspended Clement Lenglet. The hardly ever used 21-year-old Uruguayan performed properly within the second half of the final spherical’s 3-Zero win at Celta Vigo after Lenglet was despatched off with two bookings earlier than halftime.
Each group has two wins and a draw this season.
Barcelona had gained all its matches _ together with three preseason video games _ since Koeman took over following its humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich within the ultimate sport of the final season.
“We lost more balls than we usually do … but one week, three matches and seven points, we have to be happy,” Koeman stated about his crew’s begin.