Lionel Messi unlocked Sevilla’s protection with a purpose and an assist to lastly give Barcelona a much-needed victory over a first-class opponent on Saturday.
Messi’s fast toes and imaginative and prescient, Ousmane Dembele’s velocity and of entirety, and a defensive efficiency that Ronald Koeman known as his workforce’s better of this Spanish league marked the 2-0 win in Seville.
91,1% – Lionel Messi ???????? has scored, assisted & booked mixed. He has accomplished 41 of his 45 passes in opp half vs Sevilla (91,1% of passing accuracy), his second finest % in a single LaLiga video games this season, solely behind sport performed at Celta (92,2%). Omnipresent @FCBarcelona pic.twitter.com/rOGIByhto3
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 27, 2021
The victory lifted Barcelona previous Real Madrid into second place, two factors behind chief Atlético Madrid, which has two matches in hand.
Barcelona additionally halted Sevilla’s climb up the standings by ending its six-round successful streak, maintaining Julen Lopetegui’s aspect in fourth place at eight factors off the lead. A win by Sevilla would have moved it forward of Barcelona and made it a agency title contender.
Equally as vital, the victory boosted Barcelona’s hopes of getting back from a 2-0 deficit when it hosts Sevilla subsequent week within the return leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal.
Another fan asking Messi for his jersey pic.twitter.com/Jx254dnMe1
— MC (@CrewsMat19) February 27, 2021
“If we can overturn the tie on Wednesday, our entire season turns around,” Barcelona’s Gerard Pique mentioned. “After playing like this at Sevilla, not giving them a single scoring chance, we are confident that we can do good things this season.”
Barcelona struggled beneath Ronald Koeman through the coach’s first two months in cost. But the previous Barcelona defender has the workforce unbeaten in 15 straight rounds and on a seven-game successful run away from Camp Nou within the competitors.
Still, his workforce had but to beat a prime rival in any competitors — final week it misplaced to Paris Saint-Germain 4-1 – till its sturdy exhibiting at Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.
Dembele opened the scoring within the twenty ninth minute when Messi performed him clear on a fast assault to finish Sevilla’s wonderful defensive streak of 5 straight clear sheets within the league.
After Sergiño Dest went near doubling Barcelona’s lead when he hit the submit within the sixtieth, Messi capped an entire efficiency by his workforce with 5 minutes remaining. The membership’s all-time main scorer, whose future is unsure, dribbled by the realm and beat goalkeeper Yassine Bounou on a second attempt. It was Messi’s league-leading nineteenth purpose of the season and his thirtieth profession purpose in opposition to Sevilla.
“The most important thing of the game today was the ambition of the team,” Koeman mentioned. “We were fighting, pressing like a total team. We were really good with the ball, but the mentality to press the opponent for 95 minutes was the key.”
Every “pre-assist” by Lionel Messi this season.pic.twitter.com/J2tXRLk4sD
— ° (@tiniademaj10) February 26, 2021
Having didn’t beat Sevilla of their two earlier conferences this season, Koeman bettered Lopetegui when he switched to a three-man protection and left Antoine Griezmann on the bench to play with two excessive wing backs.
That left Dembele free to stretch the workforce together with his velocity. The midfield trio of Sergio Busquets, Pedri and Frenkie de Jong did the remainder by not letting Sevilla get shut sufficient to threaten Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
“More than their formation, I think that we did not respond the right way,” Lopetegui mentioned. “Just like when we win, we now have to turn the page quickly and think about the next game.”
Barcelona’s win got here at a value of dropping two younger gamers to left leg accidents.
Midfielder Pedri González, certainly one of Koeman’s most used gamers, harm a muscle with round 20 minutes remaining.
Center again Ronald Araújo went on as a second-half substitute after getting back from a left ankle harm that sidelined him for 5 video games. He lasted fewer than 20 minutes.
Pape Diop broke into tears after he scored a late header to salvage Eibar a 1-1 draw with Huesca. The midfielder mentioned he was overcome by ideas of his father, who died in December.
Getafe defeated Valencia 3-0 to finish a run of six rounds with out a victory, whereas Osasuna received at Alavés 1-0.