While Real Madrid lost in the afternoon against Mallorca (1-0), FC Barcelona had a big operation to carry out this Sunday evening against Sevilla FC. Being able to count up to 8 points in advance after 20 days in case of success against the Andalusians, the Blaugranas had to take advantage of it. For this match, Xavi opted for a 4-3-3 with Marc-André ter Stegen in the cages behind Jules Koundé, Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen and Jordi Alba. Sergio Busquets was placed as a sentry with Pedri and Frenkie de Jong while Robert Lewandowski was supported by Gavi and Raphinha in attack. For its part, Sevilla lined up a 3-4-3 with Yassine Bounou as the last bastion. In front of him, Loïc Badé, Nemanja Gudelj and Karim Rekik formed the defense with Gonzalo Montiel and Marcos Acuna in the corridors. Pape Gueye and Joan Jordan made up the double pivot with Ivan Rakitic and Oliver Torres in support of Youssef En-Nesyri.
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Slowly taking control of the match, FC Barcelona nevertheless quickly lost Sergio Busquets. On the ground after a duel with Youssef En-Nesyri (3rd), he returned directly to the locker room (6th) and Franck Kessié replaced him (8th). Despite this blow, the Blaugranas continued to advance and obtained an interesting first chance. Returning to the area, Robert Lewandowski defeated Yassine Bounou from a tight angle, but had to bow (17th). On the corner that followed, Ronald Araujo narrowly missed the target on the left (18th). From a distance, Robert Lewandowski tried again to strike with a tight shot, but Yassine Bounou was still impeccable on his parade (26th). The first Sevillian response came from Pape Gueye in front of the area, but the Senegalese completely missed his attempt (39th).
A second full period for Barça
Pushing at the end of the first act, FC Barcelona came close to pushing Nemanja Gudelj into error, but the Serb’s header failed to catch the frame (42nd). Back to back after 45 minutes, the two teams returned from the locker room with the desire to bring different things. On the left, Jordi Alba curled a cross towards the far post, but Robert Lewandowski’s header passed clearly above (53rd). Pedri then crossed from the right towards the far post, but Raphinha’s header was caught by Yassine Bounou (56′). Finally, the Catalan domination was rewarded. Shifted to the left of the surface by Franck Kessié, Jordi Alba adjusted the Moroccan goalkeeper with a cross shot which lodged on the right of the goal (1-0, 58th).
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A hell of a blow for Sevilla who continued to suffer. Robert Lewandowski (61st) and Jules Koundé (63rd) tried their hand at long shots to keep up the pressure. Efforts that were rewarded with a new goal signed Gavi following good work on the right side of Raphinha (2-0, 70th). While Robert Lewandowski narrowly missed the goal from a free kick (77th), Raphinha put an end to Sevillian hopes by victoriously receiving a cross from Jordi Alba (3-0, 79th). The most important was done for the Catalans who managed the end of the game. Lucas Ocampos (88th) and Ivan Rakitic (89th) tried to react without success. With an easy and logical victory, FC Barcelona continues its good year 2023. The Blaugranas consolidate their first place with 8 points ahead of Real Madrid while there are 18 matches to play. Sevilla slip to sixteenth place and are only two points clear of the red zone.