Ronald Koeman proud of Sevilla victory: “They have a physically very strong team and we were able to match them off the ball”

Barcelona travelled to Andalusia this afternoon to take on Sevilla in La Liga at the Sanchez-Pizjuan and kick off a monumentally important week. Ronald Koeman‘s men play Sevilla twice in five days in two games that could very well decide the course of their season, and got it off to a good start with a convincing 2-0 win.

The result has significant implications regarding the title race. Barcelona have leap-frogged Real Madrid into second and now sit just two points behind league leaders Atletico Madrid. If they had lost, Sevilla would have leap-frogged them and Barcelona would have ended the weekend in fourth, with their title bid in tatters. The Blaugrana will go into their Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Sevilla this Wednesday believing they can turn around the 2-0 deficit from the first leg.

Ivan Rakitic

Barcelona took the lead in the 29th minute. Lionel Messi threaded through an incredibly nonchalant pass to set Ousmane Dembele clean through on goal. The Frenchman didn’t disappoint, finishing well. Messi scored himself inside the final few minutes, linking well with substitute Illaix Moriba before getting the ball past Sevilla goalkeeper Bono.

Oscar Mingueza

“We tried to pressure the opponent, and playing with three centre-backs and full-backs pressed high made it easier for us to not let Sevilla play,” Koeman said post-match in comments carried by Marca. “That’s been the key. It’s a risky system, but without the ball we pressed and tried to play one-on-one. Our game off the ball was key. It was a complete game.

“It’s been a good change that we’ve seen in 2021, although we lost points at the beginning. Today we’ve show that we’re still very much alive and that’s very important. I’m proud, especially regarding the physical aspect. They have a physically very strong team and we were able to match them off the ball, and with the ball we were very good, very calm.”

Tags Barcelona La Liga Ronald Koeman Sevilla