Ronald Araujo believes Barcelona have taken a step forward after draw at Sevilla

Sevilla and Barcelona played out a tense and entertaining 1-1 draw at a rain-soaked Sanchez-Pizjuan on Tuesday evening. Both sides went into the game desperate for victory – Sevilla would have put real pressure on Real Madrid at the top of the table, while Barcelona would have elevated themselves into the top four. Neither happened, but a draw was fair all things considered.

Sevilla took the lead in the 32nd minute through Papu Gomez. The Argentine was live at the edge of the area to meet Ivan Rakitic’s short corner before arrowing his effort past Marc-Andre ter Stegen and into the bottom left corner of the goal. It was a fine and intelligent move straight off the training ground.

Barcelona found an equaliser on the stroke of half-time. Again, it came from a set-piece – Ousmane Dembele floated in a corner from the right side to meet Ronald Araujo, who had risen highest, in mid-air. The Uruguayan’s header left Bono with no chance.

Sevilla’s bid for victory became a little more complicated in the 65th minute. Jules Kounde was sent off for throwing the ball at Jordi Alba after an altercation on the touchline – the Frenchman saw red and left Sevilla down to ten men at a pivotal time. But the Andalusian side managed to see out the draw to earn a point.

“It’s a step forward,” Araujo said post-match in comments carried by Marca. “We played a great game against a great rival at their ground. We were superior, especially in the second half. They deserved their goal, they did very well.

“It’s a shame because we wanted to win. We’re working a lot on our penetration in the final third. Ferran [Jutgla] is a great help. We need to score more goals and we’re working toward that.

“We’d practiced the set-piece as we knew they’d be standing still in the box. Busi made the block for me. I’m happy to help the team and lend a hand. It’s good that in the year we’ve had, we’re [near the top four]. The first half of the season hasn’t been good, but we’ve finished close [to the top four] which is our goal.”

Tags Barcelona Ronald Araujo Sevilla

1 Comment

  1. Actually, Barca were pretty good today. For one thing, their defense didn’t give up many easy goals other than the set piece that Sevilla scored on. They appear to be getting back quicker and playing more zone defense. They still need one or two more top notch defenders but they have the makings of an excellent defensive team. Araujo will be a world class player in a year or two.

    On offense, they still are missing a traditional #9. They have great wing play from Alba, Depay (when he is healthy – he wasn’t today), and Dembele. But they still have weakness in the middle. Messi played that role for so long that it’s difficult to find someone who can repeat that. Gavi was excellent today in pushing the ball forward but he gives it up too easily in the box. Perhaps he will learn to drive forward to pull defenders to him before making a critical pass to a forward.

    It’s one step at a time. But they are getting better.

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