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 bittersweet sensation,” Xavi said post-match in comments carried by Marca. “I think we performed well, but obviously we have to improve. We’ve earned a point, but we have to be patient. We have to insist on this model – we’re on the right track. But it’s a shame because we had them.
“It’s difficult to take, not winning. It’s going to be hard for me to sleep. I think we should have won. Sevilla are very experienced and very good tactically, but I leave here unsatisfied. But tomorrow I’ll look back and think we played well. The performance, from the bench, I think was very good. I think this is the Barcelona people want. The results tell all, but I think we enjoyed some good moments and the team competed very well.”