Barcelona’s high-octane attack proves too much for Sevilla as Xavi’s side build impressive pace


Goals from Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Eric Garcia were more than enough for Barcelona to wrap up a comfortable 3-0 win over struggling Sevilla on Saturday.

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The win puts Barcelona in second place behind reigning La Liga champions Real Madrid after four rounds of fixtures. Meanwhile, Sevilla’s latest poor result – their third loss in four games to open the 2022-23 campaign – leaves them one place above the bottom three.

JUMP TO: Player Ratings | Better/worse performers | Highlights & Moments | Postgame Quotes | Key Statistics | Upcoming meetings

Quick reaction

1. Barcelona’s top three keep Xavi’s side close to top of La Liga

Barcelona didn’t start the game with the control that manager Xavi Hernandez craves, but their front three were so effective they got away with it as they trailed Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.

Led again by Lewandowski, Barca recovered from a slow start at the Sanchez Pizjuan to blast Sevilla in the opening 35 minutes. The first goal came on the counterattack, with Ousmane Dembele feeding Lewandowski, whose chipped finish was scrambled off the line only for Raphinha to drive home the rebound from close range.

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Lewandowski did two before the break, controlling and finishing brilliantly after being chosen by Jules Kounde, who was returning to his former club after a summer transfer of 55 million euros. Lewandowski now has five goals in his last three games and although the Polish striker hasn’t been involved in the third, the vivacious Raphinha has been. The Brazilian’s deep cross was headed in on goal by Kounde, who claimed his second assist of the night when Eric Garcia drove home what was his first-ever goal in professional football.

While Real Madrid secured four out of four wins against Real Betis earlier on Saturday, Barca, two points adrift, will need their front three – and their replacements Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres here – to keep going. shoot if they want to keep up. On the side of Carlo Ancelotti.

2. Ter Stegen shows he is far from finished as Barca’s No.1

Looking at the final score line, it may seem out of place to highlight Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s performance, but the German keeper’s start to the season deserves credit. A lingering knee injury has hampered his form for the past two years and led to criticism of his performances and even suggestions that he could be usurped by his understudy, Inaki Pena, at some point this season.

But Ter Stegen has dispelled those doubts with a strong start to the campaign. He had already made important saves against Rayo Vallecano and Real Sociedad this season and once again helped Barca lay the groundwork to win in Sevilla. Isco and Youssef En-Nesyri were both denied by fine first-half saves from Ter Stegen, who made a few somewhat more routine saves after the break. Including his four saves here, he has made 12 saves this season, conceding just one goal on an xGa of 3.11.

3. Lopetegui under pressure as Sevilla lose again

Sevilla look really struggling and it could get worse before it gets better with Erling Haaland and Manchester City due to go to the Champions League next week.

After a brilliant start, they proved to be far too weak in defense as Barca took them out at ease. They haven’t recovered from the summer outings of centre-backs Diego Carlos and Kounde, who have returned to haunt them in Barca colours. Sevilla have just one point from four games and Julen Lopetegui’s work will soon come under scrutiny. He’s clearly feeling the heat too: he smashed his hand from his own dugout after watching Lewandowski double Barca’s lead, while whistles and jeers greeted him at the final whistle.

City on Tuesday is the last thing they need right now, especially with Haaland in his current form. The Norwegian striker scored four times against Sevilla last season as Borussia Dortmund knocked them out of the Champions League.

Player ratings

Sevilla (4-3-3): good 6; Gonzalo Montiel 5, Fernando 6, Tanguy Nianzou 5, Marcos Acuna 5; Joan Jordan 6, Nemanja Gudelj 5, Ivan Rakitic 6; Erik Lamela 6, Youssef En-Nesyri 5, Isco 6.
Subtitles: Kasper Dolberg 6, Thomas Delaney 6, Suso 6, Papu Gomez 6, Jose Carmona 6.

Barcelona (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen 8; Jules Kounde 7, Ronald Araujo 7, Eric Garcia 7, Alex Balde 6; Sergio Busquets 6, Pedri 7, Gavi 8; Raphinha 8, Robert Lewandowski 8, Ousmane Dembele 8.
Subtitles: Sergi Roberto 6, Frenkie de Jong 6, Ferran Torres 6, Jordi Alba 6, Ansu Fati 6.

Best and Worst Performers

BEST: Gavi, Barcelona

While Barca’s attackers received the applause and caused the damage, Gavi was quietly brilliant. The midfielder led Barca’s press, threw himself into challenges and never gave the Sevilla players a minute of peace.

WORST: Tanguy Nianzou, Sevilla

It’s a tough task to come in and replace Carlos and Kounde but even so, Nianzou had a night to forget against Barca. The former Bayern Munich defender never understood Lewandowski.

Highlights and Moments

We’ve seen enough goals from Lewandowski, so why not feature Eric Garcia, who scored his first senior goal?

There was also a good moment for Xavi at full time, after another impressive victory. It is clear that something is building well in his team…

After the game: What managers, players said

“The balance sheet is really positive. It was a difficult start for the first 15 minutes but then we settled into the game. We started to move the ball around better. We played in their half but we also got better. created chances in transitions. It was a “Good performance. I think we dominated and could have scored more goals. The dynamic is good. To win 3-0 in a place like this, we are in a very good moment of form.” — Xavi, Barcelona coach

“We were superior to Barcelona at the start of the game. They created very little danger and I think we had three or four clear chances. But football is about goals. We didn’t score and the first time that we lost the ball, they showed the quality they have and logically that caused damage.

“But I think the team did it right. Of course we have to correct some defensive situations, whether it’s losing the ball or defending in the box. But it was a huge effort on the part of guys. I think in that respect the future will be positive.” — Julen Lopetegui, Sevilla coach

“I’m not surprised by Gavi’s performance because I see him training every day. I know what he’s capable of. His way of playing is pure intensity, personality, work tough, heart, discipline (…) I don’t know I want to be unfair to others, but he was maybe the best player tonight.” — Xavi, Barcelona coach

Key stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Information)

– Barcelona: Biggest away win at Sevilla in La Liga since 2014 (4-1). They are 9-1-5 (WLD) in the last 15 league visits to Sevilla

– Barcelona: Their 10 points are their most in the first four games of a La Liga season since 2018-19 (12 pts)

-Robert Lewandowski (BAR): Has five goals in four La Liga appearances this season. He is the only player other than Lionel Messi to score 5 in the first 4 La Liga games of a season for Barcelona this century

– Raphinha (BAR): Scored his second career European top-flight header. The other came in 2017 while playing for Vitoria Guimaraes.

– Eric Garcia (BAR): Scored his first goal in 75 competitive club games during his career (all compositions).

– Seville: The biggest La Liga home defeat since 2019 against Leganés (also 3-0).

– Seville: Winless in the last seven La Liga home games (0-4-3, WLD) against Barcelona.


Seville: With just one point from their first four La Liga games and a place in the table just above the relegation zone, Sevilla need to get back to form and fast. But the list of meetings is not tender: after their visit of the first day of the Champions League from Manchester City (Tuesday), they go to Espanyol in La Liga (September 10) before a trip to FC Copenhagen ( September 14) for the second day of the Champions League. .

Barcelona: Xavi’s side are just two points behind league leaders Real Madrid after four games but they will face a tough spell of fixtures over the coming week and a half. After hosting Viktoria Plzen on Champions League Matchday 1 (Wednesday), they travel to La Liga Cádiz (September 10) before a grueling trip to Bayern Munich (September 13) on Champions League Matchday 2. champions. All eyes will be on Lewandowski’s return to Bavaria: can he be the winner for Barcelona?


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