Sevilla – Barcelona Match Comments

The best way to summarize the mid-week European adventures of the competitors in today’s marquee Liga matchup is as the divergent fortunes of each team coping with a key injury. In Barca’s case, Iniesta’s absence against City really showed in a 3-1 loss, as they seemed to be uncertain both playing out of the back and when pressing high without their veteran’s calming presence. (I haven’t seen a lot Barca this year, but I gather this has been true to some degree with Iniesta as well; still, they seemed especially directionless vs. City.) Meanwhile, Sevilla fans collectively braced for a huge let-down after losing Nasri, who’s been a revelation and key reason for Sevilla’s success, to injury. But I think just about everyone was shocked by the way that both Kranevitter and Ganso (!) stepped up in their absence, and Sevilla’s 4 goal exhibition was as impressive a result as they’ve had this season.


Now, obviously Dinamo and City weren’t equivalent competition. And neither will Sevilla find the going as easy vs. Barca as they did at mid-week. But neither has Barca been invincible of late; . I wouldn’t bet a single penny on a Sevilla victory today, but I’m pretty convinced that Sampaoli’s high press and pace combined with Barca’s tendency to press high and possess deep without always having a sense of what to do will create a wonderful spectacle to watch; this should be a really entertaining match, and I won’t be surprised if it’s one of the highlights of the season.


We’re in for a treat, so let’s all gather here later today to enjoy! Vamos!

Comments 50

  1. Very nice podcast, Chris! I’ve just listened it with the fellow Atlético blogger.

    However for today we need only one thing: further invincibility at the RSP!


    1. what podcast?! i’ve been calling for a podcast for some time now. the only one i see is called “todos al divan” and its like 5yrs old. please post title and link to podcast by chris…

  2. Getting a bit nervous ahead of the match. Anything but 3 points would be unacceptable and a disaster…. LOL! I just hope we do not lose and even 1 point would be a golden one against Barca, as always (or as long as Messi is there).

    I just fear we might get demolished if Messi is in GOD mode, which doesn’t happen rarely.

    After the loss of Atletico (though Villarreal is winning), I’m a bit at ease and we still might fight for top 4 after a defeat tonight, but a win would just be…. no words can describe its importance.

    Let’s see what our heroes will be up for the important match tonight, starting in about 1 and a half hours.

    Don’t know what to say anymore! Surprise us for the good please!


  3. Official lineup, a somewhat 4-2-3-1 which can turn to 4-1-4-1 during the match:


    Mariano – Carrico – Rami – Escudero

    Mudo – N’Zonzi

    Sarabia – Nasri – Vitolo


    Probably the best formation that we have.


    1. Slightly surprising to see Sarabia instead of an extra DM like Iborra (who’s been great against Barca the last couple years) or Kranevitter.

      1. Yeah… it’s quite risky. We’re actually playing with only 1 natural DM/CM, N’Zonzi. Mudo is too attacking minded, but just maybe… Carrico will help the DM part?

        There’s no point in analyzing anything though…. hopefully Messi will have a bad night and with a bit of luck we can at least hold on to a draw… which would still be great considering the current table positions.

  4. Wow, only a couple minutes in and it’s already back and forth with many shots taken.

    Prediction: 3-2 Sevilla with a Nasri goal.

  5. What a horrible goal to concede…. totally undeserved. We literally dominated Barca during the whole first half, and that’s great… but, we had at least 2 100% chances to score after Vitolo’s goal…. it should’ve been 3-0 by now at least. When you don’t score, you concede, the unwritten golden law of football.

    Hopefully we can at least keep a draw in the second half but if we don’t score a goal soon, we might get blown by Messi who is a 1 touch GOD of football!

    We need GOALS! Lucky sob’s Barca…

  6. That goal was a real kick in the teeth. We have dominated Barcelona and made them look poor at times. And to leave Messi unmarked is unforgivable.

    1-1 in a half we could have been leading 2 or 3 -0

  7. Score not reflecting the dominence of Sevilla, the first 38 minutes they were having all the possession and shots on target. Wishing they converted on more attempts but keep playing like this and they will be fine.

    Just one of those Neymar – Messi moments for them to equalize.

    1. It’s all about that… our poor conversion. We are dominating literally every team, and just when we figured out how to make shots on target (after the dreadfulness vs. Juve and Villarreal), now we seem not to be able to score.

      This is because of 2 reasons:

      1) Lack of a clinical striker (target man) who will finish business with ease in the box. In the tough matches, we play only with 1 up front, and Vietto might be a good player in overall, he really is, fights and distributes balls in the flanks, tries to make assists… but he can’t finish to save his life… very very poor finisher. Ben Yedder gets minutes only vs. weaker teams when we play with 2 strikers…. he is the better finisher but in overall lacks out of the box skills.

      2) We don’t shoot much out of the box. A hefty lot of teams score outside the box and we do also… but it’s extremely rare for us. That Sarabia screamer says a lot about shooting from outside the box. We need to train for that more. I mean, it’s not that Mudo didn’t try that for 10-15 times already, and maybe we lack that powerful out of the box shooter, who will score when things get tight, especially in matches like these…. just bam, a goal from nowhere… we need that in our game more!

  8. We can’t do anymore in these matches. We will start winning these games when Messi retires. He’s always the difference

  9. Barcelona are a bunch of cry babies. Absolute sooks that always get everything they want.

    Only 3 minutes added time was a disgrace from the referee. Should have been 6-7 minutes. Messi alone wasted 3 minutes in his boot tantrum.

    Could have been a penalty in the last minute.

    Sick of Barcelonas privlidged child antics. Just shows they were scared and knew they assed their way to the lead and couldnt hold on through skill only.

  10. When Mess retires, and when referees start treating us like an actual big team, which we deserve after the recent success in Europe. Refereeing was shameful, especially in the second half. Pathetic time wasting from Barca from the 80th minute and onward.

    The second goal conceded is definitely on Carrico, but can’t blame any player for this unlucky loss.

    We need to make more of the chances that we create, because as learned through the hard way, against Barca it backfires… add to that Messi and the referees, and it’s a guaranteed loss. I knew this would happen all long when we missed a ton of chances after we scored.

    I would be ashamed to be a Barca fan tonight…. even Messi is time wasting now…. lost a lot of respect for that player.

    Boooo barca!

  11. To put it bluntly, they have Messi, we don’t.

    I agree with y’all saying our end product was lacking. I was a bit disappointed with how we came out in the 2nd half. The boys did show some fight after going down, but it wasn’t enough. Sampaoli’s work is still in progress, and i’m sure we’ll put up a better fight in the return fixture (although we’ll still have a ref cracking under pressure from Barça’s crying fans.)

    I’m glad our fringe players are starting to get more playing time. Sarabia had a decent game, and will probably get more starts. Didn’t get to see the Zagreb match, but i think Ganso may finally be ready to give that ‘regista’ role another go. I was pleased with Vietto’s performance. He’s a good facilitator up there, but again, he needs a partner with him. Sometimes having Mudo there is sufficient, but i think his lack of pace doesn’t make that an efficient pairing. I’m hoping Correa gets it together soon as he can also be employed as a forward, and is a terrific dribbler.

    Now another int’l break, and another chance for our key players to rest. I’ll be itching for my fix of Sevilla football, but we Brazil vs Argentina coming up to appease our appetite in the mean time.

  12. Don’t forget folks, 11th of November, Friday, we have a friendly vs. Boca Juniors, which should be a great opportunity for the ones that don’t get a lot of minutes to prove themselves.

    I’d like to see some Sevilla Atletico players as well…. but I think they will be playing on 12th the next day in Segunda, so not sure if we can get 2-3 players from the B team, it would harm their own match a lot.

    Would like to see this starting formation vs. Boca:


    Mercado – Pareja – Carrico

    Kiyotake – Iborra – Kolo

    Sarabia Correa

    Ben Yedder

  13. Reading a lot of peoples views saying we shouls have been given a penalty right at the end when i think it was Correa pulled back in the box by Macherano.

    So was or wasnt I being a one eyed fan when i screamed penalty at the screen?

    1. It was a clear penalty, but Correa fell too late. If it was Vitolo in that situation, he would know how to get that penalty…. but still, the referees don’t bite on Vitolo’s acting bate, so you never know.

      The referee favored Barca in many decisions, especially in the late part of second half. Also, from 80th minute there was at least a 6-7 minute time wasting from Barca players…. but the stupid referee gave only 3. 3 minutes are given when there are 2 goals, 6 subs and a clean match without stopped time. In tonight’s case there were 3 goals, 6 subs and at least 5 minutes of sopped time from wasting by Messi and co. Scandalous refereeing once again against us!

  14. Exactly right! The extra time was ridiculous and it should have been a penalty!

    We were certainly as good as Barca in this one

    1. The disruption of concentration has begun…. I really hate these rumors and they historically affected our players/coaches. It’s very interesting with Sampaoli… he was first distracted by Argentina NT, now Barca wants to enter the chase? I really doubt we will hold onto Sampaoli for more than 1 season, but let’s see how it goes.

      I think we should enjoy this season more than ever and be thankful that we are living as Sevillistas in this era. I have a feeling that from the end of the current season, next summer, we will be disappointed by losing: Monchi, Sampaoli and a couple of star players. Then without Monchi, we will turn again into the team that finishes in the 9-10th positions as just before the Emery era.

      We don’t have a growing plan and I really admire Atletico for having held on to the great Simeone for long and their key players like: Godin, Gabi, Koke, Griezmann, Filipe Luis etc.

  15. ^ LOL that Neymar gif had me dying! It was an intriguing battle b/w him & Mariano though. I think our man came out victorious against the Santos kid. What did y’all think?

    1. Definitely. He got a silly yellow, but anyway, Mariano got InstaNeymar in his pocket during the whole match. Neymar got lucky with that assist to Messi… but anyone else beside Messi, and that wouldn’t be a goal. I like how Vitolo and Iborra gave all the credit to Messi after the match, kinda like ‘Messi won this for Barca, not Barca’. It’s very scary to think a future without Messi and I’d be afraid to be a Barca fan in 4-5 years from now. Messidependencia will harm Barca immensely. I think that will be the time when RM will win La Liga with ease.

  16. On Sampaoli’s link w/ Barça, i don’t doubt that move interests him. He has admitted in the past that he admires the club, and only signed a 2-yr deal w/ us. I’m sure it’s his ambition to go to a “bigger” club (like the classic Sevilla story.)

    1. Yeah it’s always like that with Sevilla… unfortunately. We are still considered a “trampoline” and run projects in that nature. Still dreaming of the time when we will get serious, hold on to key players for at least 3 seasons and hold on to a manager for at least 4 seasons (Atletico Madrid). This is the recipe to success.

  17. The players called for international teams:

    Vitolo, Escudero (SPAIN), Rami (FRANCE), Kiyotake (JAPAN, very silly of him, should’ve stayed and play vs. Boca to get a grip of a starting role at the club), Mercado (ARGENTINA), Ondoa (CAMEROON, the second Sevilla Atletico goalkeeper).

    Diego Gonzalez (SPAIN U-21), Andrija Vukcevic (MONTENEGRO U-21) / both Sevilla Atletico players.

    1. LOL! Not a fan of GOT, but it’s definitely great marketing for them to be honor guests of Sevilla Fc for that derby match.

  18. I can’t be too disappointed with the result, without Messi we would have won that one.

    Not seen it mentioned anywhere, and I don’t know whether the tv broadcasters caught it but Rakitic received a great standing ovation from the sevilla fans when he left the pitch that he acknowledged.
    I would love to see him back some day.

    1. ooph. thanks chris. not the happiest of birthdays to be honest. but id rather not descend into politics here. annoyed its another international break and therefore cant find distraction in sevilla right now.

    1. Yes, I just looked it up on Sevilla’s Twitter feed. Here is the list as well:
      David Soria, Sirigu, Mariano, Carmona, Kolo, Carriço, Bernardo, Matos, Iborra, Nzonzi, Kranevitter, Ganso, Franco Vázquez, Correa, Sarabia, Borja Lasso, Ben Yedder y Vietto.

  19. Reason Atletico hold on to most of their player is they don’t sell unless they’ve to , compare this to our transfer, were we in debt that made us sell 5-6 players, and that too with this new la liga deal and cl money? Now many will say that Gameiro wanted to leave and blah blah, if club let their players go on their wishes most transfers would be too easy, that’s not how it works. Keeping Gameiro would’ve massively helped us, even beat Barca or any team on our day. with Gameiro we would’ve have easily reached qf, that alone would’ve fetched more money than we got from his sale. Qf appearance with new cl deal is going to be around 50m at least. Problem I see is We’ve projected ourself as a selling club, not even Villarreal sell more than one or two player a season(key player) we can be new Atletico but we’ll have to take certain steps1- build a core of untouchables that are not for sale at any cost, sell one key player for a season and for right value 2- establish ourself as top 4. 3- reaching qf regularly in cl. 4- improve some sponsorship deals, that will certainly come with some success. Atletico’s income was 120m three years back, this year their budget was around 241m €. With new cl and la liga deal we’ll be earning around 160m. Now it’s upto Castro and Co to decide if they want to take a step up and act like a big club, or perpetually remain a club that is happy to sell for whatever bid it gets.

    1. Absolutely agreed. I think we’ve been extremely lucky to have almost entire new teams (buy-sell) each season and still win the EL and not do bad in La Liga. If it wasn’t for Monchi, we would’ve risk relegation.

      Now it’s very understandable that Monchi is tired of all this crap…. we’re tired as well, and everyone else sure is. Just when we think we will make that big step, we make steps backwards, and that is damaging the club a lot.

      No one is buying in the “debt” thing anymore as we’ve balanced the books (admittedly from the management) a couple of seasons ago, so we are alright in that aspect.

      And you’re definitely right Rico about the players will… we all know that a player is better to leave than to play forcefully in a club that they don’t want to…. however, let’s look at some concrete recent examples. Mesa in Las Palmas… held against his will, but he’s doing tremendously well this season, maybe even better than the previous one. Parejo in Valencia, held against his will, still making assists, scoring goals, decisive penalties, captaining the club and it’s not his fault that other Valencia players are crap in overall… he’s doing pretty pretty well, and we all witnessed that scandal where he didn’t even go to training as a protest, he wanted to come to Sevilla, but then went on to apologize for his silly behavior, he dealt with the situation and continuing to contribute for the club.

      Then we have Lewandowski and Borussia Dortmund… held against his will for 1 extra season, he knew that he would be going to Bayern the coming season, but he still kept scoring goals. It’s a professional’s duty, to perform well and respect the contract. If they don’t, it will be their loss, not the club’s. If a player doesn’t play well, he won’t get any bonuses, he won’t get any recognition from other clubs, he won’t play with his NT etc. So it’s all his loss, not the club’s. The club’s duty should be to keep them at all costs… if the likes of Las Palmas can do it…. why can’t we do it? Why do we have to surrender to every player that wants a transfer? This is the mindset of a weak club.

      We should definitely learn from other clubs in this regard, and hopefully, just hopefully try to make that big step (the Atletico step) and become a serious club once and for all.

      We are all tired of this continuous comedy. Now I’ve read we’re being linked with Fabregas as a January transfer. Are we close to making that big step? Only time will tell.

      How things are going, with a quite realistic approach (optimism and pessimism aside), we will lose a couple of key players (as always) in the summer, and seriously risk losing the mastermind Monchi, along with a coach the style of whom we are starting to admire lately, Sampaoli.

      We cannot let things slip out of our hands. I understand the shareholders at the club need to make money and all that… but, it’s about time the club’s and the fans’ interest is prioritized. The fans have invested a lot emotionally for this club, and we all deserve to see this club claim the ‘big club’ name and step it up, for heaven’s sake!

  20. Talking about this match, we lost and it was not solely due to Messiah performance. We made some tactical changes after half time, we changed to 442 and sat back, our pressing was not evident, not every team can shut Barca in 442 like Atleti does, they defend as unit while we don’t and they do it every match religiously. Another reason why we lost was our poor performance in front of goals, we should have been at least 3-0 in first half. Our players, especially Vietto looks confused in box, he over does it, when he has to pass he shoots, when shoots he keeps ball for long or pass. Natural strikers come in to play in such circumstances. I’d like to play Ben Yedder as sole striker. Everyone here is in awe of Messi’s performance, but no one gave a word of love for Our Nzonzi, he was best player on pitch by miles in first half. He can do everything, defend, pass, distribute. It was one of the most complete midfield performance of the season.

  21. Diego Costa wanted to leave as well, now he’s banging goals left and right, players are professionals, if they want to leave, pay release clause or stfu. No one is entitled to leave and everything has a price. Sell a key player for 50-60m a season (and just one) we didn’t need money when we already had enough from sale of Kyrchowiak and others. I’m not asking club to bag titles left and right, I’m far from a glory hunter, being a under dog in life make me appreciate little things. All I want is club to show some seriousness. Selling 4-5 key players per season and hoping for the best is not the way. It has affected our performance in la liga, we haven’t finished top 4 in ages, Europa league success has masked it. Buying Fabregas or say loaning him will be good deal. Nzonzi badly needs a partner in midfield, and please play Vitolo as a winger, we need midfielders in midfield, those who can hold on to ball and distributute, and control pace of the game. I’m very frustrated at Vietto, we’re not getting the goals compared to chances we are creating. If we had Bacca or Gameiro in this system getting same amount of chances, we would’ve been on top.