Barcelona held Sevilla to a 1-1 draw at home on Tuesday, with the hosts finishing with ten men after defender Jules Kounde was sent off for throwing the ball into an opponent’s face.
Sevilla took the lead in the 32nd minute when Papu Gómez scored as rain fell steadily on the Sánchez Pijuán field.Just before halftime, Ronald Arajo headed in Ousmane Dembele’s corner kick to level the score for Barcelona.
The game was tied in the 64th minute when Kounde, who was linked with a move to Chelsea last summer, lost his cool.
Kounde snatched the ball and threw it into Barcelona defender Jordi Alba’s face from close range after Alba had twice shoved him in the back while disputing a ball going out of bounds.
He received a red card without hesitation from the referee.”After the sending off, it was all uphill,” Gómez added.
“I’m sure (Kounde) is frustrated and upset. You feel terrible when you make a mistake like that. He’ll examine what he did and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”
With an additional man, Barcelona extended its control, and Sevilla was only rescued by the woodwork when Dembele curled a shot off the far post with six minutes remaining.
Sevilla fell five points behind Real Madrid, which travels to Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday in a match that will be played with numerous players from both clubs missing due to coronavirus infections.
Barcelona stayed in seventh place, two points behind fourth place and a place in the Champions League.”I leave feeling proud of my team because the team is competing and progressing,”
Barcelona coach Xavi Hernández remarked.”However, we are dissatisfied with the outcome. Today was the day to win and go to the Champions League.”
The goals came from well-executed corner kicks as both defenses held the assaults in open play.
Gómez evaded his mark by curling from the far post back to the center of the area, where he took a single touch to drive Ivan Rakitic’s pass through the packed area and into the net’s corner.
Dembele’s persistent attempts to dribble free on the right flank were similarly kept in check by Gómez, an offensive midfielder.
Dembele, on the other hand, switched roles to assist in the equalizer seconds before halftime. With a slicing header, Arajo outjumped Fernando to put Dembele’s corner kick into the far corner.
After Kounde was sent off, Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri came on as a replacement after missing ten games due to a muscular injury. Xavi put his faith in Barcelona’s young players once more.
He started the game with Ferran Jutlgà as striker and concluded it with 17-year-old Gavi Páez as a “false nine” because both Memphis Depay and Ansu Fati were injured.
Gavi came within inches of snatching a winner with a header that went just wide.Villarreal defeated Alavés 5-2 thanks to braces from Gerard Moreno and Boulaye Dia. Moreno’s first goal, which opened the scoring, was the culmination of an excellent team setup.
With goals from Pere Pons and Joselu Mato, Alavés drew level at 2-2, but Dia, Yeremy Pino, and Moreno converted it into a thrashing.