MESSI SEV

Sevilla stops Lionel Messi from scoring 700th career goal, holds Barcelona to goalless draw

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La Liga leaders, Barcelona couldn’t get a third straight win from the restart of the league after being held in a goalless affair by Sevilla at the Sanchez Pijzuan Stadium on Friday night.

The draw has left the title race wide open with eight games remaining. If Real Madrid wins their next match against Real Sociedad on Sunday, they will level on points with Barcelona. The Galacticos had on Thursday night hammered Valencia 3-0.

But what remains to be seen is how they are going to go past hardworking Real Sociedad team which has shunned out good performance this season before the coronavirus-enforced break.

Sevilla defense was disciplined this time around, causing Barca a lot of frustration throughout the game. Lionel Messi would have scored in the third straight game, but his effort skimmed the bar in the first half.

Sevilla also hit the bar through Lucas Ocampos’ effort before the break.

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How Sevilla stopped Barcelona from scoring

To stop the visitors from scoring, Sevilla played with almost a five-person defense and sat deep. This proved to be effective.  Barcelona saw lots of the ball but couldn’t create many clear-cut opportunities.

Apart from Messi’s free-kick being the closest Barca came to scoring, Luis Suarez’s first-time strike almost sneaked in minutes before full-time.

Lionel Messi

Sevilla defense frustrates Lionel Messi.

Sevilla, on the other hand, also showed their attacking prowess, with Ocampos and Munir El Haddadi forcing two smart saves from Ter Stegen from close range in the first half.

Antoine Griezmann, who was a 76th-minute substitute, attempted to find a winner but couldn’t make an impact.

Sevilla had their opportunity to break Barca’s heart in stoppage time through on-loan Real Madrid defender Sergio Reguilon. The defender, however, failed to convert the great chance for the hosts when he hit the ball straight at Ter Stegen after it fell kindly for him in an unmarked position in the box.

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Next on the plate of the Blaugrana is  Athletic Bilbao on Tuesday, 23 June. Messi could get his 700 career goals in the game.

It could be recalled that Barca suffered a loss in their last encounter through the last scissors kick of Aritz Aduriz.

 

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