Barcelona – Sevilla: Barcelona’s Forwards Are Still LaLiga’s Efficiency Kings (4-0)
It took a while due to Messi’s injuries, but the monster triumvirate of Ter Stegen, Luis Suárez and Leo Messi - who have ruled LaLiga with an iron fist for the last two years - finally got to play a full 90 minutes together this league season. And the results should terrify everyone else in the league, because the trio are back in full force. Barça bulldozed Sevilla in a match where the scoreline had absolutely nothing to do with the actual run of play.
Tactical analysis and match report by José Pérez.
Ernesto Valverde must still solve the key tactical conundrums of Barça 2019/20: what his midfield structure looks like and how to best accompany Messi and Suárez. Against Sevilla, Valverde tried the same lineup changes that gave him good results in their Champions League game against Inter.
Valverde started Arturo Vidal instead of veteran mainstay Sergio Busquets, forming a midfield trio wherein Frenkie de Jong would play the holding role, while Arthur Melo and Vidal would play as left and right interior midfielders, respective. Up front, Ousmane Dembelé, having also overcome his injury setbacks, started instead of Antoine Griezmann, alongside the usual Messi – Suárez duo.
The Sevilla of Julen Lopetegui, on the other hand, already have a well-defined structure and plan with a 4-3-3 shape that aims to dominate opponents through possession and pressing. Their strong pressing game has allowed them to concede few shots per game and establish themselves as . . .