Match Report: Barcelona 1-0 Sevilla: Pedri strike sends Barca second in LaLiga

Pedri scores for Barcelona against Sevilla at Camp Nou
Pedri scores for Barcelona against Sevilla at Camp Nou

Barcelona moved up to second in LaLiga as Pedri’s strike secured a 1-0 win against Sevilla at Camp Nou on Sunday.

The goal from Pedri was a well-taken effort with just under 20 minutes to go and proved enough to seal the points for Xavi’s side.

Sevilla defended well for large parts but offered little going the other way as Julen Lopetegui saw his team slip to fourth place.

The result also means Real Madrid end the weekend with a 12-point lead at the top of the table after their win at Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Barca started the stronger of the two sides, with Ferran Torres and Frenkie de Jong going close in the opening minutes, but the first save of merit did not arrive until first-half stoppage time when Yassine Bounou palmed away an effort from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after a neat ball from Ousmane Dembele.

Sevilla showed more intent in the second half and had their first shot on target when Erik Lamela was unable to beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The hosts did not have a shot in the second period until just after the hour, with Torres forcing Bounou to tip over from a Dembele pull-back, while Gerard Pique struck the crossbar with a header from a corner soon after.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 72nd minute when Dembele set up Pedri on the edge of the box, with the teenager delightfully working the ball onto his right foot before drilling a shot past the despairing dive of Bounou.

What does it mean? Barca show credentials again

It is not typically a wild assertion to suggest Barcelona are among the two best teams in Spain, but if you had proposed they would be in this position just a couple of months ago, you may have been looked at with quizzical eyebrows.

If the 4-0 Clasico thrashing of Madrid last time out was a statement of intent, this merely supported the theory that fast-improving Barca are more than a promising side, they have substance to them.

Up against the best defence in LaLiga, the Blaugrana did not create a high number of big chances (many of their 19 shots were speculative), but they wore their opponents down and when Pedri’s goal came, it had been on the way.

Pedri’s star shines bright

As easy as it is to get carried away by young players at Barca, Pedri keeps convincing that he will be a star of the future, and in truth, is already a star of the present.

His goal was top quality, but his overall performance was equally impressive, making a team-high two interceptions and four tackles as well as winning two fouls himself.

Lack of bite from Sevilla

It will be a gutting feeling for Sevilla, with this putting an end to a 15-game unbeaten run in the league.

While they defended as well as they often do, Lopetegui’s men offered little in attack, having just one shot in the first half and rarely testing Ter Stegen even after falling behind.

What’s next?

Barcelona travel to Germany to play Eintracht Frankfurt in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday before returning to LaLiga action at Levante next Sunday. Sevilla host Granada in league action on Friday.

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