Barcelona 1-0 Sevilla: Player ratings as Sergio Ramos own goal earns win for Barca

An unfortunate own goal from Real Madrid legend Sergio Ramos was enough to earn Barcelona a narrow win over Sevilla on Friday. 

The win sees Barcelona leapfrog Girona and Real Madrid to go top of the La Ligatable, with the aforementioned pair set to face off against one another on Saturday. 

Barcelona’s extremely attacking formation – Xavi Hernandez opted to play a midfield three of Gavi, Ilkay Gundogan and Raphinha (yes, that Raphinha) – almost paid dividends early in the game when surprise central midfielder Raphinha played a sharp pass into the feet of Joao Felix on the left of the penalty area. After controlling the ball, Felix saw a well struck shot saved by Orjan Nyland in the Sevilla goal. 

While Raphinha was proving to be effective in the final third, in the defensive third the Brazilian was clearly less comfortable. Raphinha’s misplaced pass in the defensive third almost cost his side on the quarter of an hour mark, with the poor use of the ball culminating in ex-Barca man Ivan Rakitic cannoning an effort goalward from 20-yards out – an effort that was well saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen. 

In the 21st minute, Barca were next to come close to taking the lead through Felix. The loanee was found brilliantly by a deft through pass from fellow loanee Joao Cancelo but, with just the goalkeeper to beat, could only find the crossbar with his subsequent strike on goal. 

The game continued to to and fro for the remainder of the first half, with Dodi Lubebakio forcing Ter Stegen into a smart save at his near post at one end on the half hour, and Raphinha seeing a volleyed effort from inside be gathered by Nyland in goal. 

That volley would prove to be the last action of the game for Raphinha, who was quickly subbed off due to a suspected muscle injury in the 35th minute. 

After a very even first half, Barca started to take control in the second. The home side started to find more and more ways to get their star striker Robert Lewandowski involved in proceedings, and the striker was denied a goal in the 55th minute via a brilliant last ditch block from the very impressive Juanlu Sanchez. 

Despite having a lot of the ball, the home side largely struggled to force Nyland into any notable work between the sticks and were almost made to rue that fact in the 73rd minute. The chance to make it 1-0 to Sevilla would fall to Rakitic, who rushed to the near post to get his head on a lovely cross from Erik Lamela, however the Croatian was just unable to keep his effort on target. 

That miss from Rakitic proved to be a wake-up call for Barcelona who, about two minutes later, went up the other end and took the lead. 

The goal would come courtesy of Real Madrid legend Sergio Ramos who was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time when Lamine Yamal headed the ball across goal – seeing the ball ricochet off his knee and into his own net as a result. 

It was an extremely unfortunate incident for Ramos, who’d been having an exceptional game up until that point. Wonderkid / Alex Caparros/GettyImages 

GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 6/10 – Made a few notable saves in the first half. 

RB: Joao Cancelo – 7/10 – Barca’s danger man at times in the first half. Not as involved in the second but defended well throughout. 

CB: Jules Kounde – 7/10 – Made a stunning recovery clearance late in the game. He’s one of the best around right now.

CB: Andreas Christensen – 6/10 – A solid outing for the ex-Chelsea man. 

LB: Alejandro Balde – 6/10 – Got forward well, particularly early in the game. 

CM: Raphinha – 6/10 – Played 35 minutes in an unfamiliar role and had his moments before being subbed off with an injury. 

CM: Gavi – 8/10 – The midfielder was basically omnipresent on the tv screen for the 90 minutes. A busy, and strong, performance. 

CM: Ilkay Gundogan – 6/10 – Tidy in a deeper role than he’s used to playing. 

RW: Lamine Yamal – 7/10 – It’s ridiculous how talented he is. Showed that talent in bursts throughout, ultimately assisting Barca’s winning goal. 

ST: Robert Lewandowski – 6/10 – Had a few sighters at the start of the second half but ultimately didn’t find the back of the net on Friday evening. 

LW: Joao Felix – 5/10 – Missed the best chance of the first half, hitting the crossbar when one-on-one with Nyland. 

SUB: Fermin Lopez (35′ for Raphinha) – 7/10 – Provided Barcelona with a real spark in the middle of the park when he was introduced. He nutmegged basically the whole Sevilla team twice over. 

SUB: Ferran Torres (71′ for Felix) – 6/10 – His brilliant cross-field ball counted as the pre-assist for Ramos’ own goal. 

SUB: Oriol Romeu (83′ for Yamal) – N/A. 

Subs not used: Inigo Martinez, Marcos Alonso, Ronald Araujo, Sergi Roberto, Ander Astralaga, Inaki Pena.

Manager – Xavi Hernandez – 6/10 – The midfield trio that Xavi started with was a bit odd, and they looked much more assured when an actual midfielder (Fermin Lopez) was introduced for the injured Raphinha. 

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