La Liga

Barcelona 1-0 Sevilla: Player ratings as sumptuous Pedri strike sends Barça second

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Pedri scored the winner
Pedri scored the winner / David Ramos/GettyImages
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Barcelona leapfrogged Sevilla into second place in La Liga with Pedri scoring a fine second half goal to secure a 1-0 victory for Xavi's side at the Camp Nou.

The hosts started the game strongly and Frenkie de Jong nearly opened the scoring when he met Ousmane's Dembele cross early on, only for his header to sail over the bar.

Barcelona continued to dominate as the first half wore on, but they escaped a penalty scare when Anthony Martial's cross struck Ronald Aruajo's arm in the box. Fortunately for La Blaugrana, the referee was not interested.

Pedri and Ferran Torres then failed to take half-chances, with Sevilla enjoying their fair share of possession without carving out any meaningful openings.

The home side's best chance of the opening period came on the stroke of half-time. An error from their opponents allowed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a clear sight at goal, and he drew a good save out of Bono.

Sevilla finally forced Marc-Andre ter Stegen into a save early in the second half, with Erik Lamela's low drive being saved low by the German after some suspect Barça defending.

Just after the hour mark Torres stung Bono's palms with a first-time strike after excellent wing-play from Dembele. Minutes later, the former Manchester City man missed an even better chance, placing his shot from inside the box over the bar.

The excitement kept on coming in the second half too, with former Barça man Ivan Rakitic's free kick kissing the top of the net on its way into the stands and Gerard Pique striking the woodwork with a header.

Eventually Barcelona's pressure paid off with Pedri opening the scoring with a spectacular goal in the 72nd minute. The starlet controlled Dembele's cross on the edge of the box, sat down two Sevilla defenders with some clever footwork and then picked his spot in the bottom corner.

Dembele continued to wreak havoc and nearly set up another goal by crossing to Torres, whose towering header was scrambled away by Bono.

Sevilla kept plugging away until the end and Ludwig Augustinsson thought he had grabbed an equaliser in stoppage time, only to be find himself denied by a flying Ter Stegen, who moments earlier had flapped at a cross.

After surviving this late scare, Barcelona managed to hold on to secure a hugely impressive victory that makes them favourites to claim the runners-up spot in Spain this season.

Barcelona player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Dani Alves
Alves was facing his former club / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) - 6/10 - A spectator in the first half but did have to make a few saves after the break. Recovered well after failing to deal with a cross late on.

Dani Alves (RB) - 7/10 - Continues to prove his signing was not a sentimental one. He was nearly flawless defensively and still has the legs to support the attack. Unfortunately forced off early in the second period with an injury.

Ronald Araujo (CB) - 7/10 - Played 180 minutes over the international break but did not look tired, snuffing out the danger regularly.

Gerard Pique (CB) - 7/10 - Has improved so much in recent months and this trend continued. Was pretty imperious at the back and hit the woodwork from a corner. Committed a cynical but effective foul to prevent Sevilla breaking at the death.

Jordi Alba (LB) - 7/10 - Did well defensively and was vital in helping Barcelona build things up down the left.

2. Midfielders

Pedri
Another great night for Pedri / Eric Alonso/GettyImages

Frenkie de Jong (CM) - 6/10 - Missed a decent headed chance early on. Was extraordinarily tidy in possession, not misplacing a single pass.

Sergio Busquets (CM) - 6/10 - Shook off a knock to provide Barcelona was his typically composed passing.

Pedri (CM) - 8/10 - Glided through the Sevilla ranks at times, often riding some physical challenges. His goal was so, so, so good as well.

3. Forwards

Ferran Torres
Torres will be disappointed not to have scored / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Ousmane Dembele (RW) - 8/10 - Was being jeered by supporters just a few weeks ago, now he's undroppable. He had another impressive night, being afforded plenty of space to work down the right. Always looked to make something happen.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST) - 5/10 - Had Barcelona's best chance of the first half and could not convert. Things just did not break for him.

Ferran Torres (LW) - 5/10 - Picked up some dangerous positions and was heavily involved, but his finishing needed to be better.

4. Substitutes

Gavi (CM) - 6/10

Memphis Depay (ST) - N/A

Nico (RW) - N/A


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