Ronald Araujo impressed as Barcelona came back from behind to hold Sevilla to a 1-1 draw at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in La Liga on Tuesday.
The first half was a tightly contested affair, with chances not coming in plenty for either team, while the heavy rains made it harder for the players to settle into their rhythm. Both Barcelona and Sevilla had a few speculative efforts from a distance early on without really troubling the goalkeepers.
However, just past the 30th-minute mark, the hosts took the lead as Alejandro Gomez turned Ivan Rakitic’s low cross into the back of the net. Barcelona rallied back after the setback and were on level terms on the brink of half-time when Ronald Araujo headed home Ousmane Dembele’s corner.
Things began to get intense in the second half, with heavy chances flying around while both teams pushed and probed to get their noses in front. Just after the hour mark, Barcelona were handed a huge advantage as Jules Kounde was sent off after throwing the ball at an opponent in a moment of madness.
The Catalans tried to make the most of their numerical advantage count but failed to do so, as Gavi sent a header wide while Dembele struck the woodwork with a curling effort. Jordi Alba then had a shot saved deep in stoppage time as Sevilla held off their visitors despite being a man down.
Xavi Hernandez’s men remain seventh in the La Liga table following the outcome, although they did reduce the gap to the top four to two points. Here are our player ratings for the Barcelona stars.
Barcelona Player Ratings
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: 6/10
Making his 300th appearance for the club, the German international did not have a lot to do on the night, with Sevilla not testing him a great deal. Not a lot ter Stegen could have done to stop Gomez’s strike. He did play some neat passes in tight situations under pressure from the hosts.
Ronald Araujo: 8/10
💥 𝗕𝗨𝗟𝗟𝗘𝗧 𝗛𝗘𝗔𝗗𝗘𝗥 💥
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) December 21, 2021
After a sub-par display against Elche last time out, the Uruguayan stepped up big time on Tuesday night. Araujo defended very well against the lively Alejandro Gomez for large parts of the game. Scored a fantastic headed goal to equalise for Barcelona in the first half.
Gerard Pique: 7/10
Back into the side after serving his suspension, the senior defender enjoyed a fairly positive outing. Pique kept things in check at the back for most parts, making several clearances and interceptions while he was also strong in the air. The veteran also played some nice passes forward, even fashioning a couple of chances for his teammates.
Eric Garcia: 6.5/10
Retained in the lineup ahead of Clement Lenglet, the Spaniard was not troubled a great deal defensively on the night and dealt fairly well with Rafa Mir. However, he needed to be more precise with his passing from the back. He was taken off with an injury after a nasty challenge from Mir.
Jordi Alba: 7/10
The veteran defender seems to be growing in his new inverted full-back role. He mixed it up nicely, staying out wide at times and drifting centrally on occasions. He played a few dangerous crosses in and also had a few efforts at goal, one of which was saved in stoppage time. Also, Alba goaded Kounde into his moment of madness leading to the red card.
— 3 At The Back (@3attheback_fc) December 21, 2021
Frenkie de Jong: 6/10
On Tuesday, the Dutchman’s display showed some signs of improvement after a series of sub-par performances. Kept things ticking along nicely in the middle, sprayed passes to spark attacks and even made three key passes. Could have done better with a chance in the first half. Plenty of room for improvement, but headed in the right direction.
Sergio Busquets: 7/10
The Barcelona captain produced yet another solid showing at the base of the midfield, posting impressive numbers as he completed 93% of his passes, including three key passes, while he also made four tackles. He was composed and assured on the ball even when Sevilla tried to pressure him while he did some good work off the ball. Booked, will miss the next match.
The young midfielder was not at his best level on Tuesday night but still had several positive moments. Drove forward when in possession, completing four dribbles and winning fouls in dangerous areas. His passing, at times, was a tad bit sloppy while he even spurned a good chance in the second half, heading wide after getting in between the two Sevilla defenders. Like Busquets, he was booked and will miss the next game due to the accumulation of cards.
Ousmane Dembele: 7.5/10
He posed a huge threat from the right flank as he ran at the Sevilla defence with pace and purpose. Got the assist for Araujo’s equaliser with a good delivery from a corner and never shied away from taking aim at the goal. One such scorcher from a distance in the second half almost won it for Barcelona, but the Frenchman was denied by the woodwork. Encouraging signs.
📊| Ousmane Dembélé vs Sevilla. ⚡
• 1 Assist.
• 68 Touches.
• 25 Passes.
• 3/3 Accurate Long Balls.
• 6 Crosses.
• 5 Chances Created. (Most)
• 4 Key Passes.
• 5 Shots.
• 1 Hit The Woodwork.
• 4/7 Duels Won.
• 1 Dribble.
• 4 Ball Recoveries.
• 3 Fouls Won. pic.twitter.com/GMBGyoxDuU
— Barça Buzz (@Barca_Buzz) December 21, 2021
Ferran Jutgla: 5/10
After experiencing the heady highs of scoring on his full debut last weekend, this was a bit of a leveller for Ferran Jutgla as he struggled to get into the game and influence proceedings. Did not muster up much of a threat in front of goal and was largely restricted to efforts from a distance which hardly troubled the home team.
Ez Abde: 6.5/10
It was a mixed bag of a performance from the in-form forward who had some nice moments going forward but were spoiled by his iffy decision-making. Worked hard off the ball but lost Gomez for Sevilla’s first goal. Booked.
Clement Lenglet: 5/10
Lenglet replaced the injured Garcia with less than 20 minutes left. Did not do much of note.
Nico Gonzalez: 5/10
On for Ferran Jutgla in the 73rd minute. Busy without making an impact.
Luuk de Jong: N/A
The striker replaced Frenkie de Jong with five minutes left.