Setién already in question: after two convincing successes, the leader FC Barcelona was braked this Friday in Seville 0-0 for the 30th day of Liga, a misstep sufficient to put his coach Quique Setién in the eye of the storm.
After two victories, 4-0 in Mallorca on match day 28 and 2-0 against the Leganés red lantern on Tuesday, the leader Barça was hooked in third place and thus leaves an opportunity for his great rival Real Madrid, who moves Sunday evening (20:00 GMT) to another candidate for Europe, the attractive Real Sociedad, to return to its height at the head of the championship.
We left Barça in early March, when it had just returned to first place after their 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad at Camp Nou. Three months of forced break by the pandemic passed and Barça by Lionel Messi returned to the field last Saturday in Mallorca.
But what Barça? The one who had totaled 1,005 assists (a record since 2011, at the time of Pep Guardiola) in the first match of Setién on the Catalan bench on January 19 against Granada (1-0)? Or that of the first half of the season, as soporific as ineffective, under the leadership of Valverde?
- The spectrum of Valverde -
Despite Barça's two great victories since his return, with six goals scored in two matches, it didn't take a week for Quique Setién to find himself in the eye of the storm again.
After the shy 2-0 against the Liga red lantern on Tuesday evening, critics flourished in the Spanish press, calling Barça's game boring.
A bigger criticism than it seems, despite the convincing results, given that Ernesto Valverde had been sacked on January 11 after having been specifically accused of destroying the DNA of Barça with his game based on conservation. .. and had been replaced by Quique Setién, known for the beautiful game played by his teams.
And a renewable reproach after the timidity displayed by the Blaugranas on Friday in Seville.
Lionel Messi, surprisingly imprecise, will still have to wait to reach the bar of 700 career goals scored.
And Luis Suarez, holder for the first time 162 days after his injury during the semi-final defeat of the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia against Atlético Madrid and his right knee operation on January 12, did not was as sharp as usual.
- The nice shot of Seville -
Despite the rather favorable calendar that awaits it in the last eight matches of the season (only one meeting against a top 6 La Liga team, against Atlético Madrid, 33rd day), Barça will have to do much better than that to hope to keep Real Madrid at a respectable distance in the standings.
For Sevilla FC, on the other hand, this draw is rather beneficial: the men of Julen Lopetegui, more than ever third in Liga behind the untouchable tandem Barça - Real Madrid, confirm their ambitions for the Champions League.
Like the French defender and former Girondist Jules Koundé, who muzzled Luis Suarez in a lucid and very effective way, the Andalusians have shown the respondent against this silent Barça. Diego Carlos even replied physically to an anger from Messi, in the 43rd, causing a general scuffle.
The Sevillians also put goalkeeper Marc-André Ter Stegen twice (55th and 56th), but he remained solid, blow after blow, against the strikes of the ex-Marseillais Lucas Ocampos and Munir El Haddadi.
Seville thus stands out in the race for the best European competition, with provisionally five points ahead of the first non-qualifying teams for the C1: Getafe, Real Sociedad and Villarreal are all at 47 points.
Results of the 30th day of the Spanish Football Championship:
Granada - Villarreal 0 - 1
Mallorca - Leganés 1 - 1
Seville - Barcelona 0 - 0
(12:00 GMT) Espanyol Barcelona - Levante
(15:00 GMT) Athletic Bilbao - Betis Seville
(5.30 p.m. GMT) Getafe - Eibar
(8:00 p.m. GMT) Atlético Madrid - Valladolid
(12:00 GMT) Celta Vigo - Alavés
(5.30 p.m. GMT) Valence CF - Osasuna
(20:00 GMT) Real Sociedad - Real Madrid
© 2020 AFP