Barcelona: Pablo Machín ‘woke the giant’ for the second time

SEVILLE, SPAIN - JANUARY 16: Head coach Pablo Machin of Sevilla FC reacts during the Copa del Rey Round of 16 second leg match between Sevilla FC and Athletic Club Bilbao at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on January 16, 2019 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images)
SEVILLE, SPAIN - JANUARY 16: Head coach Pablo Machin of Sevilla FC reacts during the Copa del Rey Round of 16 second leg match between Sevilla FC and Athletic Club Bilbao at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on January 16, 2019 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images) /
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Barcelona beat Pablo Machín’s side comprehensively on the second occasion

Last season, Barcelona took on Girona at home after beating the Catalans 3-0 away. Girona drew first blood very early on, with Portu bagging a goal. But unfortunately for Girona, the scoreline at the end of the match was a decisive 6-1.

Pablo Machín admitted that they had ‘woken the giant’ with the early goal. Now that Machín has been appointed head coach at Sevilla, his fortunes haven’t changed much. This was evident in the second leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-final at the Camp Nou.

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In the first leg at the Sánchez Pizjuán, Sevilla had beaten a second-string Barça side 2-0 to go into the away leg with the upper hand. But at the Camp Nou, Los Nervionsenses faced the wrath of Barcelona. Again, the scoreline ended at 6-1, giving Barça a 6-3 aggregate win.

Machín’s side were effectively pushed aside by Lionel Messi, same as the comprehensive victory against Girona last season. The Argentine maestro was involved in three goals. Luis Suárez also scored and assisted a goal apiece. Coutinho also got on the scoresheet twice.

This is a sign of the resilience of the Barça first-team. Ernesto Valverde’s men never gave up, and continually outplayed Sevilla till the final whistle. All of their chances came via counter-attackers, and seldom were chances created by independent moves.

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Philippe Coutinho regained his confidence, not hesitating to shoot or find the killer ball. The entire midfield also enjoyed a good game, retaining 62% possession for Barça. The squad should be proud of the performance against Sevilla, and it should serve as a threat to all clubs.