A fantastically open game saw chances at both ends even before five minutes were on the clock. Each time Barça pressed in the opening stages of the game, Sevilla ensured appropriate numbers were back to take the sting out of their attacks, whilst the hosts kept the Andalusians at arms length.
Marc-André ter Stegen, on his 200th appearance for the club, was called into action on 11 minutes, and produced a superb save from his former Borussia Mönchengladbach colleague, Luuk de Jong, to keep things goalless.
As both teams continued on the front foot, gaps began to appear, particularly at set pieces, with Gerard Piqué and de Jong again going close. A third de Jong miss before the half hour was always going to be punished. And how! Luis Suárez connected with an immaculate overhead kick to put the blaugrana 1-0 up on 27.
As the hosts turned up the pressure, a second goal wasn’t long in coming. A wonderful pass from Arthur found Arturo Vidal unmarked in the middle of the box to slide home, and just a few minutes later Ousmane Dembélé’s incisive run gave him the time and space to fire in a third.
To their credit, Sevilla still attempted to take the game to their opponents in the hope of getting back into the game before half-time.
De Jong was out of luck again early in the second half, hitting the post on 48. Leo Messi, at that point yet to open his La Liga account, went on a typical run just before the hour, and as the space opened up in front of him, he fizzed a shot goal wards, only to see Tomáš Vaclík’s outstretched palm turn the ball around the post.
With much of the play taking place in midfield thereafter, goalmouth action was sporadic. However, the play from both teams was still of the highest quality.
Barça B’s Ronald Araujo came on in the final 20 minutes to make his first-team debut, replacing Jean-Clair Todibo who’d stayed down after a challenge.
With 12 minutes left to play, Messi lined up his third direct free-kick of the game. A perfectly executed effort saw him finally grab his first goal of the season. Incredibly, it was also his 37th in all competitions against the Andalusians.
In the final few minutes, Araujo was handed a red card by referee Mateu Lahoz, and Dembélé’s second yellow in the melee that followed saw him follow the debutant for an early bath. A sour end to a great game.