Barcelona played out a 1-1 draw with Seville after a close game in which Philippe Coutinho earned a point for the hosts.
The Brazilian cancelled out Luuk de Jong’s opener for Seville in a pulsating match at Camp Nou.
The fate of the match was decided in the opening 10 minutes as it progressed tough with strong defense and targeted shots but second half saw no goals.
In an even second period, Ronald Araujo almost scored an embarrassing own-goal for the home side as a low cross bounced off his leg and struck the crossbar.
Defender Jules Kounde twice headed wide from corners as Sevilla produced an impressive performance, remaining solid until the final whistle to withstand a late rallying by Barcelona.
The Europa League champions with their solid team and improved performance with Koundé defending tremendously well and Rakitić advancing with the front line, showcased promising displays going forward to the season.
However, Barcelona with their improving central defense and constant moves with old guard, Piqué, and the developing relationship with Ansu Fati and Alba are good takeaways for Ronald Koeman.
Alba’s injury paved the way for Sergiño Dest, the versatile youngster to make his debut and become the first ever American player to represent the Blaugaranas.
Messi scrambling to great oppurtunities but resolute defendings.
The entertaining affair for a promising new beginnings ended with a draw.
Barca boss Koeman admitted his side had not been at their best and felt they tired towards the end of the 90 minutes.
“They pressed us really well but we broke it a couple of times, the problem was that on our play with the ball they defended very well and in the end we were tired. We weren’t very accurate and we lost the ball.”
“In the last 10 minutes I don’t know if there was a penalty on Messi and the goalkeeper stopped two or three chances.
“We were less energetic than in the first two games but that depends on the opponents. They defended well, have many strong players and to beat them you have to be on very good form. And we were not.” The Dutch man shared his thoughts on the result.