This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
When Barcelona and Sevilla meet, excitement is guaranteed and their latest clash at the weekend was no exception to that rule.
The Catalan giants dismantled the Andalusians and eased to a 4-0 victory on the night.
But as dominant and impressive as that triumph may seem at first, it is actually far from the real picture. Sevilla were not as helpless and as submissive as the result may indicate at first – seeing how they tallied more shots than their hosts – but their opponents were simply far more clinical in front of goal.
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Still, despite hiccups here and there, Ernesto Valverde should be happy with the win and with a couple of exceptional performances from some of his players.
One such ace who was in top form last Sunday is definitely Nelson Semedo, the 25-year-old right-back.
But interestingly enough, with the absence of both Jordi Alba and Junior Firpo in the lineup, Semedo was actually deployed as the team’s left-back on the night, and despite venturing into uncharted territory, the Portuguese mustered a brilliant display.
Not only did Semedo assist Luis Suarez’s opener but he also tallied one key pass, 89.8% passing accuracy and two accurate crosses to his name in the process.
And despite playing on the opposite side of the pitch, he didn’t allow any defensive blips either.
The 25-year-old recorded four tackles, the second-highest in the team, and two clearances, dealing with any and all threats coming down Sevilla’s right flank.
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By all accounts, Semedo was an influential presence going both ways and that achievement is amplified even further with the fact that he was deployed in a position that’s largely unknown to him.
And the best thing is, he tallied a similarly impressive display at left-back just days prior to the Sevilla clash when Barcelona welcomed Inter Milan to the Camp Nou.
That night, Semedo had a similar effect with two shots, one key pass and two tackles to his name.
Valverde put some trust in him in the absence of some of his key players and the young Portuguese returned the favour.