Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw versus Alaves in the debut of interim coach Sergi Barjuan on Saturday night at the Camp Nou.

Memphis Depay gave the hosts a lead early in the second half, only for Alaves to respond through Luis Rioja and then hang on for the point.

Sergi opted for a starting XI very reminiscent of Ronald Koeman’s final matches in charge, with Sergino Dest at right-winger and Oscar Mingueza in the back.

Eric Garcia had the first chance of the affair with a header that was well-saved by Alaves goalkeeper Sivera, but things took an unfortunate turn when Sergio Aguero limped off with an injury and was replaced by Philippe Coutinho.

Barcelona could not have asked for a better start to the second stanza, as Memphis broke the deadlock by receiving a pass outside the left edge of the area and firing a laser into the right corner of the net for a 1-0 Barcelona lead.

The joy was short-lived though, as Alaves struck right back through Luis Rioja, who polished off a slick one-two with Joselu to pull the Basques even 1-1.

Back came Barcelona and some good work from Memphis and Gavi saw the Dutchman crank a shot off the post.

There were more injury woes for Barcelona when Gerard Pique pulled up lame and was replaced by Clement Lenglet, while the little-used Riqui Puig came on for Gavi. That was followed later by Alejandro Balde and debutant Abde Ezzalzouli for Nico and Mingueza.

No changes though would make any difference as Barcelona tamely tested the Alaves goal and were forced to swallow a dropping of points at home.


Courtesy: MARCA

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