Barcelona Destroy Real Betis At Camp Nou As Messi Scores Brace
Barcelona crushed Real Betis at Camp Nou as Messi scored his first brace of La Liga.
Barcelona got a great start to their season but as the season progressed, they went on to pick up only 2 points from their past 4 matches. They tied against Sevilla and Alaves and lost against Getafe and Real Madrid (El Clasico). However, they have been in excellent form in the UEFA Champions League. They have won all their matches till now, even against Juventus. As a result, they are on the top of their table. But, in La Liga, they were in the 12th position on the Spanish league’s points table. So, now it was their team to rise up the ranks. Before entering into international break, they could get a good win to increase the team’s morale. As a result, they came all prepared and determined to get those 3 points from a victory.
Match Summary: FC Barcelona vs Real Betis:
The teams were all set as Barcelona was hosting the match at their home ground i.e. Camp Nou. Koeman had decided to rest Messi for this match as he named the starting 11. Griezmann, Dembele, Fati, and Pedri were starting the game as forwards. De Jong and Busquets were in the midfield, Pique, Lenglet, Roberto, and Alba at the defense with Ter Stegen on the goal line. It was going to be an interesting fixture as for the first time in this season, Messi was not starting for Barcelona. The match began as Real Betis kicked off. Barcelona were playing a high-pressure game as they looked thirst for an early goal. They got many attempts but were not able to convert any of those chances.
Real Betis, on the other hand, was also applying a lot of pressure on Barcelona as they were creating good chances. However, even they were not able to find the back of the net. In the 8th minute, Carvalho took a brilliant header on the goal but was denied by the Catalan goalkeeper, Ter Stegen. The match continued as both the teams were looking for a goal. Finally, in the 22nd minute, Dembele scored a stunner to put Barcelona in lead. He faked a shot from his right and then smashed it past the Betis keeper Bravo with his left foot. Barcelona had a chance to score another goal in the 33rd minute when Griezmann failed to convert a penalty. However, just before halftime, in the 47th minute, Antonio Sanabria scored the equalizer for Real Betis. Canales passed the ball to Telles who dashed from the left flank. He crossed the ball into the box which found Sanabria who put the ball past Ter Stegen.
The score at halftime was 1-1 and Barcelona needed a win from this match if they wanted to stay alive in the competition. So, Koeman brought in Messi as a substitute for Ansu Fati. Just 4 minutes after the Argentinian’s arrival, Barcelona scored their second goal. Alba crossed in a good ball to Messi who took a dummy to attract the Betis goalkeeper and defender thereby opening up the entire goal for Griezmann. The latter scored a simple tap in as he went to celebrate the goal with Messi. Barcelona were completely dominating Real Betis now. In the 58th minute, Messi set up Dembele after pulling the Betis defender and goalkeeper once again towards himself. Dembele then smashed the ball into the net but Aissa Mandi blocked the ball with his hand. As a result, Barcelona were awarded another penalty. Messi took the penalty and made no mistake as put Barcelona in a 2-goal lead.
Mandi also got his second yellow of the game for blocking Dembele’s shot. So, he was given a red card and Betis were down to 10 men. Even then, Betis managed to score another goal in the 73rd minute as Moreno rushed past the Barcelona defenders from the left flank and assisted a tap-in goal for Moron Garcia. Then, in the 82nd minute, Messi went on to score another goal as Roberto set him up one on one with Bravo. However, even then Barcelona did not stop. They kept on pressing Real Betis in the search of more goals and in the 90th minute, they did manage to get another one. Roberto crossed in a ball for Braithwaite who missed it but Pedri went on to score the 5th goal for the Blaugranas.
Important points to learn from the game:
Barcelona had totally crushed Real Betis in their last game before the international break. They had put 5 goals past the away team. This must have surely given a boost to their morale. Messi coming from the bench had proven to be a miracle for Barcelona as the 33-year old scored 2 goals. He had finally found his scoring form which the fans and the team were missing since the start of the season. Messi’s teammates like Roberto and Alba even went on to state in the post-match interview that they knew Messi would soon find his scoring form. Messi’s second goal was his first open goal play of the 2020/21 season.
Talking about the negatives, Barcelona still needs to work on their defense if they want to compete in the highest level of the European league. On the other hand, Ansu Fati has got injured and it seems like his injury is serious. There are also rumors that he might miss a month or two due to that for the Blaugranas. Anyhow, the team was happy to head into the international break with a huge win as they moved up to the 8th position on the points table. Now, after the break is over, they’ll be preparing to take a trip to Madrid as they are going to face their former striker Luis Suarez’s team Atletico Madrid.