FC Barcelona visited Real Betis this evening. It was a must win match in order to keep pace with league leaders Read Madrid. Setien made a few changes to the lineup but stuck with the same 4-3-3 formation. Since Pique is out suspended, Setien slotted in Umtiti to fill the gap in the back line. Junior Firpo also received the nod to start as Jordi Alba was rested. In the middle, Vidal found his way back into the starting lineup, playing next to De Jong and Busquets. Sergi Roberto, Griezmann and Messi completed the starting eleven.
Barcelona once again began on the back foot as VAR determined the ball struck Lenglet on the arm in the 6th minute of the match. VAR rewarded Betis with a penalty kick which Cánales scored to make it 1-0 for the home side. It only took three minutes for Barcelona to respond. Messi’s delicately chipped pass found a surging De Jong in his stride. And the young Dutchman controlled the ball with his chest and smashed it into the net.
Fekir once again struck against Barcelona in similar fashion as he did in the match earlier this season and gave the home side the lead once again. Barcelona was able to level the match at the stroke of halftime as Messi once again crossed the ball into the area and Busquets was able to control it and slot it into the back of the net.
The second half saw more of the same intensity from the first half. Both teams had chances to score, but it was Barcelona that found the breakthrough from another perfectly weighed cross from you guessed it, Lionel Messi.
This time it was Lenglet that was able to get his head on the ball. He was able to redirect it towards the goalkeepers opposite post and into the goal. Unfortunately, minutes later Lenglet received his second yellow card of the match and Barcelona had to finish the match with ten men. Fortunately, Fekir had already received a red card and the match ended in a 3-2 Barcelona away win.
Though it was not the best match we’ve seen from Barcelona. However the intensity they showed to come back twice today and get a vital three points. It will be a huge emotional boost for the club. On any other day Messi would have capitalized on the chances he had and this match would not have been as close as it was. On the other hand, Greizmann had one of the worst matches ever in a Barcelona jersey. The Frenchman will look to regroup himself as FC Barcelona will head home to face Getafe next Saturday.