Barca 5-2 Betis: Leo Messi is always the solution

Messi came off the bench and hit a brace including his first non pen goal

Leo Messi, abrazado al equipo que le necesita como el agua
Leo Messi, abrazado al equipo que le necesita como el agua | AFP

Barcelona started without Lionel Messi on the pitch but it was the Argentine who finished Betis.

MATCH FACTS

LALIGA SANTANDER

FC BARCELONA

5-2

BETIS

FC BARCELONA

Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba, Busquets (Pjanic, 86'), De Jong, Dembélé (Trincao, 66'), Griezmann (Braithwaite, 78'), Pedri y Ansu Fati (Messi, 46').

BETIS

Bravo, Emerson, Mandi, Bartra, Alex Moreno, William, Guido Rodríguez, Joaquín (Ruibal, 63'), Canales (Rodri, 86'), Tello (Víctor Ruiz, 63') y Sanabria (Loren, 71').

GOLES

1-0, Dembélé (22'). 1-1, Sanabria (48'). 2-1, Griezmann (49'). 3-1, Messi, de penalti (62'). 3-2, Loren (73'). 4-2, Leo Messi (81'). 5-2, Pedri (90').

ÁRBITRO

Cuadra Fernández (balear). T.A.: Ansu (37'), Pedri (41')/Mandi (32'), Alex Moreno (45'). T.R.: Mandi (62').

INCIDENCIAS

Partido correspondiente a la jornada 9 de LaLiga disputado en el Camp Nou sin público. Se guardó un minuto de silencio en recuerdo de Tonny Bruins Slot.

Even without their talisman, the Catalans played well in attack, generally in the first half, and poorly in defence, generally.

They created several openings, including a couple of fine chances for Antoine Griezmann but he whipped two shots wide of the near post when he should have scored.

Ousmane Dembele went one better with the goal that broke the deadlock, coming inside from the right and lashing home with his left foot. A great finish and an example of how good he can be, if fitness allows.

Dembele was on that wing, with Pedri coming in off the left, Griezmann in the hole and Ansu Fati as false nine.

The movement was good but the finishing was bad. Especially from the penalty spot - Ansu Fati was brought down and Griezmann had the chance to grab another but Claudio Bravo saved his penalty.

Enough, said Koeman, and brought on Messi at the break for Ansu Fati.

It did not take long for the Argentine to do what he does best - make magic. Messi stepped over a Jordi Alba cross brilliantly, leaving a simple tap in for the grateful Griezmann.

Barcelona got their third goal when Mandi handled Dembele’s drive on the line and was sent off. This time it was Messi who took the penalty and he put it top right, into the roof of the net. Five pens taken, five scored for him this season.

However Betis weren’t dead yet and Alex Moreno exposed Sergi Roberto at right back before crossing for Loren Moron to finish well.

Sergi Roberto made up for some defensive deficiencies to help Barca extend their lead though, setting up Messi with a back-heel, and the Argentine slammed into the top corner, his first goal from open play of the season.

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