Real Betis 2-3 Barcelona: Lionel Messi and Trincao save the day

Messi, Trincao and Pedri were impressive off the bench as Barca won a thriller in Andalusia

German Bona

Another game, another thriller, another reminder of Leo Messi’s importance, and Francisco Trincao’s first goal.

The winger, signed from Braga, netted brilliantly in the 87th minute to earn Ronald Koeman’s side the three points.

He has come close before, including hitting the bar against Granda in the Copa del Rey, but this was a special moment for him and Barcelona.

It kept them in form, having won six in a row in La Liga, now seven points behind Atletico, although the Madrid side have played two fewer games.

The comeback was sparked by Leo Messi and Pedri, though.

Barcelona went in 1-0 down after a bad first half, with Emerson setting up Borja Iglesias for the opener shortly before the break.

Koeman picked a side with an eye on the Copa del Rey semi against Sevilla in midweek, and that meant Messi, Pedri and De Jong were on the bench.

However the latter came on early to replace Ronald Araujo, who suffered an ankle injury.

Pedri came on at half-time and Barca sparked into life, getting their goal in the 57th minute, just over two after Messi came on. He scored it.

Ousmane Dembele fed him and he drilled home at the near post, catching out Joel Robles.

Then he played a brilliant pass for Alba, who crossed for Griezmann for the second. Antoine didn’t score it. He missed, badly, but the ball bounced in off Victor Ruiz.

The Betis defender made amends by heading in the equaliser, leaving Barca looking set to drop two points until Trincao curled home brilliantly from distance to win it.

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