Immersed in their umpteenth crisis, Barcelona supporters needed their team to speak loud and clear where they express themselves best, on the pitch. Said and done. Ronald Koeman's debut on the bench went as planned. Ansu Fati, an assassin with the face of a kid, starred with two goals and also won the penalty which served as Messi's first goal since that burofax. It was a Barça monologue and Villarreal coach Unai Emery left Camp Nou as he usually does, defeated (14 visits, 14 losses) and ground up.
Barcelona fans can breath easier and Jorge Mendes will be rubbing his hands together: Ansu is 17 and is not a gold nugget but a gold mine.
Atletico find happiness
Atletico Madrid enjoyed football caviar from Joao Felix this weekend and then watched in wonder as Luis Suarez stepped on to the Wanda Metropolitano for his debut. Felix led the team, offering a range of passes and dribbles, scoring a great goal and completing one of the best individual performances since he arrived in Spain. Then came the Suarez Show.
In 20 minutes, two predatory goals and a brilliant assist. Diego Costa joked after the game: "We're going to understand each other well. One kicking, the other biting." Atletico supporters are happy: Suarez's dynamite is an unexpected present dropped from above. Some are already asking for Barça president Josep Maria Bartomeu's name to be added to the walkway of legends at the club
The game was a rollercoaster packed with chances. Real Madrid struck first, Real Betis hit back but Zinedine Zidane's side rallied again and Sergio 'Panenka' Ramos was once again decisive.
As was VAR.
For Betis, it served to highlight the argument that VAR favours the big clubs. Madrid were left with the inevitable: 'Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don't.' In reality, with or without VAR, regarding the controversy in the game, the order of factors doesn't alter the product. It's the never-ending story: the aggrieved crying and the beneficiary smiling.