Former Real Madrid midfielder Sergio Canales scored the decisive goal as Real Betis beat Barcelona in a dramatic 4-3 thriller.
Nothing was as it usually is at the Camp Nou. With Barcelona conceding four, 37-year-old Joaquin scoring one of them, the usually impeccable Marc Andre ter Stegen allowing another to sail through his hands and Ivan Rakitic being shown a red card – it was a rare old afternoon and Betis deserved to take the spoils.
Lionel Messi was back in the team after his three weeks out with an arm fracture. Malcom kept his place in the side after his first goal for the team in midweek. He was also benefiting from Ousmane Dembele’s absence for disciplinary reasons after failing to show for training in midweek.
MATCH FACTS AND STATS
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Rakitic, Busquets (Alena 69), Arthur (Vidal 46), Messi, Suarez, Malcom (Munir 56).
Subs not used: Semedo, Suarez, Cillessen, Umtiti.
Goals: Messi 68 & 90+2, Vidal 79
Bookings: Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal
Sent off: Rakitic
Real Betis: Lopez, Mandi, Bartra, Sidnei, Tello, Guardado, Carvalho, Firpo, Lo Celso (Inui 87), Moron (Leon 76), Joaquin (Canales 61).
Subs not used: Robles, Feddal, Sanabria, Barragan.
Goals: Firpo 20, Joaquin 34, Lo Celso 71, Canales 83
Bookings: Guardado, Mandi
Sent off: None
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
Malcom linked up well with Messi in Barcelona’s first attack, getting in behind Junior and crossing for the Argentine to shoot wide.
The game was incredibly open from the off with both teams stretching the pitch and Betis used the entire length of it to score their first on 19 minutes.
They built their goal from a Messi corner. Andres Guardado passed to William Carvalho and he played the pass of the game inside Sergi Roberto for Junior to run on to.
Roberto got back in front of the Betis wing-back but could not stop him surprising Ter Stegen with a shot that beat him at his near post. The German keeper was spotted on the Barcelona underground in midweek using public transport – this was mind the gap stuff. The gap at his near post and gaping one down Barcelona’s right where Sergi Roberto was left at Junior’s mercy.