- Barcelona were victorious over Real Betis with a five-goal thumping of the visitors
- Lionel Messi came from the bench and inspired the side with two goals
Lionel Messi came from the bench to inspire Barcelona to a comprehensive 5-2 win over Real Betis.
Ronald Koeman decided to start Lionel Messi on the bench for his side’s clash with Betis. Supposedly, the Argentine captain was not “100% fresh”.
But nobody would have suspected that when the superstar come on for the second half to change the game for Barcelona, scoring twice and setting up another as the hosts cruised to a comfortable 5-2 victory.
With the score at 1-1 after Betis had matched Barca blow for blow in the first half, Messi made his entrance and only took four minutes to set up Antoine Griezmann’s goal with a genius dummy.
Thirteen minutes later he scored from the spot after setting up Dembélé’s shot that lead to the penalty.
Ten-man Betis clawed one back to put the score at 3-2 on 73’, but hope of a miracle comeback were quickly dashed when Messi scored again on 83’ after a cute back-heel pass from Sergi Roberto set the captain up for a one-on-one with Betis keeper Bravo, who could only watch the ball sail into the top netting.
Pedri tapped in a fifth Barcelona goal on the stroke of 90 thanks to a superb cross-the-box pass from Sergi Roberto that caught all of Betis’ defenders out.
The victory was Barcelona’s first in the league at home in over a month after they lost and drew their previous two Camp Nou league fixtures. The last time that happened was in 2003.
But that two-game winless home streak comes to an end as Koeman’s men move up to eighth.