Barcelona 5-2 Real Betis: Lionel Messi comes off the bench to hit two second half goals after a shaky start by Ronald Koeman’s men at the Nou Camp
- Barcelona ended their winless run in emphatic style with a 5-2 win over Betis
- Lionel Messi started on the bench but scored twice in the second period
- Ousmane Dembele scored, Antoine Griezmann missed a penalty in the first 45
- Real Betis levelled before half-time but Messi scored twice along with Griezmann
- Pedri scored a 90th minute tap-in to seal the result with his first LaLiga goal
Even by not touching the ball he can assist a goal. Even when spending the first half in the stands he can make sure Barcelona win a game. Lionel Messi came off the bench for the second period against Betis to give his team a 5-2 win.
There was a sublime dummy that Antoine Griezmann converted, then came his sixth penalty goal of the season, and then his first from open play. Had Sergio Roberto not been offside when he assisted him he would have taken the match ball home too.
Messi was left kicking his heels in the first half with Ronald Koeman’s number two Alfred Schreuder saying before the match: ‘If someone is not fresh they come off the bench; a lot of games have been played.’
Lionel Messi (right) came off the bench to inspire Barcelona to a 5-2 win over Real Betis
Messi laid on a assist for Antoine Griezmann with a dummy just four minutes after his arrival
Barcelona coped well without him at first. The erratic brilliance of Ousmane Dembele put them ahead. He took a pass from Griezmann cut in from the right and shot past Claudio Bravo.
Dembele was playing so wide on the right that some of his runs were starting off the pitch. There was still the occasional overhit cross but he looked full of threat and confidence.
It should have been 2-0 on 33 minutes when Aissa Mandi was adjudged to have brought down Ansu Fati in the area. He did not complain and, with Messi watching, Griezmann stepped up.
Barcelona manager Ronaldo Koeman started Lionel Messi on the bench in a shock move
Ousmane Dembele (middle) gave Barcelona the lead thanks to an emphatic first-half finish
His shot went to Claudio Bravo’s right and the former Barcelona keeper dived to push it away. Griezmann grimaced and Bravo celebrated against his old club.
Betis had threatened before the goal and the penalty miss with William Cavalho’s header saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
They responded to going behind with Guido Rodriguez’s pass sending Alex Moreno down the left. He crossed and Cristian Tello shot over.
That pattern of attacking was repeated for the equalizer just before the break. Tello, another playing against his old team, was played down the left by Sergio Canales, and his cross was converted by Toni Sanabria,
Antoine Griezmann (far right) should have made it 2-0 but his first-half penalty was…