Messi Helps Barcelona Secure 5-2 Win Against Real Betis

Their third game in the UEFA Champions League, Barcelona faced Real Betis Nov. 7 in Camp Nou. Barcelona Manager Ronald Koeman decided to start Lionel Messi on the bench and experiment with his lineup. Taking Messi’s place on top would be Antoine Griezmann, Dembele, Pedri, and 17-year-old Ansu Fati.

A Strong Start for Blaugrana

Within four minutes of the first half, Barcelona’s forward Ansu Fati took a large touch to the side of the 18-yard box. Making a diagonal pass to Antoine Griezmann, he took his first shot, skimming the right post out of bounce. Real Betis got a chance forward with a corner kick. Afterwards, Sergio Canales crossed to midfielder William Carvalho for a header, but was deflected by Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. After 22 minutes, Griezmann gave a wide pass for Dembélé, scoring Barcelona’s first point of the game. At 38 minutes, Real Betis Alexandre Moreno did a 1-2 pass to Marc Bartra for a shot, but former Barça player missed. At second half overtime, Real Betis cleared possession from Barcelona as Canales dribbled up, giving a short pass to Tello. Tello then crossed to Antonio Sanabria, finishing the half with a tie score of 1-1.

Messi’s Surprise Appearance

Desperate for the win, Koeman decided to put Messi back into the game. At 48 minutes, Messi did a fake between his legs, sending the ball to Griezmann, finishing the goal with a 3-1 lead. Then, at 57 minutes, a hand ball was called in the box against Real Betis. The Referee referred to the VAR and gave Barça a penalty. So Messi stepped up to the plate and hammered the ball into the right high corner of the goal. This gave Barcelona a 3-1 lead. Later, at the 73 minute mark, Moreno dribbled towards the goal and  passed to Loren Morón, who finished the shot and put Barcelona up 3-2.

Messi finished high and strong with a 4-2 lead. With one minute remaining, Barça did not settle. Sergi Roberto ran into space, picking his head up for a cross. Sliding it through the middle, Pedri finished with a clean touch, giving Barcelona their final goal of the match. Barcelona won round three of UEFA Champions League with their 5-2 victory over Real Betis.