Thursday , July 29 2021

Barcelona loses before Real Betis in the return of Messi, Real Madrid obtains the fourth consecutive victory

The return of the injury of Lionel Messi was not ideal, although the Argentine found twice the back of the network for Barcelona, ​​Real Betis shocked the leaders of the League, surpassing them in their own game of possession of soccer.

It was a game of pendulum on Sunday night when Real Betis took 2-0 to Barcelona. Then Messi scored a penalty to make it 2-1 but shortly after Betis turned it 3-1.

Arturo Vidal scored to reduce the gap by 2-3 but Betis went back to 4-2. Messi scored again in the break but it was not enough because Barcelona fell 4-3 at the Camp Nou.

On the other hand, Real Madrid continued their winning career under the new coach Santiago Solari, registering a 4-2 victory at the Celta de Vigo to move to four points in Barcelona.

It is a close battle of the League this year with Barcelona surpassing the table with 24 points. Sevilla, Atlético de Madrid and Alavés occupy the second, third and fourth places, respectively, with 23 points. Espanyol is fifth with 21 points while Real Madrid is the sixth with 20 points in his kitty.

Real Betis started the game in the 14th place but produced an irresistible performance by becoming the first team to win at Barça's home in any competition since 2016 and the first to score four goals in 15 years.

The defeat of Barça, in the hands of a team that lost three of its four previous leagues, was aggravated by the take-off of his midfielder Ivan Rakitic at 81 minutes.

Betis, Junior's players now seemed to think the job was done and acted more defensively, just waiting for the ref to blow the final whistle.

Captain Joaquín doubled his lead in 35 after another adventure by the Junior team.

Messi, again in action after an absence of three weeks with a broken arm, led Barça back to the game making a penalty halfway through the second half.

However, Betis recovered his two-goal crash through Giovani Lo Celso with the help of a misguided error by goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who was usually reliable at Barça, who fired the goal.

Arturo Vidal reacted quickly with a goal from the other side but Barça suddenly lost 10 men when Croatian midfielder Rakitic was fired for a second booking.

The former player of Real Madrid, Sergio Canales, soon converted 4-2 to Betis, sliding into the ground to call a Junior electric pass.

Messi scored from the end in the stop, but Betis waited for the victory of the first championship at the Camp Nou since 1998.

"We enjoyed this victory and the joy and satisfaction they gave to Betis fans who follow their team every day, winning here and scoring four goals is something that they will never forget," coach Betis Quique Setien said.

"When you live here, you always expect to suffer but we knew if we were character and we saw the stress that we could play well and have the ball, and Barça is a team that suffers without a ball and struggles to recover it."

The atmosphere of the Camp Nou at the beginning was withdrawn by the return of Messi, who broke his arm against Sevilla three weeks ago, although the Catalans have already won four and drew one of their five games without their top scorer. .

The Argentine got to score in the first minute but failed to connect properly with the ball and Betis quickly claimed himself, seriously challenging Barcelona for possession of balls, the weirdest for the opponents at the Camp Nou.

Betis took advantage of several occasions before Junior broke the blockade, although the keeper visited goalkeeper Pau López, formerly Barça Espanyol's neighbors, to prevent Clement Lenglet from scoring before Joaquín scored 2-0.

Barça coach Ernesto Valverde took off from midfielder Arthur by Vidal at the beginning of the second half to give his side more dynamism but continued to knock down possibilities and Betis did not show any remorse.

"The problem was that we did not play well, we did not control the game and we continue to make mistakes and that's why we're back at rest," said the coach.

"In the second half every time we score and we return to the game, they recovered immediately."


Karim Benzema gave the European champions the lead in the 20th minute with an irresistible control and ended after a targeted pass by Luka Modric.

The Frenchman was instrumental in doubling the lead at the beginning of the second half, firing a shot that goalkeeper Sergio Álvarez scored and beyond Celta defender Gustavo Cabral.

Real's leadership was far from comfortable, and Hugo Mallo recovered his home game with a good draw at the time marker that preceded a heavy Celtic gesture.

The Madrid managed to save it and killed the match in the form of a contest with a late penalty of "Panenka" against captain Sergio Ramos and a thunderous strike of Dani Ceballos in stop schedule, although Brais Mendez hit the goal of Celta.

While Real still has to dramatically improve the overall performance of former midfielder Solari, they enjoyed much better luck than in recent weeks with Julen Lopetegui, who was looted two weeks ago after the humiliating 5-1 defeat to Barcelona.

The regulations of the Spanish football federation suggest that Solari will move from provisional or permanent coaches if Real does not designate a long-term successor until the end of Monday, which will make the Argentine unable to resume as a coach of his reserve team, Castilla.

Solari would not reveal if he had given any indication of what decision President Florentino Pérez would take in the next 24 hours.

"The most important thing is to do whatever is necessary for the good of the team, it does not matter anymore," he told reporters when they asked him if he expected to receive the job.

Solari also valued the praise of Karim Benzema, who is so often the scapegoat, whenever he is struggling, but has been in good shape, scoring twice in the 5-0 Viktoria Plzen collapse in the Champions League week.

"They all showed great personality, but especially Karim," he added.

"His first goal was spectacular, so typical of him, and the second is everything for him. He also made the team play, created space, defended. It was a complete performance of him."

(With Reuters entries)

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