Real Betis handed Barca their heaviest defeat at Camp Nou on Lionel Messi return
Most of us don’t remember when was the last time Barcelona conceded four goals at Camp Nou? It was 12 April 2003 against Deportivo de La Coruna. Deportivo crushed Barcelona 4-2 that day, and today 15 years later Real Betis handed them their heaviest defeat at home in recent times winning 4-3.
Lionel Messi returned to Barcelona lineup after 22 days lay-off due to fractured arm and he was brilliant as always, but Barcelona as a team look disjointed. Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, and Arthur Melo were completely outplayed in the midfield. William Carvalho, Giovani Lo Celso, Guardado, Junior Firpo, and Cristian Tello cause all sorts of problem moving forward for Real Betis.
They were awarded an early goal thanks to Carvalho good work in the middle. Carvalho passed a simple pass to Junior, who cut inside avoiding Sergi Roberto and beat Ter Stegen at near post to hand Real Betis lead in the 20th minute.
1 – Barcelona have lost a game in which Lionel Messi has scored two or more goals for the first time ever in all competitions. Kryptonite. pic.twitter.com/bgjC1NtDMD
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) November 11, 2018
It’s not the first time Barcelona have conceded a goal at Camp Nou, but each time they have outplayed the opponent throughout the 90 minutes. But, this time it was different. Real Betis completely dominated the game and even resilient Lionel Messi couldn’t help Barcelona to fully recover from the humiliation.
Real Betis veteran captain Joaquin doubled his team lead in 34th minute thanks to Tello’s vision. He finds Joaquin with acres of space in Barcelona penalty area and he made a beautiful pass for his captain to tap in and double his team lead.
Barcelona came out of tunnel in second-half to put themselves on level term and Messi tried to make things right for his team. But, Luis Suarez who has been handed La Liga Player of the Month (October) seems to be not liking Messi’s company.
Only 5 teams in La Liga have conceded more goals than Barcelona yet Barca remain top. First Barca loss at home in 2 years & the first time in all comps that Messi has been on the losing side for Barca when Messi has scored 2 or more goals. pic.twitter.com/YvRVgcAiTz
— Kevin Pollard (@football_roos) November 11, 2018
Ernesto Valverde also played his cards replacing Arthur by Arturo Vidal in the very first minute of the second-half. He then took off Malcolm to bring in Munir El Haddadi in 57th minute and later on Sergio Busquets who had a bad day made room for youngster Carles Alena.
How much influence they had in the game is difficult to say calculating their overall performances, but Lionel Messi alone simply tries to get Barcelona out of trouble. He came close to handing Barcelona their first goal with his shot but it merely brushed the post. Thanks to Tello’s unnecessary mistake, Jordi Alba finally earned a penalty for Barcelona making an intelligent run for Lionel Messi’s pass. Messi came forward to take the penalty and convincingly beat Pau Lopez.
Barcelona were back in game but Real Betis restored their two goal lead three minutes later. Ter Stegen made an unusual mistake to hand Betis their third goal. He should have saved convincingly from Lo Celso’s strike, but his poor hands only helped the ball to go in top corner.
Home side was again at the back-foot. It was once again Messi’s vision which helped Barcelona get back into the game. He made a brilliant pass to Haddadi who rushed into the box marginally from an offside position and cleverly played it to unmarked Arturo Vidal. Vidal brought Barcelona back into the game making it 2-3.
But, Ivan Rakitic sending off with 9 minutes of game to play in normal time didn’t help Barcelona. Sergio Canales restored Real Betis’ two goal lead a minute later as a substitute and Betis looked on their way to make a history at Camp Nou.
Messi did try to rescue his team again in injury-time and fought back with a goal but his effort goes in vain. Real Betis handed Barcelona their heaviest defeat in last 15 years at Camp Nou defeating them with a scoreline of 3-4. It’s also first time in last two years when Barcelona have lost a home match.