Lionel Messi got here off the bench at halftime to attain two targets as Barcelona beat 10-man Actual Betis 5-2 on Saturday to finish its four-game winless streak within the Spanish league.
Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman gave Messi some uncommon relaxation through the first half. It was Messi’s first league recreation instead in additional than a 12 months. Assistant coach Alfred Schreuder mentioned earlier than kickoff that Messi “was not contemporary.”
Ousmane Dembele blasted a shot previous former Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to offer the hosts the lead within the twenty second minute.
Betis ahead Antonio Sanabria equalized within the last seconds of the primary half that featured 4 clear misses by Barcelona’s struggling ahead Antoine Griezmann, together with a penalty blocked by Bravo.
Messi spent the primary half tucked in a winter coat and carrying a face masks like different substitutes within the in any other case empty Camp Nou. That each one modified when Messi went on initially of the second half for Ansu Fati and had a decisive affect.
Messi solely wanted 4 minutes to affect the match when he well passed over a cross to let it run although for Griezmann to faucet dwelling.
Messi continued to indicate his playmaking expertise. Deep inside Betis’ space, Messi turned and fed a cross to Dembele, whose shot was goal-bound when defender Aissa Mandi blocked it together with his arm. A video overview led to Mandi being proven a purple card for impeding a transparent objective.
Messi stepped up and causally blasted his spot kick into the highest proper nook to make it 3-1 within the 61st.
Lorenzo Morón acquired one again for Betis within the 73rd after Barcelona’s protection struggled to mark winger Álex Moreno.
However Messi put the consequence past doubt when Sergi Roberto set him up with a tremendous back-heeled cross for the Argentina ahead to get his sixth objective in all competitions this season.
Roberto additionally assisted Pedro “Pedri” González within the ninetieth because the 17-old-year midfielder claimed his first league objective.