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  • Sports - Football - Scores & Fixtures
  • Updated: November 07, 2020

La Liga: Barcelona Cruise Past 10-Man Betis, Messi On Target

Barcelona was saved by their Talisman, Lionel Messi as he came on at halftime to rescue Barcelona by scoring twice, with Dembele's golazo in a 5-2 victory over Real Betis on Saturday of La Liga matchday 9.

AllNews understands that Lionel Messi's second goal was his first goal from open play this season with every other one from spot-kick. Dembele also scored his first La Liga goal of the season.

Messi was rested by Ronald Koeman but was later forced to subbed into the game after Antoine Griezmann missed multiple chances including a penalty in the Argentinian's absence.

READ ALSO: 'Pass The Ball To Messi'- Alves Advice Dest On Barcelona Success

Ousmane Dembele's opener was cancelled late in the first half by Antonio Sanabria which left the score at half time 1-1.

But within four minutes of his introduction, Messi gave Griezmann an open goal with a superb dummy and then scored twice himself, the first a penalty that saw Betis' Aissa Mandi sent off for a handball on the line.

In between, Loren Moron had given Betis brief hope but Messi's second and a late strike from Pedri ensured Barcelona ended their four-match winless run and climbed to eighth in LaLiga.

"Leo finished the match against Kyiv with some problems," said Koeman. "He wasn't in a position to play in the first half but we talked about him being on the bench and said he would come on if he felt good.

"He's a player who in principle always plays, but today he didn't because of some minor problems."

Messi gave a resounding answer to those suggesting his performances this season have been evidence of decline.

Even before registering his first goal of the season from open play, the 33-year-old had turned this game, putting Barcelona in control with his brilliant dummy for Griezmann and then a penalty won from a Dembele shot, teed up by his pass.

Griezmann also got his goal with Messi on the pitch but was unable to prove a point without him.

GRIEZMANN SLOPPY IN FRONT OF GOAL

Despite an energetic opening half, Griezmann missed a penalty before Messi scored and the Frenchman was eventually substituted, pictured sat in the stands with a gloomy expression while Barca romped to victory.

"I hope he continues to work like he is working," said Koeman. "To miss opportunities you have to be there. We must highlight his character, to keep working. He knows perfectly well that he has missed a penalty, and some chances, but it means he is always there to score."

Neither team seemed too interested in defending early on as Griezmann and Ansu Fati fired off two shots each while Marc-Andre ter Stegen had to be alert to push away William Carvalho's header.

Barca broke through after 22 minutes when Dembele cut inside onto his left foot before hammering a finish past Claudio Bravo for his first league goal in 13 months.

When Mandi conceded a penalty after sliding in on Ansu at the front post, Griezmann had his chance to add a goal to his busy first-half display.

But Griezmann missed, a tame shot easily saved by Bravo, before Betis scored, Sanabria, finishing after Cristian Tello had again surged clear down the left.

Messi came on and four minutes later Barca was ahead, the Argentinian scuttling to meet Jordi Alba's cross at the front post, only to step over the ball, fooling his marker and the goalkeeper, to leave Griezmann with an open net.

Eleven minutes later, Messi made it 3-1 with a penalty, won after his pass had set up Dembele for a shot that was blocked on the line by the arm of Mandi, who was sent off.

Moron gave Betis hope with 17 minutes left when he finished off Alex Moreno's pullback but Messi made sure, latching onto Sergi Roberto's flick and smashing in his second and Barca's fourth. Pedri made it five in injury-time.

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Oladimeji Balogun
Oladimeji Balogun

Oladimeji Balogun is a graduate of the University of Ilorin where he studied Microbiology, he is a w...

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SPORTS SPOTLIGHT

Lionel Messi
Lionel
Messi
AR Argentina
  • HEIGHT

    169cm

  • WEIGHT

    72kg

  • AGE

    34

Antoine Griezmann
Antoine
Griezmann
FR France
  • HEIGHT

    176cm

  • WEIGHT

    73kg

  • AGE

    31

Ousmane Dembele
Ousmane
Dembele
FR France
  • HEIGHT

    178cm

  • WEIGHT

    67kg

  • AGE

    25

Jordi Alba
Jordi
Alba
ES Spain
  • HEIGHT

    170cm

  • WEIGHT

    68kg

  • AGE

    33

SPORTS SPOTLIGHT

Barcelona
Barcelona

Futbol Club Barcelona commonly referred to as Barcelona and colloquially known as Barça is a Spanish professional football club base...

Real Betis
Real Betis

Real Betis Balompié, S.A.D., more commonly referred to as Real Betis or Betis, is a Spanish professional football club based in Sevill...

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