MATCH REPORT | Bitter defeat (2-3)

Real Betis lost a game in which deserved a better result

Real Betis Balompié lost today against FC Barcelona in a game in which deserved better. The team completed a good first half and took the lead twice through Canales and Fekir. In the second half, the team didn't play to their best and also saw how the referee played an important part against the Green and Whites. He didn't show a clear yellow card (which was his second) to Sergi Roberto and unfairly sent Fekir off.

The game meant the return of Quique Setién and Junior Firpo to Benito Villamarín, their home until the previous season. As main news in the eleven, William Carvalho returned after several months out due to a back injury, and Guido Rodríguez made his first start in LaLiga.

Early in the game, a shot from Fekir was deflected by Lenglet's arm. The referee did not whistle but was advised by the VAR. Canales did not miss from the spot. However, Barcelona needed just three minutes to tie the game up again when De Jong finished a great pass from Messi. After the frantic start, the game lowered its pace and saw two teams fighting for the ball and pressing really high.

Even then, Betis managed to clear the rivals' pressure at certain moments and in this way came the second. Fekir got the ball, dribbled Umititi and produced a great left-footed effort that found the back of the net. Barcelona tried then to attack more, but met a well settled Betis. Seven minutes before the end of the first half, the referee did not show Sergi Roberto what was a clear yellow card that meant his second.

In the added time of the first half, Barcelona tied the game again. Messi delivered a free kick and, after a couple of rebounds, Busquets smashed the ball in.

In the second half, Barcelona had the first but Joel made a good save to deny Messi. A few minutes later, same protagonists and same result, with a great save from the Betis' goalkeeper.

The best so far in the second period was, again, for Messi, but the Argentine sent wide his lobbed effort. At this point of the match, Betis were struggling in defence and in the creation of plays. In this way came the third for Barcelona, again in a free kick poorly defended. A few moments later, the referee showed two straight yellow cards to Nabil Fekir. The second one was apparently for complaining, even if the player was walking away.

Two minutes later, Lenglet also saw a red a card after a second yellow, leaving both teams with ten players. Nothing much happened.

Real Betis Balompié: Joel Robles, Emerson, Mandi, Bartra, Álex Moreno, Guido Rodríguez (Tello 86'), William Carvalho (Joaquín 69'), Aleñá, Canales, Fekir, Borja Iglesias (Loren 61').
Goals: Canales, p. (5'), Fekir (26').
Booked: Emerson (36'), Mandi (45').
Sent off: Fekir (76').

FC Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Lenglet, Umtiti, Junior (Jordi Alba 57'), Busquets, De Jong, Sergi Roberto, Vidal (Arthur 57'), Messi, Griezmann (Rakitic 89').
Goals: De Jong (8'), Busquets (45'), Lenglet (72').
Booked: Lenglet (4'), Roberto (28'), Busquets (56').
Sent off: Lenglet (78').

Referee: José María Sánchez Martínez.