Real Betis 1-2 FC Barcelona: The leaders march on

Real Betis 1-2 FC Barcelona: The leaders march on

Raphinha and Lewandowski set up the lead, and although the home side pull back with an own goal, the three points are heading to Catalonia

FC Barcelona have taken all three points from a pulsating encounter at the home of Real Betis. And they will be spending the night sitting pretty a massive eight points clear at the top of the table, pending what Real Madrid can do tomorrow against Valencia.

At the halfway stage of the season they have amassed a staggering 50 out of 57 possible points, and today they conceded only their seventh league goal.

They have also become the first to ever win in six consecutive Liga visits to the Benito Villarmarin.

Chances not taken

And that’s a remarkable achievement. The atmosphere at this ground is always spectacular, and this Tuesday evening fixture was no exception. And the game itself more than lived up to the occasion.

We had 90 minutes of goalmouth action, and the amazing thing is that it took over an hour for the first goal to be scored.

Betis were always a danger on the counter, and did work their way into some dangerous positions, but there’s no question which of the two sides was on top.

Raphinha at last

Barça’s football was swift and slick and the chances were flowing thick and fast. Pedri was denied not one but two golden moments by some smart goalkeeping from Rui Silva. Lewandowski and Gavi could have both scored from headers but they fired narrowly wide, and Raphinha was also getting into the mix, almost scoring in the opening minutes and later finding the net with a header but frustratingly caught offside.

But there was nothing wrong with the Brazilian’s position when he finally did break the deadlock. Frenkie de Jong was as fabulous in the build-up has he had been all night. Alejandro Balde, also outstanding today, continued the job down the left before slipping the perfect pass for Raphinha to tuck away.

Lewandowski makes it two

Barça have been struggling to build on leads of late. But not today. With ten minutes still to play, Lewandowski made it two.
Ronald Araujo nodded a corner his way, and the Pole did what he does best. In his typically composed manner, he picked his spot and made the difficult look easy.

It looked all over at 2-0, but then an unfortunate own goal from Jules Kounde suddenly had the home fans in full voice again. This game wasn’t won yet.

Betis could hardly be accused of sleeping in this game, but for the final few minutes they were wider awake than ever. Barça had a late battle on their hands to keep the win intact, but they held on for a superb result at a very difficult ground.

On Sunday at the same time, Barça face Betis' local rival, Sevilla. That's at Spotify Camp Nou at 9pm CET.

Força Barça
Força Barça

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