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The second league home match at the Estadi Olimpic has ended in a big 5-0 win for FC Barcelona against Real Betis Balompié. The LaLiga matchday 5 clash saw coach Xavi Hernández select João Cancelo and João Félix for their first starts, and Ferran Torres returned to the starting line up after recent fine form. Former Barça men Bartra, Riad and Altimira started for Real Betis Balompié.
Goal for Félix on first start
After a minute's silence in memory of those who died in the recent earthquake in Morocco and floods in Libya, the game kicked off to a crescendo of noise, reflecting the fans' desire for the return to club football.
Barça pressed high from the off, but the first real action came in the 9th minute when Cancelo shot over from outside the area. This seemed to awaken the Andalusian side as just six minutes later, Luis Henrique fired a cross shot just wide of Ter Stegen’s right post, followed by Ayoze hitting the side netting after a free kick, with dead balls proving to be the main source of danger to Barça in the game.
The breakthrough came soon after, Joao Félix scoring his first goal in the 25th minute after Cancelo pressed to rob the ball and find Romeo, who crossed for Felix in the box. The forward couldn’t finish first time, but he continued his run to round the keeper and slot in from a narrow angle to the right of the goal. Superb stuff.
Félix was again involved for the second goal - or should that be not involved - as he let a Christensen pass run through to Lewandowski, who finished to the right of the keeper off the post from inside the area after 32 minutes. Intelligent play by the Portuguese forward.
This entertaining game still had more to offer in the first half, Lewandowski first denied by a great sliding stop by Bartra after a Félix pass, before Ter Stegen made a one-handed reaction save from a Willian José volley. Then a break from a Betis corner and a one-two between Félix and Ferran Torres saw the new signing’s shot saved. Half time score 2-0
More goals to cap a fine performance
The second half began as frantically as the first ended, both sides pushing for another goal, with Félix having a goal ruled out for offside in the 58th minute.
The third goal wasn't long in coming, though, Ferran Torres curling a low free kick inside the left post after Lewandowski has been fouled outside the area. That proved the Spanish forward’s final action and his replacement Raphinha rifled in the fourth just four minutes later from the edge of the area after nice build up play. The Brazilian then fired over soon afterwards from a free kick after another foul on Lewandowski.
Betis pushed forward to try to give the scoreline some respectability, but didn’t manage to trouble Ter Stegen. Martínez and Alonso came on for fresh legs at the back and before long, Cancelo also got his first goal for the Club, receiving the ball on the right, striding forward, before cutting back on to his right foot to shoot past substitute keeper Vieites to make it 5-0.
Another late chance for Raphinha would have made it six but it was well saved, before the Brazilian fed Lewandowski who almost scored with an impudent back heel. All in all, great entertainment and a fine performance in front of the jubilant blaugrana supporters in the stadium.
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