Real Betis 2-4 FC Barcelona: Three from Torres, three tremendous points

Real Betis 2-4 FC Barcelona: Three from Torres, three tremendous points

A Ferran hat-trick and one from João Félix earn three points from a a roller-coaster ride at the Benito Villamarín

In an extraordinary game of football at the Benito Villamarín, where Barça had not lost for 14 games, three absolutely crucial points were picked up to ensure that the team remains well in the hunt for the Liga title.

Although the Catalans looked to be cruising following a couple of goals from Ferran Torres, two from Isco in the space of just three minutes suddenly changed the whole course of this game.

2-2 was very bad news indeed. Although Real Madrid had been trailing 2-0 to Almería earlier in the day, they’d eventually won that one and if Barça didn’t so likewise, the league table was going to look very nasty indeed.

To make matters worse, following their unexpected comeback, if anything Betis were looking the better team. We were reaching the 90th minute when suddenly Culers could breathe again. Ferran dazzled in the build-up, and João Felix’s finish was simply exquisite.

3-2 and there was still time for more, as Torres capped perhaps his best ever performance to date in a Barça shirt by beating Betis keeper Rui Silva in a one-on-one make it four.

Teenage duo

Another of Barça’s standout players today was Lamine Yamal, who was one of two 16-year-olds in the initial line-up today, with Pau Cubarsi getting his first ever start in Barça’s decimated defence, with Andreas Christensen now unavailable too.

Ferran does it once

There had been an element of fortune to Ferran’s 21st minute opener. A pass from Gundogan on the edge of the area ricocheted off the Betis defence and into the path of Pedri. The Canary Islander lapped up the gift a placed the perfect pass for Ferran to see over the line.

It was no less than Barça deserved from a first half that they went on to utterly dominate and frustratingly could have produced further blaugrana goals but didn’t.

The pick of the moments came when Lamine Yamal capped a splendid move by striking the ball onto the Betis post, and Robert Lewandowski finding the net only to be denied by one of those annoying close offside calls.

And Ferran does it again

Betis had been let off the hook in the first 45 minutes, but Barça would punish them a second time just moments after the restart.

What a run by Lamine Yamal! After the teenager had danced his way into position and then drove from an angle onto the woodwork, the rebound back into play was met by a thunderous Ferran Torres volley, and that was the in-form striker’s second goal of the evening.

Betis revival

At this stage, Betis looked well beaten. But in the space of just two minutes, everything took a nasty turn for the worse. First, Iñaki Peña’s punched clearance landed straight at the feet of Isco, whose half-volley was only ever going in the back of the net.

Suddenly buoyed by an unexpected reprieve, Betis surged forward again and Isco did it again, this time lofting the ball over Peña’s head.

At first, the referee’s decision to give offside on that one seemed more than correct. But a VAR review revealed that Borja Iglesias’ pass hadn’t been a pass at all. He never touched the ball and quite unfathomably, in a game where Barça had looked home and dry, we were now all square at 2-2.

Late joy

But all’s well that ends well. Had it not been for João Felix and Ferran Torres’ late goals, we would be telling a very different story right now. But we’re not. Thanks to those goals, and to the three points they earned, Barça are still in the hunt.


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