Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi scored his quickest goal-scoring aim as his substitute whereas his shot 136 seconds after his departure impressed Barcelona to a 3-2: victory over Actual Betis on Sunday.
Messi was one in every of a number of key gamers to relaxation, Ronald Koeman apparently offers precedence to Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semi-final towards Sevilla forward of Barca’s LaLiga title problem.
The defeat would have referred to as into query this determination however Messi led in an equalizer lower than three minutes after his departure within the second half after which helped put Francisco Trincao into motion to attain a late winner, the younger man’s first aim. 21 years previous for Barcelona.
“It modified the sport,” Koeman mentioned when requested about Messi.
“It’s kind of in regards to the cup sport however we nonetheless should determine when the most effective time is to relaxation the gamers. The cup is the shortest approach to a title this season.”
Koeman’s aspect are seven factors away from LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid, who’ve performed two much less video games and face Celta Vigo at residence on Monday evening.
The success was additionally at a value as Barca’s finest out there central defender, Ronald Araujo, was sidelined by an ankle damage at the beginning.
With Gerard Pique already a long-term absentee, Araujo’s health can be an enormous concern, particularly with the primary leg of the Champions League 16 residence sport at Paris Saint-Germain to return, per week after the check towards in Seville.
Speaking Level From Betis vs Barcelona:
Betis will marvel how they managed to not take at the least one level from a wild problem to Benito Villamarin however Barcelona maintain their momentum – their sixth league win in a row.
They had been quickly struck by Araujo’s damage, as his ankle fell below the burden of a careless fall. Frenkie de Jong got here on because the center-back and his teammate Clement Lenglet was supposed to present Barca the lead, however he went out 5 meters with nobody close to him.
Betis charged him with an excellent opening aim on the break. Ousmane Dembele misplaced the ball upfield and Betis poured ahead, the ball shifted proper in direction of Emerson who turned it round to Jordi Alba and set it up for Borja Iglesias to throw it residence.
Juanmi may have made two, however was turned down by Marc-Andre ter Stegen earlier than Messi got here on for Miralem Pjanic within the 57th minute and it seemed just like the 59th. Dembele returned a go to the Argentine on the sting of the realm and led a scintillating shot into the publish.
9 minutes later, the Boat was in entrance, Antoine Griezmann’s Alba cross mishit, just for the cannon ball anyway off Victor Ruiz’s legs.
Betis weren’t even completed and Ruiz, the changed defender, went into Nabil Fekir’s free-kick on the left quarter-hour.
But Barcelona had one other trick up their sleeve when Messi swerved from the left and his blast was directed in direction of the 21-year-old Trincao man, whose lightning strike flashed him off the crossbar.