Published: Mon, November 12, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Barcelona 3, Real Betis 4: Messi nets brace in loss

Barcelona 3, Real Betis 4: Messi nets brace in loss

Barca last endured defeat on their own patch against Alaves in September 2016 but, following 42 games unbeaten, their run was halted by a brilliant, counter-attacking display from Betis.

Messi scored from close range in stoppage time but Betis hung on to clinch a first league win at the Nou Camp since 1998.

"We don't leave with the feeling Betis were the better team", Valverde said.

Ernesto Valverde's Barca play Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano after the global break.

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- Setien is the only away manager to win at the Santiago Bernabeu and Camp Nou in LaLiga in the last 10 seasons.

"We'll see but he has lost the fear of falling over, of supporting himself, of clashing with opponents", Valverde said.

They seemed faster, sharper and hungrier while Barcelona's midfield was repeatedly carved open on the break. Ter Stegen denied Cristian Tello with his legs.

That contribution proved to be scant consolation for Barca as they failed to take anything from a game in which their mercurial skipper netted twice for the very first time. William Carvalho's superb pass found Firpo, who unleashed a fine right-footed drive past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

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Betis had squandered several chances before Junior broke the deadlock although it took an outstanding save from visiting goalkeeper Pau Lopez, formerly of Barca's neighbours Espanyol, to prevent Clement Lenglet from levelling before Joaquin made it 2-0.

Vidal replaced the jaded Arthur Melo at half-time and shot within a minute of the restart.

Messi recorded his first strike of the day from the penalty spot in the 68th minute, helping to half Betis' advantage at that stage. Two substitutes combined for a second, Munir El Haddadi laying on Vidal but no sooner had the comeback begun again, it was halted.

With less than nine minutes to the end of regulation period, Ivan Rakitic was handed marching order after receiving a second yellow to as the home team were reduced to ten men. Messi added his second in injury-time but there was to be no more late drama.

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Messi's second goal of the afternoon was initially ruled out for offside before the decision was overturned by the VAR, but Betis held on for a famous victory.

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