Barcelona have become Atltico’s most reliable pursuer in a fight that seems complicated so that Simeone’s men do not win the league title, and I say reliable because Koeman’s men have six consecutive victories in LaLiga -five of them outside the league. home – and in total they have three in nine of the last 11 games. He arrived just in strength, Messi started on the bench, but with his departure they turned the 1-0 around with which they went to rest. It has cost them a few months, but the Catalans are beginning to show their best version and they do it at a good moment since the Champions League is just around the corner and there they have to put the batteries to stand up to PSG.
Betis and Barcelona came to the game with somewhat fair forces after having played a Cup match with overtime included. The caveat is that one overcame the cup test and the other fell to penalties so the mood factor also counts and there Barcelona left with an advantage. An advantage that was reduced when Koeman reserved important players for the upcoming semi-final against Sevilla. Leaving De Jong, Pedri and Messi off was a relief for Betis, who did not have Canales in their starting eleven either.
The game did not start well for Bara. At eight minutes Araujo was injured, who had settled in the eleven as the main central in the absence of Piqu. The Uruguayan’s ankle was stuck when clearing a ball and had to leave the field for De Jong to enter, whom Koeman managed to reserve … eight minutes. In the absence of Messi, it was Dembl who took over the offensive stripes of the team. The speed of the French was a problem for the bikers. At the controls, along with Busquets, a Riqui Puig who got away with it and got Koeman to start him.
As expected, the ball was from Bara from the start. Betis were looking for a long ball towards Borja Iglesias as a resource. It was not until half an hour of play that the first chance was given and it was after a header from Lenglet to the center of Jordi Alba that he went out when the easiest thing was to get her into the nets of a Joel shake. The break was approaching and a quick against Betis put him ahead on the scoreboard. Fekir leads, looks for Emerson on the wing and the great center of the Brazilian is finished off from close by Borja Iglesias, who has recovered in this 2021 the goal that he had lost last year. And at halftime it was 1-0 because Bara failed his clear chance and Betis did not. The lack of definition remains a major drag on Koeman’s painting.
The situation forced more changes and Pedri left for Braithwaite after the break. Messi was still in the stands. The Bara came out strong and after three minutes it forced Joel to show off after a strong launch by Mingueza after a play by Dembl. Messi was already warming up to leave when Ter Stegen saved the 2-0 to a shot from Juanmi. In the 57th minute Messi entered with Trincao. There was half an hour left to prevent Bara from saying goodbye to LaLiga much earlier than planned. And the equation came out perfect for Koeman. The first ball that Leo touched was 1-1. They left him a margin and the Argentine did not think about it with a left foot adjusted to the stick.
Dembl had the 1-2 in a heads up with Joel who saved the Betic goal. Betis lost steam due to fatigue and chewed on a new Barça goal. And so it was. A good move between Messi, Jordi Alba and Griezmann ended with an own goal by Vctor Ruiz. Ten minutes of Messi on the field and Barcelona was already winning. Nothing changes in Can Bara. Leo and 10 ms. Everyone plays better with him on the field.
But Betis had not said their last word. A set piece move led Vctor Ruiz to take revenge for his own goal and a great header. Fekir’s center was half a goal. There was a quarter of an hour left and the draw was a bad result for both. More for the Bara. The match opened and both sought victory which led to a great second half. Pellegrini went for everything and after taking Tello out, then he brought Canales and Loren in. Betic artillery. The Cantabrian revolutionized Betis and they had a couple of good arrivals for 3-2. But then the Trincao moment appeared. Much was expected of him this season but he had not yet appeared. With four minutes to go, he stole a ball from Vctor Ruiz and with a precise shot that Joel could do nothing against, he gave his team three very valuable points. El Bara is still in the fight for LaLIga.