MX23RW : Wednesday, April 14 02:10:56| >> :120:8611:8611:
Feb 7, 2021 at 8pm UK at Estadio Benito Villamarin
Real BetisReal Betis
2-3
BarcelonaBarcelona
Iglesias (38'), Ruiz (75')
Ruiz (77')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Messi (59'), Ruiz (68' og.), Trincao (87')
de Jong (47'), Dembele (64'), Busquets (74')

Pellegrini hails "best in the world" Lionel Messi after Betis lose to Barca

Lionel Messi changed the game for Barca.

Ronald Koeman was pleased to see Barcelona clinch a 3-2 win at Real Betis on Sunday after another slow start.

After conceding first in recent victories over Granada and Rayo Vallecano, the Catalan giants fell behind again in the 38th minute when a quick counter-attack was finished off by Borja Iglesias.

It looked at this point that the decision to leave Lionel Messi on the bench would backfire for Barca, but the captain was summoned in the 57th minute and equalised soon after.

A Victor Ruiz own goal put Barca in front in the 68th minute before the same man restored parity seven minutes late, but another substitute, Francisco Trincao, grabbed a crucial winner for Koeman's side three minutes from time.

Koeman told Barca TV: "It's great, another three points in a difficult match and I think we started a little bit slowly – maybe about the number of games we've played.

"It was not the team that I like to see, but OK that's normal after many games away from home, but during the game we came better and scored good goals and had a good reaction."

The victory made it six in a row for Barca in LaLiga and they are back to second after briefly dropping to fourth following wins for Real Madrid and Sevilla this weekend.

After a tricky start, Koeman has now masterminded a run of one defeat in 16 for the club he represented with distinction during his playing career.

While Messi's arrival sparked the turnaround, midfielder Frenkie De Jong also impressed at centre-back after he was introduced in the 11th minute for the injured Ronald Araujo.

De Jong completed all 82 of his passes and another substitute who made his mark was summer signing Trincao, who produced a wonderful finish to open his account for his new club after a difficult spell following a July switch from Braga.

"I'm really happy. Happy for the win and we have to keep it like that to win the next game," the forward told the official club website.

Next up for Barca is a return to Andalusia on Wednesday to take on Sevilla in the Copa Del Rey.

Betis boss Manuel Pellegrini was left to reflect on Messi's genius.

He told reporters: "Football, no matter how much intensity and tactics are talked about, the difference is made by technique, the individualities are decisive.

"And Messi is the best in the world. He makes a difference every time he enters. He does not forgive and put Barcelona in the game."

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atletico MadridAtletico30207352203267
2Real Madrid30206453242966
3Barcelona30205569264365
4Sevilla30194744242061
5Real Sociedad301211747311647
6Real Betis30145114043-347
7Villarreal301113643331046
8Granada30116133650-1439
9Levante30911103739-238
10Celta Vigo30910114148-737
11Athletic Bilbao30910113933637
12CadizCadiz3098132745-1835
13Valencia30810123742-534
14Osasuna30810122536-1134
15Getafe3079142234-1230
16Huesca30512133145-1427
17Real Valladolid30512132741-1427
18ElcheElche30511142746-1926
19AlavesAlaves3059162447-2324
20EibarEibar30411152236-1423

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