An inspired Betis took all three points at the Camp Nou with goals from Junior, Joaquín, Lo Celso and Canales, despite Barça fighting to the end.
Barcelona vs Betis match report:
Real Betis recorded their first victory in the Camp Nou in two decades in a seven-goal thriller against league leaders Barcelona which ended 4-3 to the visitors.
With Barcelona struggling to deal with the rampant Betis counter attack, the visitors were 2-0 up by the break, thanks to goals from Junior and Joaquin. The first came in the 20th minute: Carvalho played a beautiful pass from the centre to release Junior down the left, who had just Sergi Roberto to beat. He shifted the ball onto his right foot just inside the box and launched it past Ter Stegen to put Betis 1-0 up.
Joaquin’s goal in the 34th minute also came from a quick and deadly counter attacking move. Betis found themselves with five attackers on four defenders as they rushed towards the Barca box. Carvalho again found Junior in space down the left. His low cross into the box was picked up by Tello on the right, who squared it to Joaquin by the penalty spot and the 37-year-old slotted it into the bottom left corner. Quique Setien’s gameplan seemed to be working to a tee, as the visitors strolled in at the break perhaps as surprised as everybody by the scoreline.
Barcelona, understandably, began the second half playing with a sense of urgency, and piled the pressure on Betis. The pressure finally paid off in the 67th minute when Jordi Alba won a penalty, which Messi drove into the top right corner, and Barca were back in the game. As Barca threw caution to the wind in search of goals, Betis continued to create chances on the counter attack, and again put two goals between them and the hosts just four minutes after Messi’s penalty. Tello set up Lo Celso, who drove a powerful shot that Ter Stegen had covered, but the Barcelona keeper fumbled the save and he could only watch on as the ball crawled into the bottom left corner.
Just eight minutes later came the game’s fifth goal, this one in favour of the hosts. Messi played an incredible ball that picked out the run of Munir in the box. With just the keeper to beat, Munir squared it to the supporting Vidal on his right, and the Chilean tapped it into the open goal – 3-2 as Barca were just not going to give up.
But every time Barca scored, Betis immediately responded to bring the deficit back to two goals. Again just four minutes after the Barca goal, Junior, who had been creating all sorts of problems for the Barca defence, was released down the left. The Spaniard put a low cross into the box, and substitute Sergio Canales slid to reach it first and stab it home. And at 4-2 with just seven minutes of normal time to go, Betis could see the finish line.
But Barcelona kept plugging away and again brought the deficit back to one, thanks to a second goal from Messi deep into injury time. But it was too little too late, as the ref blew up the game soon after and the Seville club walked away with the three points and a historic victory.
Despite the loss, Barcelona remain top of the table. But as they did not take advantage of their game in hand, they are now just one point ahead of Atlético Madrid and Alavés, with all three clubs having played 12 games. Betis, meanwhile, jumped three places to 12th, and will remain there unless Celta Vigo manage to beat Real Madrid at the Bernabeu later in the evening.
Barcelona vs Betis live:
95' But the Suarez goal is too little too late!! And the ref blows it up. A shocking and memorable win for Betis, their first victory in Camp Nou for 20 years.
92' Goal Barca!!! Messi on the left by the edge of the box, squares it to Suarez. Suarez plays it to Vidal on the right. Vidal picks out the run of Messi who slots it in.
90' Four minutes added on here for Barca to find two miracle goals.
88' Messi takes a short corner on the left, which eventually finds its way to Suarez on the right side of the box. He lobs one towards the six yard box, and Pique, umarked, is first to it but he heads it over and wide.
86' Lo Celso is coming off for Inui. He's had a great game, which included scoring Betis' third goal.
83' GOALLL BETIS!!!! Junior, who has an incredible game, finds space on the left again. He puts in a low cross and the substittue Sergio Canales slides to get a foot to it and puts it passed Ter Stegen. Everytime Barca close the deficit, Betis respond almost immediately. 2-4!
79' Goal Barca!!!! They never give up! Messi plays an incredible ball that picks out the run of Munir. Munir has just the keeper to beat, but also has the support of Vidal on his right. He squares it to his teammate, and Vidal taps it into the open goal. The ref went to VAR to check a possible offside, but the goal stands.
76' Betis change: Loren makes way for Sergio Leon.
71' Goal Betis!!!!!! Tello cuts inside from the right, he squares a pass to Lo Celso. Ter Stegen gets his hands to Lo Celso's powerful shot but he it's gone through his hands and crawled into the left corner. Awful luck for the Barca keeper.
69' Busquets comes off for Alena
68' GOAL BARCA!!!!! Messi drives it into the top right corner, leaving Lopez no chance.
65' Tello has given a way a penalty for holding back Jordi Alba in the box!
61' Joaquin coming off to rapturous applause. He replacement is Sergio Canales.
60' Busquets picks up a yellow for something he said after a foul on Loren. Frustrations building for Barca here.
58' Messi releases Suarez with a cutting pass into the box. The Uruguayan shoots but it's into the side netting on the right.
57' Munir comes on for Barca in place of Malcom.
55' Betis have a chance on the break with Loren bursting forward. There was a great chance to pass it out wide to Junior on the left. But he's decided to go himself, and his shot is straight at Ter Stegen.
51' Suarez squares it to Messi in the box, he shoots, it's blocked and out for a corner. Messi puts a decent delivery from the corner, which finds Busquets, but his header is just over. Barca have come out with all guns blazing here.
48' Messi skips passed two challenges and shoots from just outside the box, but it's wide. Barca have started the second half with a sense of urgency here.
46' And Vidal is right into the action. He has a shot from distance. It's a decent strike and is just wide of the right post.
46' Vidal comes on for Arthur, as Valverde looks to change things up a bit here. Betis get the second half underway
37-year-old Joaquin celebrates putting Betis 2-0 up. You're never too old to score against Barca at Camp Nou. (Photo: Agencia EFE)
Betis have been by far the better side, with an incredible four shots on target from a total of eight attempts. And they've scored with two of those. Barca, meanwhile have had one shot on target out of five. Quique Setien's gameplan has worked to a tee in that first half.
46' Decent delivery and a decent header from Carvalho... but it's just wide! And that's the last action of the first half. Well we can't say that we were expecting this scoreline. Barca have been disjointed and have failed to deal with a rampant Betis on the counter, and that is why they're 2 down here.
45' Betis look dangerous going forward again, and have won a corner through Lo Celso.
44' Yellow card for Rakitic, after a challenge on Joaquin just outside the Betis box as the visitors attempted to clear their lines.
40' Decent play from Barca. Messi puts one into the box from the left, Sergi Roberto chests it down, setting Suarez up for a shot. But his half-volley sails over the bar.
39' Betis break again!! Loren is released and hits a shot from just outside the box on the right, that is just wide of Ter Stegen's left post.
34' GOALLLL BETIS!!!!! What a shocker!! Betis break and have a five on four advantage as they burst forward. Carvalho passes to Junior on the left. He sqaures into the box, but it's to nobody. Tello picks up the loose ball on the right, squares a pass to Joaquin by the penalty spot and he slots it home!!
30' Betis looking bright every time they have the ball. Junior finds himself in space down the left. He feeds it to Loren, and his shot is just off target.
27' Messi has a pop from distance with a free kick. It's beaten the wall and on target, but it lacks power and is easily dealt with by Lopez in goal.
25' The ball comes in from Messi. Lenglet is first onto to it with his left foot and Lopez makes a stunning save to keep it out!
25' Yellow for Guardado, who has impeded Messi as he sailed passed him with ease. Barca have a free kick in a dangerous position.
20' GOALLLLLLL BETIS!!!! Carvalho, from the center of the pitch, plays a beautiful through ball for Junior on the left, who finds himself one on one with Sergi Roberto in the box. He shifts the ball onto his right foot and fires it passed Ter Stegen.
16' Messi sets Suarez off with a simple pass. He beats one and takes a shot from a tight angle on the left about 8 yards out, but it's blocked down.
12' Messi finally gets involved: a typical run from the Argentine, he weaves around four or five Betis players, before getting a shot off from just inside the box. But it's blocked.
10' After a frantic first 8 minutes, things have quitened down here. Betis are unlucky not to be ahead through that Joaquin chance.
6' What a chance for Betis: Beautifully timed cross from Lo Celso into the box finds Joaquin, who hits it first time on the volley as Ter Stegen comes out to block it down. But it's over. Positive stuff from Betis.
5' Betis break with Lo Celso, he gets a shot off from inside the box but it's blocked. They do nothing with the resultant corner.
4' Betis really struggling to get the ball out of their own third at the moment, with Barca pressing extremely high
2' The early Barca onslaught: Jordi Alba gets a shot off from distance but it's over. Barca still in possession and piling on the pressure in the Betis third.
1' Malcom and Messi link up early: Malcom squares one to Messi in the box but he doesn't connect well and it's off target and picked up Lopez in goal.
1' And the game is away, Barcelona kick off.
Luis Suarez is just being handed the trophy for Player of the Month for October.
Betis coach Setién said yesterday that "the intention is to take the ball away from Barcelona". That of course is easier said than done, Barca average the highest possession per game in LaLiga with 64 percent. Betis, conincidentally, are just behind them with 63 percent.
The teams are currently going through their final warm up routines with kick off just 20 minutes away.
Betis have only managed one goal in their last five away games -- not the kind of stat you want hanging over you when you'r travelling to Camp Nou.
Betis XI: Pau Lopez, Tello, Mandi, Bartra, Sidni, Junior, William, Guardado, Lo Celso, Joaquin, Loren
Valverde may have preferred to have had Messi on the bench since it will be first game back since his injurt, but with Coutinho injured he may have felt more obliged to put him in from the start. Malcom gets the nod over Rafinha and Dembele after coming on to score the equaliser against Inter on Tuesday night.
Barcelona XI includes Lionel Messi: Ter Stegen, Pique, Rakitic, Sergio, Arthur, Suarez, Messi, Malcom, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, S.Roberto
Betis coach Setién made a thinly veiled pleas to Ernesto Valverde to leave Messi out of today's game. You can read more about that here.
Hello and welcome to our coverage of the LaLiga matchweek 12 fixture between Barcelona and Betis. It's a particularly bright and warm mid-November afternoon in Barcelona - clear blue skies and 16 degrees celsius, perfect conditions for today's game between the 1st and 15th placed sides.
Barcelona vs Betis preview:
Barcelona will look to extend their winning streak in LaLiga as they welcome Betis to Camp Nou on Sunday afternoon.
The Blaugrana secured their place in the second round of the Champions League on Tuesday night after a 1-1 draw against Inter in Milan, and have won their last four league games on the trot, which included the 5-1 thrashing of title rivals Real Madrid two weeks ago at the Camp Nou.
With seven wins, three draws and one loss, they currently sit top of the LaLiga standings, one point ahead of Alavés and Atlético Madrid, who have both played one game more. Betis meanwhile, sit close to the relegation zone in 15th, and after a decent sixth place finish last season, have had disappointing start to their LaLiga campaign this year.
Like Barcelona, they come into the game after a 1-1 draw against Italian opposition in European competition. The Verdiblancos drew with AC Milan at home on Thursday night, after having beaten the Italian side in Milan 2-1 two weeks ago. Their last LaLiga game ended 3-3 against Celta Vigo at home, after a 1-0 win away to Racing Santander. An unlikely win could see them jump a few places to 12th, depending on how the Celta Vigo-Real Madrid game goes (with Celta currently in 12th position), whereas a loss could see them drop one place to 16th if Villarreal manage to overcome Rayo Vallecano in Vallecas.
After recovering from a fractured arm, Lionel Messi was named in the squad for the Inter game on Wednesday, but in the end coach Ernesto Valverde decided to leave him in the stands. The Argentinean could make an appearance today, but if he does so it will likely be from the bench if Valverde opts to lean on the side of caution.
With Philippe Coutinho side-lined until the end of November with muscle injury and provided that Messi doesn’t start, Luis Suarez will likely be joined by Ousmane Dembélé and Rafinha up front. Although Valverde may also opt to start with Malcom, after the Brazilian came onto to score the equalizer against Inter on Wednesday night with his first touches of the ball.
Valverde will also be without injured defenders Thomas Vermaelan and Samuel Umtiti, meaning Clement Lenglet is likely to start in the centre defence alongside Gerard Pique.
Quique Setién said he personally wouldn’t risk starting Messi in the game today in an interview earlier this week, in what was a thinly veiled plea for mercy to his opposite number Ernesto Valverde. The Betis coach knows if his team have any hope of getting something out of the game against a currently high-flying Barca side, it would be more likely without the Argentinean talisman on the field.
Barca won both games against the Seville club last season, beating them 2-0 at home in August, before trouncing them 5-0 in January at the Estadio Benito Villamarín. Betis will need the likes of Joaquin and Loren, who is their top scorer this season with three goals, to be at the top of their game if they are going to leave Camp Nou with at least a point.