Barcelona vs Betis, summary: Cancelo, Felix, score, goals & highlights | LaLiga EA Sports 23/24
Barcelona vs Betis: as it happened
That's all for today, folks!
Hope you enjoyed the coverage as much as I enjoyed the game. What a performance!
Make sure to check out the rest of AS USA for all the football. All of it.
Hey, get your own puns!
LaLiga English certainly have plenty of content with the fantastic form of the two Joãos.
Strikers need goals for confidence, he lives for that.
I'm working to be at my best level, I have great teammates. I just try to be another player on the team.
I am happy, the change was good for me, my family and friends.
Well, that was as perfect a performance as you're likely to see from a team in Europe all season.
Real Betis did not lay a glove on a rampant Barcelona side who thoroughly demolished them from start to finish. Xavi's side were relentless in their attacking and defending all across the pitch and if the referee had the power, he would have stopped the game shortly after half-time.
The two new signings, theJoãobrothers, were at the heart of absolutely everything that Barcelona did during the game, with the forward providing endless bowls of magic for his teammates to feed on.
The right-back came into his own in the second half, and completely owned the entire right side of the pitch.
Félixgot the first goal after a lovely run to create the space, and his finish was superb, setting up the fans for a feast. Lewandowski's second, although not credited officially, was entirely created by Félix, who allowed the ball to wonderfully roll through his legs to the Polish forward.
Goal number three came after half time, and was a delightful free-kick from Ferran. Raphinha got number four just four minutes later as Betis backed off, allowing the Brazilian to fire in from distance.
And the final one was the other João's, with a superb piece of skill sending Miranda flying before a deadly finish crashed past the goalkeeper to make it five on the night for Barça.
The Catalan side's next game is against Royal Antwerp in the UEFA Champions League, and will take place next Wednesday.
Barça have absolutely destroyed Real Betis!
Full-time match report coming up...
Gundogan almost writes his name on the scoresheet as he gets a toe on the end of a low cross that Betis fail to defend, but his touch zips just wide from close range.
2 added minutes.
Raphinha's cross is met by Lewandowski who tries an outrageous flick that's saved.
CHANCE FOR BARCELONA
How do they keep doing it?
Another Barcelona attack where it feels like there are only 3 Betis shirts on the pitch. The ball lands with Raphinha on the right side of the box whose driven effort is well stopped by the poor goalkeeper.
BIG SAVE FROM VIEITES
Betis are not able to put a string of 3 passes together: Barcelona's press is as jubilant and energetic as the fans in the stands.
As I was saying, this is painful for Betis. Cancelo gets the ball out wide on the right, skips inside before dragging it back onto his right foot, sending poor Miranda scrambling to regain his soul, which has fallen out of his mouth.
The shot is fired across goal and smashes into the bottom left corner.
CANCELO MAKES IT FIVE
This is painful if you're a Betis fan...
A delightful flick from Gavi allows Marcos Alonso to race through the middle of the pitch, but he gets altitude sickness so high up and messes his square ball towards the front men.
Betis have had a nice spell of possession, but I suspect it's due to the fact that Barça are allowing them to do so. Kind of like allowing a death row inmate to choose their last meal. It feels like freedom, but it's not.
Marcos Alonso & Iñigo Martínez ON
Christensen & Balde OFF
Abde, with a few yards of space ahead of him, smashes the ball from distance towards Ter Stegen, but it zooms over.
Altimira finds the ball on the edge of the box and swings a desperate leg at it, which flies high into the stands.
If this were a boxing match, Betis would have been counted out long ago.
RAPHINHA FIRES OVER THE BAR
Another scary moment for this beaten Betis side, who don't manage to tackle three Barça players as they switch the ball between them while on the attack.
In the end, a tip on Ferran is awarded to the home side, and it's given pretty much exactly where he scored his earlier goal.
Barça attack again with Raphinha, who chips his cross inwards and sees it blocked out for a corner.
Barcelona have been brilliant, but Betis have played absolutely woefully. Not one pass has worked this half and they look absolutely gone.
Raphinha receives possession on the edge of the box from the left side. He takes a touch to roll the ball out from under his feet as Betis stand and watch.
A low strike flies off his boot into the far corner of the goal and there is a party atmosphere at Montjuïc today!
Raphinha comes on and immediately makes a chance, skipping inside from the right before seeing his low shot blocked well by Miranda.
The olés are out from the crowd...
Gundogan, Raphinha, Lamine Yamal
Ferran, Oriol, Félix
The effort is whipped low around the wall from the right of the box and the goalkeeper has no chance of getting a hand to it!
FERRAN SCORES THE FREE-KICK FROM DISTANCE
A free-kick is given to Barça and Ferran is eyeing up the shot.
Changes coming up for the home side...
Betis attack and Barça recover - it's João again who is in the middle of things, dribbling away from danger before turning round and recycling the ball in a move that puts Barça back in control and puts the crowd on their feet to applaud.
The ball gets floated over from the right towards Balde, whose shot is saved by the goalkeeper.
Félix is the quickest to get on the end of the loose ball and tap into an empty net, but the flag is already up for an offside position earlier in the move.
Ayoze slips the ball through the legs of Balde on the right side and almost makes it all the way to Ter Stegen, but Barça defend well.
Bellerín gets forward but his terribly judged cross is designed for a 6-metre tall player, and not Willian José, who throws his arms in the air.
Betis' press is simply not enough, it's giving every single Barcelona player the time and space to receive with their back to goal before turning to either find a pass or get a shot off. A dangerous recipe.
Ferran's shot is weak and floats agonisingly wide, but that was great work from Lewandowski, João and Gavi, once again. The three linked up well in the middle and allowed Lewandowski to find space in the box to get his head up and search for a pass.
Willian José doesn't read the pass from Altimira and that would have seen him through. I can't hear the groans from my position, but I can certainly see the frustrated eyebrows crunching.
Ez Abde gets his first touches and looks lively, skipping past a few challenges and dragging his team up the pitch.
Isco and Willian José fail to link up well as Betis attack and Barcelona launch an immediate counter, with Lewandowski getting his feet in a tangle on the edge of the box, allowing Bartra to clear.
Ooofff... Vieites almost gets caught out and manages to whack the ball away just in time before Ferran and Lewandowski close him down from both sides.
Ferran gets the ball on the edge of the box and lashes a shot high and wide from the central channel.
Just over 45,000 fans are here today to watch the game.
Ez Abde & Vieites ON
Luiz Henrique & Rui Silva OFF
The home side immediately win a corner after Balde goes on a mazy run down the left, but Betis defend it well.
And we're off!
Barça get us going...
Here come the players for the second half!
We're almost ready to go!
João joins an exclusive list
There are some fantastic names who have played for both Atlético Madrid and Barcelona - who's your favourite?
Let us know @English_AS and I'll argue forever against you if it's not David Villa.
The man of the moment!
João Félix has been superb for 45 minutes and by far and away Barcelona's most dangerous player - can he do it again in the second half?
What a half of football from Barça...
The home side have, in the end, taken full control of the game and look ready to score plenty more goals in the second half. Félix has been superb and has pulled the strings for Xavi's side using his dribbling and vision to tear the Betis defence apart.
A few super saves from Ter Stegen in the end mean that Barça go into half-time with a clean sheet but overall Xavi will be very pleased with the performance.
That's all for now!
3 added minutes.
The ball flies in from the right and finds Willian José just a few yards out. The connection with the ball is perfect and his volleyed effort is superbly saved by the German stopper!
HUGE SAVE FROM TER STEGEN
It would have been offside anyway, but Willian José will be annoyed at his poor effort.
The ball was given away easily in the Barça half and Isco latched onto it, playing in behind the ex-Madrid striker, who lashed a wild shot high and wide.
BETIS WITH A HUGE CHANCE
Again, João Félix gets the chance to turn and run at the Betis defence, which is what he has done for the entire first half.
He makes it 30 yards into the attacking half and plays left towards Lewandowski, who sees his low shot well blocked by Bartra.
HUGE CHANCE FOR BARCELONA
Félix goes down in the box and wants a penalty... Referee says no, señores.
5 minutes to go...
Betis' defenders just about survive after a simple long ball is taken down well by Lewandowski. After around 4 attempts to clear, someone in a shite shirt finally hoofs the ball away from the danger zone.
A quick drop ball from the referee with four names and we're back to the action.
It looks like he's OK to carry on.
Rui Silva is down injured and Betis' 3rd-choice keeper is warming up.
At this rate, João Félix is going to pull a rabbit out of his shorts if he keeps up the magic we've seen so far.
That came from nowhere: the ball was played to Félix by Christensen. The Portuguese, on the edge of the box with his back to goal, chooses to let the ball roll through his legs in a move which tricks all but two players on the pitch, the other being Lewandowski.
The Polish human/robot takes one touch on the penalty spot and smashes a low effort past Rui Silva.
BARCELONA DOUBLE THE LEAD
Again, Balde does great work on the left to skip past Bellerín, but his cross is blocked and Betis get away with another one.
Barça break away and the ball lands with Félix, but the ex-Benfica boy takes one touch too many as he crosses halfway and Betis recover.
A nice cross from Isco as he tries to get his side immediately back into the game, but the ball is headed behind for a corner to Betis.
We're back underway.
Oriol plays a curling cross from the right corner of the box towards Félix, who hits the volley that is saved by Rui Silva.
The ball is pushed away to the right but the forward follows it up and smashes in from a tight angle to put Barcelona ahead!
BARCELONA GO AHEAD
Chadi Riad's recovery speed is tested when Ferran is played in behind on the right side after a nice recovery from Barcelona.
The centre-back does excellently well to make up the ground and win back the ball.
Overall, I'd say the game has been even so far.
Barcelona definitely came flying out of the blocks but the away side have arguably had the better chances to score.
Rui Silva does well to come out and get a hand to a high ball that nearly meets Ferran's head, which would have been a huge chance to open the scoring.
Great positioning and timing from the stopper.
Marc Roca's cross from deep flies over Balde's head and lands with Ayoze, who sees his shot crash into the side netting from the right side of the box.
AYOZE INTO THE SIDE NETTING
It's Koundé's error that sees Isco through. He plays to Willian José who slides in Henrique down the right.
The winger sets himself up inside the box and hits a low shot that lasers across goal but flies out the other side of the pitch.
HUGE CHANCE FOR REAL BETIS
A fantastic run from Balde sees him skip past 2 defenders, but his cross doesn't find a teammate and Betis survive.
Barça get a corner after Balde's cross is deflected out. Another good opportunity for the home team down the wing.
João Félix slides Ferran in behind down the right side and the winger breaks forward and plays a low cross towards Lewandowski, who can't get a foot to the ball before it's cleared.
Fantastic work from the Portuguese, who has looked incredibly lively so far.
CHANCE FOR BARÇA
The cut back from Lewandowski doesn't find Félix in the middle of the area and Betis, who are on the back foot, manage to defend.
Miranda's header takes the ball away from Ferran, who was shaping to hit the cross on the volley.
Barça are getting into their groove now...
The first shot of the game comes from Cancelo, who drives in from the left and fires an effort high over the crossbar from distance.
João Félix gets a huge cheer after he goes to ground to recover the ball. The crowd enjoyed that hugely.
So far, Barcelona's press has put Betis under huge strain and is working a dream.
Bellerín plays to Willian José who immediately sprays it left towards Ayoze, but the Spaniard can't get the ball under control and Betis' first attempt at an attack breaks down.
The away side get their first touches of the ball but Barça pounce like tigers and recover possession in seconds.
Betis have set up in a 5-3-2 out of possession, as they look to push Barcelona out wide and flood the middle of the pitch.
It's Barça, as you might expect, with the early possession as Betis chase them around.
The atmosphere, despite my early worry, is actually very loud.
And we're off!
The home side get us going from left to right.
The teams are out!
The Betis fans are making a huge noise!
Here was the scene ahead of kick-off, when the huge number of Betis fans were making their way to the stadium.
The warmups are complete!
The teams are heading down the tunnel for the final team talk before kick-off!
A reminder of the starting XIs:
GK: Ter Stegen
DEF: Cancelo - Koundé - Christensen - Balde
MID: Oriol - De Jong - Gavi
ATT: Ferran - Lewandowski - João Félix
GK: Rui Silva
DEF: Bellerín - Bartra - Chadi Riad - Miranda
MID: Roca - Altimira - Isco
ATT: Ayoze - Willian José - Luiz Henrique
The players have started their warmups!
That means the clock is well and truly ticking down to kick-off!
We've got around half an hour to go!
Fancy watching the game with your eyes as well as following this fun live stream?
Well, you're in luck, as here's all the info you could possible want on just how to get the game on your screen, whether that's a TV or a live stream, like the cool kids do.
Opta with the goods...
It's some record that the blaugrana have against the verdiblancos, having won a whopping 17 out of the last 20 games against them.
However, this will be the first time they've faced each other at the Montjuïc stadium, so who knows what might happen?
The Polish striker commented on a potential move to MLS, as well as opening up on whether he could be tempted by Saudi Arabian cash:
“Saudi Arabia? I don’t even think about that. I’m super happy at Barcelona, in the team, in the city, with my family. As a person, I’m happy.
Before the coronavirus pandemic”, he said, “the idea of MLS was firmly in my mind. But somehow I changed my mind afterwards. After the chapter at Barcelona, that’s difficult to imagine.”
What do you think about Lewandowski's comments? Would you have liked to see him in MLS?Let us know on Twitter @English_AS
How's it looking for Betis?
Real Betis are slightly behind Barcelona in the league table, and they sit in 8thplace after 2 wins, a draw and a loss.
Although, I have to be honest, looking at the league table positions at this stage merely serves to check out the early season form.
How the top of the table looks...
Barcelona are sitting in 4th place after 4 games, and they have 10 points.
Xavi's side have won 3 and drawn 1, meaning they, like Real Madrid who sit at the top with a perfect record so far, are yet to lose in the league this season.
The two Joãos make their debut... together.
I still haven't seen them apart, and I'm now thinking that maybe it's part of their contract...
Here's the Barça XI:
João Félix makes the XI as Lamine Yamal is rested.
Gundogan is also on the bench after his injury midweek.
Barcelona arrive at the stadium!
And it's fashionvictimKoundé who gets the honour of having his photo posted by the Barça social media team, thanks to his lovely trousers and MIB sunglasses.
Who's the ref?
José María Sánchez Martínez is the man four names and he also has the whistle today.
He was born in 1983 and made his LaLiga debut in 2015, becoming FIFA registered 2 years later.
He has overseen almost100LaLiga firstdivision games and in his spare time is a qualified economist.
Sánchez Martínez has also blown the whistle for Euros matches as well as games in the NationsLeague.
"Betis is a top team, technically one of the best in the league. They have players you can fully trust like Isco, Ayoze, Willian José, Borja..."
"They like to control the ball, so dominating possession will be a key factor in this game. It'll be a tight match."
"We need to take the three points at home and we'll need the fans there to help us. We have three big games in just seven days, so we need a full Estadi Olímpic."
"There will be rotations out of necessity. We have seven games in 20 days. We have the squad to deal with that. But there are players who have been playing internationals and some will be rested."
Here's the stadium in the Spanish sun...
It has a capacity of 49.472, which is around half of Barcelona's normal ground. However, it's sold out for the game so let's see if we hear a good atmosphere today!
Wait... this is not Camp Nou?!
Yes, you are right, eagle-eyed reader, Barcelona are not playing at their usual home this season due to stadium renovations.
Basically, Camp Nou was falling to pieces and it needs a good bit of TLC, so the cranes are lurching over the top as it gets a face lift.
Montjuïc is the old home of Espanyol, and let’s be honest, it’s not a great stadium.
Access is poor, the capacity is seriouslylimited and most of all, the view from the lower parts of the stands is like watching a close-up magician from the back of the school hall.
Betis team news:
EzAbde and Chadi Riad, both of whom signed from Barcelona in the summer, are in the Betis squad.
The list of doubts at Betis is quite long, with all of Nabil Fekir, Andrés Guardado, Claudio Bravo, Aitor Ruibal, William Carvalho giving manager Pellegrini a selection headache.
Youssouf Sabaly is the only confirmed injury absence.
Barcelona team news:
The big names that are out for the blaugrana are Pedri and RonaldAraujo, who are continuing with their recoveries.
Gundogan is also a doubt after suffering a bruised back on international duty, and Raphinha may see his minutes reduced after a long-haul journey with Brazil.
As well as this, Fermín López won’t be available after being a naughty boy and getting a red card in the last game.
Hello hello and a big warm welcome to the sold-out Montjuic stadium for Barcelona vs Betis in LaLiga !
It’s Joe here to guide you through all the juicy action in Spain.