Real Betis vs Barcelona, summary: Koundé own goal, goals, stats & highlights | LaLiga Santander 2022/23
Real Betis vs Barcelona: as it happened
OK, folks, that's all for me today!
Check out all the latest news over at en.as.com and make sure you come back and say hello for tomorrow's game: Real Madrid vs Valencia!
Baldé's heat map
Shall I give him the coveted award of AS USA Player of the Match?
OK, fine! Baldé wins it!
"It was a clear foul on Aitor.
I think we played well and had a good second half. We had chances to score.
They played the ball 20 metres away from where the foul was [on the free-kick before the goal].
Anyone could have won, and Barcelona won it.
I wish we could have finished the chances we created.
Fekir couldn't play more than 60 minutes because of his injury."
That Busquets was excellent. And I think we all agree. A fantastic defensive performance.
"I think we played our own game, a great game, in a difficult stadium.
We are very happy not only for the result but the game.
We have improved since the Girona game.
Wedominated, we moved well, played well inside and outside.
It was hard to make changes as everyone was playing well.
I think we are in a good mental moment, we are confident and have a lot of desire to compete.
Luckily we have 3 great left-backs. Today Baldé had a great game, he's so young, so I'm happy for him."
It wasn't a 1-0, but it'll do!
A new record for Xavi's men. Even if they're not scoring a huge number of goals every game, this is how leagues are won. By fighting through them.
How the table looks:
So, there is Barcelona, at the top, with 50 points from 19 games: an amazing return.
Madrid have it all to do if they want to catch the Catalan club, 8 points is a mammoth-sized gap and Barcelona will have to suffer a terrible run of form if they are to be caught. Madrid's chase starts tomorrow, against Valencia (which you can follow live, with myself, on en.as.com).
There was a red card right at the end there for William Carvalho, who was on the bench, for protesting.
Well, what a game that ended up being.
Barcelona battled and fought their way through. They dominated the second half and probably deserved the victory.
Betis were carried through by the amazing fans that whistled and cheered every single moment in the game, and overall, Xavi must be delighted to escape the stadium with 3 points.
Raphinha was excellent today, he was direct, decisive, strong in the press and always looked to make things happen. The same can be said for Baldé, who might even be my player of the match.
The game is over!
FT: Real Betis 1-2 FC Barcelona
Into the last minute of the game.
Guido tries to thread a pass through the lines on the edge of the box but Barcelona cut out well.
Pezzella has been great today. He wins another battle with Lewandowski in the air, giving possession back to the home side.
Juanmi breaks down the left.
4 added minutes.
We're into the last minute of normal time...
Betis have Barcelona pinned right back onto their 18-yard line.
The crowd are willing them to keep pressing, which they do.
JUANMI ALMOST GETS THE SECOND
A defensive header flies wide and the striker was so close to connecting with the ball!
The stadium is a box of nerves, now.
Betis are right back in this, and on the attack.
The ball was fired across the box and it hit Koundé who wasn't sure whether to clear it or control it. He did neither and now we have a game on our hands!
Ferran plays a heavy ball down the wing to chase, forgetting that De Jong has played almost 85 minutes. The Dutchman just looks at his teammate in disbelief.
Barcelona are having fun now.
LEWANDOWSKI HEADS JUST WIDE!
A fantastic, mazy run from Pedri ends in a last-second challenge from Pezzella who cuts out the pass.
Barcelona are cruising now.
The ball fell to Araújo whose header lands at the feet of the striker. He takes a touch, gets the ball out from under his feet and passes it past Rui Silva from close range.
LEWANDOWSKI TAPS IN FROM THE CORNER
Raphinha (who has been excellent today) wins a corner after good work down the right wing.
A dangerous free-kick for Barcelona on the left is sent wide by Raphinha.
Borja Iglesias, LuizHenrique and Ruibal OFF
Rodri, Sabaly and WillianJose ON
A series of near-fatal mistakes from the Betis players see Barça have multiple chances to play the ball over the top or in behind. Felipe and Pezzella save the team again.
A bad touch from Pedri (yes, really) sees a potential Barcelona attack break down on the right side.
Pellegrini is preparing three changes.
Luiz Henrique wastes a great counter attack opportunity as his pass is neither accurate nor correctly weighted. Arms thrown in the air by a lot of teammates who saw the chance as a huge moment to take advantage of the numerical superiority that the home side had over their opponents.
Busquets slips in Lewandowski down the left channel but Felipe doesvery well down low to get to the ball before the striker. Corner.
Fantastic work from Juanmi who rides more challenges than Indiana Jones before playing the ball in a quick triangle with a teammate.
Lovely work in the middle of the pitch.
BETIS COME SO CLOSE!
Borja gets the ball inside the box and instead of shooting he turns and puts it on a plate for Juanmi, who does not read the movement and falls over as he stretches for the ball.
Huge sarcastic cheers and applause as the referee blows for a foul on Juanmi.
This crowd is at boiling point...
Canales and Guardado both booked.
Baldé broke down the left after a quick free-kick (with half of the Betis team complaining at the referee and the other half asleep). He fired a low cross across goal and Raphinha was there to tap in.
RAPHINHA FIRES HOME AFTER A BALDE CROSS
Ruibal is brought down as he looks for the one-two with Borja Iglesias.
Is it worth me typing what the referee decided?
Juanmi and Guardado ON
William Carvalho and Fekir OFF
Now it's Koundé who is down in the box after a challenge from Felipe.
The referee says... you guessed it!
Gavi gets his first involvement in a while as he bursts down the left side and fires in a cross that is well blocked by Ruibal.
Guardado is ready to come on for Real Betis.
Raphinha is down in the box (again). It looked incredibly soft and theatrical.
The Brazilian went down like a dying swan, I'm sure he'll be just fine.
It was offside.
Raphinha was brought down in the box but received the ball in an offside position. The game continues.
A bit of confusion as nobody is sure if the referee has blown for offside of a penalty...
Pedri slips in Lewandowski through the Betis defence but the ball hits the striker on the back of the boot and falls to a Betis defender. That came from absolutely nowehere!
Fekir tries an ambitious shot from the edge of the box; Ter Stegen easily collects the ball low down.
Busquets robs William Carvalho on the edge of the box and Pedri picks up the pieces, starting an attack from very close to the home side's area. Betis defend well and clear the ball.
Ansu Fati is warming up. El señor del gol.
Busquets gets a foul given in his favour after battling with William Carvalho. Borja Iglesias smacks the ball away in frustration and the whistles from the crowd might call a million dogs towards the stadium any moment now.
Canales does brilliantly to work the ball forward and ride the challenges from Koundé. The ball falls to Guido who goes down right on the edge of the box.
Just like in the first half, the referee decides not to blow for a foul.
Anyone want to guess how the crowd reacted? Yes, very angrily.
AN AMAZING SAVE FROM SILVA
Baldé burned past his opposite number and the low cross met Pedri on the penalty spot, who had time to turn, look up, make a cup of tea, and fire a shot straight into the strong palms of Rui Silva.
Pedri catches the ball out of the sky on his foot as though it were a kitten falling out of a window. Every time. What a lovely touch.
Barcelona have started well, they've pushed Betis right back into their defensive third.
Xavi immediately looks incredibly nervous again. I don't think he's having a very nice time so far, despite the chances.
Aaaaand here we go!
Second half underway!
Barcelona, in their gold kit, kick us off.
The players are back out of the tunnel and ready to get going for the second half!
Will we be in for the same feisty second half as we saw in the first 45'?
That was an eventful first half. Barcelona had a goal rightly ruled out for offside and have probably had the better of the chances, but the Betis atmosphere is a living organism and is screaming down every challenge and forward pass for the home side.
This one could go either way. Let's see if Betis can break the Barcelona deadlock in the second half or if the Catalan side will reach that magic number of 50 points!
No added time here.
Into the last minute of normal time.
The referee has let go two or three fouls in the last minute that could easily have been given (and maybe even yellow cards). Very curious decisions.
Pantomime villain Gavi comes close with a header but he was well offside.
It's safe to say, everybody inside the stadium is angry.
Betis because they are not getting the fouls they think they deserve.
Barcelona because, well, I'm not really sure. But Xavi's angry and so is Busquets. As is Gavi and all the rest.
Borja Iglesias is fouled by Christensen (again) yet the referee fails to blow up for the challenge. A look of sheer incredulity on the striker's face needs to become a meme, ASAP. Do your work, internet people.
A strong press from Canales on Araújo gets the crowd back on their feet for the final 5 minutes of the half.
BIG SAVE FROM SILVA
The ball was ludicrously deflected from a Betis player to Pedri who was behind the defensive line, all on his own. Luckily, the goalkeeper thought quickly and managed to get off his line to stop the midfielder for the second time tonight.
Pezzella doesn't let Gavi have a second on the ball. His crunching tackle stops a potential counter attack from him and Baldé. Well defended by the centre-back.
Betis work the ball well from left to right but Barcelona's block is well positioned to stop the attack. Comfortable defending.
The chipped cross from the left met the Brazilian winger who slipped behind the defender on the right, but the replay shows he started his run just a split second too early.
THE BALL IS IN THE NET
HUGE CHANCE FOR BETIS
KOUNDE BLOCKS THE SHOT FROM CANALES
Ruibal was played down the right (thanks to a fantastic pass from Fekir) and sent a low cross across the box to Canales, who had his shot blocked well.
A Raphinha cross is hoofed over everybody in the box and the latest chance ends in nothing.
The past 5-10 minutes have seen the game go from chances every minute to fouls every 30 seconds.
The crowd are getting antsy but it's more with the referee than the team and as such are continuing their top-tier support.
I love Luiz Henrique, but sometimes he is like a dog with a balloon.
He received the ball on the right wing with the chance to drive forward but instead made things look difficult by getting the ball caught under his feet.
Lots of bleached hairdos on the Betis team making my life difficult tonight. The Bleach Boys.
Now it's Canales who's punished for a challenge on Gavi.
Boos all around as Gavi goes in heavily on Fekir before the Spaniard claims he was injured in the challenge. The homeboy making the home fans angry.
A great challenge from Felipe stops a Baldé cross landing at the feet of a gold shirt and Betis survive another ball slipped in behind Ruibal on their right.
Canales does excellently to swerve past 2 challenges and play the ball to Fekir. Those two have just started to wave their magic wands in the past few minutes.
CHANCE FOR BARCELONA
WHAT A SAVE FROM SILVA
Pedri was about to dribble through 3,000 players aftera great Raphinha pass but the goalkeeper got down superbly well to stop the threat. The midfielder was just yards outside the goal, all on his own.
Xavi is furious at Pedri for not passing the ball.
Fekir's pass is just too difficult for Luiz Henrique and is deflected away. He charges it down and wins a great free-kick after a needless foul from Baldé.
To be crossed in from near the right corner flag.
Ter Stegen punches away.
This is shaping up to be a fiery affair. Borja complains after Araújo holds onto him in a blatant foul, not given.
Then Gavi claims he is pushed by a Betis player.
The crowd are bubbling.
Ouch. Lewandowski jumped for the corner but his Pezzella on the head with his face.
He seems OK to continue.
Balde breaks away down the left after a nice lay-off from Lewandowski but Ruibal charges back and delights the crowd with a fantastic challenge.
PENALTY SHOUT FOR BETIS
Borja crashed into Kounde in the box and fell to the ground. It looked soft.
Ruibal brought down by a Lewandowski challenge. The referee fails to blow which causes the crowd into mayhem.
The referee then blows the whistle.
SO CLOSE FROM BETIS
William took a lovely touch to open the space down the left for Borja, whose outside of the foot cross met Luiz Henrique, but his shot was deflected just wide. Big chance.
Lewandowski tries a shot from 40 yards, blocked by Pezzella.
Betis win the ball back in the middle of the pitch and launch a counter with the blonde Canales, who is chased down by Pedri.
It's a hugely energetic start from both sides.
Free-kick for Barcelona, in a central position. About 40 yards out.
Pedri chips the ball over the wall and it's cleared. For a second I though Araújo was going to shoot.
Baldé is as high up the pitch as Lewandowski, pushing Betis back and making them well aware there is space to be exploited.
A few times now Barça have tried to slip him in behind, but Luiz Henrique has done well to defend.
The stadium is shaking it's that loud. Let's see if Betis can take advantage of the amazing atmosphere early on.
Barcelona are holding the ball well, moving it quickly from side to side in the middle third, trying to find a way through the Betis block.
Raphinha broke behind Betis' defensive line and cut back on his left before unleashing a low shot that Silva saved well.
On second viewing, he looked slightly offside as the ball over the top fell to him.
Barcelona start brightly, and Baldé is played down the left from a De Jong pass. Carvalho gets in the way well as the left-back slips into the box.
De Burgos Bengoetxea is the referee today.
He is also a dental technician. Let's hope he keeps everyone smiling throughout the match.
And we're off!
Betis kick us off from left to right.
Now the Betis himno is ringing around the ground. One of the greatest atmospheres in Spain (and Europe) without a doubt.
The players are in the tunnel... we're almost ready to go!
LaLiga top scorers
1. Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona) - 13
2. Joselu (Espanyol) - 11
3. Iago Aspas (Celta de Vigo) - 9
3. Borja Iglesias (Real Betis) - 9
3. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) - 9
Did you miss this?
Spanish right-back Héctor Bellerín continues his journey in football, signing for Sporting Clube de Portugal.
Player to watch: Luiz Henrique
My player to watch tonight is Luiz Henrique. The Brazilian winger came from Fluminense in 2022 for just €10 million and has lit up the wing for Betis since.
In a year in which Fekir and Canales, despite both still being brilliant, haven't hit the heights of last season, Henrique has provided the spark on many occasions so far to guide Betis to winning ways.
Barcelona's defence has been the best in Europe until today - but we could definitely see things change if Luiz Henrique has one of his hot days.
25 minutes to go!
Where in the world are you following the game from?
Let us know @English_AS on Twitter.
The Gavi case is still not over
The Gavi case is still not over.
But what is the Gavi case? Might he leave Barcelona?
Check out the explainer by clicking on the image above.
“The match against Real Betis is important. Manuel Pellegrini is a manager who changes his tactics often. He has many talented players in his team who can make a difference.
It will be very important to keep possession and continue attacking. Betis can complicate things for us. It is a very difficult match.
The team in general has to create more in attack and be more decisive in the final third, not only Raphinha. Raphinha will be important. I have a lot of confidence in him that he will make a difference.”
"They would be 3 very important points that would let us into the Champions League spots.
The more players we have available, the better.
[Abner] is a good player, he's adapting and is good for us.
The reason we've scored less than last year is down to Juanmi's injury, in a big way. We're going to try play our football today to score. We played well in the Super Cup.
This fixture has always been an equal one."
Sofascore's u-21 team of the month
Star-boy Pedri is front and centre of the ratings, only behind Kubo and Brennan Johnson.
Here's how he managed to get Barça the 3 points against Girona in what was his 100th appearance for the club.
The players are at the stadium...
Well, Xavi is not a player anymore (we wish!) but the serious face of el jefe makes us think that Barça mean business tonight!
"We're having a really good first half of the season, but if we get the three points it will be even better.
We want to improve on what we've already done and and we're going to try do it, even if we are playing against the league leader."
And here is the Barça starting XI:
Kounde - Araújo - Christensen - Baldé
Gavi - Busquets - De Jong
Pedri - Lewandowski - Raphinha
Real Betis starting XI:
Aitor Rubial - Pezzella - Luiz Felipe - Abner
Guido - William C
Luiz H - Canales - Fekir
Which Barça player started out his youth career at Real Betis, moving to the Catalan youth system in 2015?
Send you answer to @English_AS on Twitter - I'll reveal who it is after the teams are announced!
Some pre-match stats:
It shouldn't be long until we get the team sheets through, so let's take a look at some statistics beforehand:
- Barcelona are unbeaten in 19 of 21 games against Real Betis (all competitions)
- Real Betis are looking to make it into the Champions League for the first time since 2005/06.
- If Xavi's side win, it will be Barça's 6th straight win at the Estadio Benito Villamarín - the last time Betis beat them at home was in 2011.
- Barcelona have conceded just SIX goals all season in the league: it is the best defence in Europe's top 5 divisions.
The last 5 meetings between the two:
12/01/23 (Spanish Super Cup) Barça 2-2 Betis (Barça won on pens)
07/05/22 (LaLiga) Betis 1-2 Barça
04/12/21 (LaLiga) Barça 0-1 Betis
07/02/21 (LaLiga) Betis 2-3 Barça
07/11/20 (LaLiga) Barça 5-2 Betis
Betis' recent form
As for losverdiblancos, things haven't been going so well. They beat Getafe at the weekend in possibly the most boring game of the season but before that they lost to Espanyol and Osasuna.
They will be looking for their key figures such as Fekir, Canales and Luis Henrique to get them through the slight blip they find themselves in.
Barcelona's last 5 games
Pedri's single goal against Girona meant that for the first time in their history, Barça have won 3 consecutive games 1-0. Might they make it 4 tonight?
The last time they lost a match was way back in October, when Bayern Munich thumped them 3-0. Since then, it's been all wins and just one draw (vs Espanyol; OK, two if you count the cup game against Betis that Barça won on penalties).
Copa del Rey 2022/23 semi-final draw: as it happened
The Copa del Rey semi-final draw took place on Monday, and we got two tasty ties... check them out!
Pedri reaches milestone with Barcelona: 100 games played
Do not fear, Barcelona fans!
You have Pedri!
Yes, the midfielder came on in Dembélé's place during the 0-1 win over Girona and scored the only goal of the game. It was his 100th game for the club. He's quite good, isn't he?
Barcelona injury news:
It might be the only negative news item on the club's agenda this week, but Dembélé's injury is as serious as feared, and he will be out for some time, perhaps up to three weeks. The winger had found form recently and his absence will force Xavi to shake things up for the foreseeable future.
Betis injury news
Good news for manager, Manuel Pellegrini, as he has a fully fit squad except for Juan Cruz, who is a long term absence.
Fekir and Carvalho are expected to play tonight after not playing 90 minutes in the 0-1 thriller (it wasn't) against Getafe at the weekend.
Possible Barcelona XI for Betis test as Xavi eyes 50 points
Here is how Barcelona are expected to line up, given the injury to Dembélé.
Here's Real Betis:
The poor guys. As you can see, they're level on points with Villarreal having played on game less, so a draw tonight would see them leapfrog the Yellow Submarine into the Europa League places; a win would see them level with Atlético in the Champions League positions!
But they've got Rayo and Osasuna hot on their tails so a slip up (we'll check out the stats in a mo) would mean that the two below would have a great chance to spring a European surprise.
How things stand at the top:
Here's how the top of the table look and the cruel IT people have left out 6th place on the graphic, which is exactly where Real Betis are.
Barcelona, for their part, will be looking to make the gap between Real Madrid and themselves pretty humungous in terms of a title challenge, a win today would see them go 8 (eight) points clear at the top of the LaLiga tree! (Real Madrid play tomorrow against perpetual crisis-club, Valencia).
Good morning/afternoon/evening and welcome to the big clash at the top of LaLiga today: Real Betis vs Barcelona!
What a huge game we've got here, as the away side come into the match in fine form, looking as dangerous as ever, but Betis will surely be no pushovers at their home stadium, which will be rocking.
It's Joe here and I'll be guiding you through all the action live as we get it.
Remember you can get in touch with us in the comments below or via Twitter, @English_AS or @j4brennan.
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