Messi & Suarez Braces Send Barcelona 11 Points Clear
Spanish LaLiga Report: Real Betis v FC Barcelona 21 January 2018
Result: Real Betis 0-5 FC Barcelona
Date: 21 January 2018
Venue: Estadio Benito Villamarín
After a tough start to the match, FC Barcelona wore Real Betis down at the Benito Villamarín and braces from Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez led them to a 5-0 win.
Betis opted to take the game to Barcelona instead of parking the bus. Early on, the strategy appeared to rattle the Catalans. In the third minute, Andrés Guardado pinched the ball off the feet of Sergi Roberto and unleashed a fierce long-range strike, but fired just wide of the post.
However, Barcelona slowly settled into the game and began to pile pressure on the home defence as the first half progressed. Nevertheless, Betis didn’t allow them much in the way of opportunities and the teams went into half-time deadlocked at 0-0.
Even after coming out again, Barcelona struggled to break Betis down. However, in the 59th minute, they finally broke the deadlock. Suárez played Ivan Rakitic through on goal and he slid the ball underneath Antonio Adán and into the net.
Five minutes later, Messi was played in by Sergio Busquets. The Betis defence left the Argentine in acres of space and he calmly slotted into the bottom corner to double the Blaugrana’s lead.
The floodgates were well and truly open by then, and after five more minutes, Suárez bagged a goal he had been threatening to score for some time. He hit Rakitic’s cross from the right on the volley and rifled the ball into the bottom corner, leaving Adán with no chance.
A trademark Messi goal followed in the 80th minute after Zouhair Feddal carelessly gave the ball away, leaving Barcelona with a two-on-two. The diminutive number 10 evaded the defenders and effortlessly slotted the ball under Adán at the near post.
Messi turned provider in the 89th minute, setting Suárez up for a simple finish at the near post with a pass inside the box. The cherry had been put on top of the cake.
Barcelona were as dominant as ever in the closing stages and could easily have had more goals, but having now moved 11 points clear of Atlético Madrid at the top of LaLiga, they will be more than content.