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Deportivo La Coruña
15 January 2012
• Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: Ignacio Iglesias
• Attendance: 69889
L. Messi 12', 86'
A. Sánchez 75'
Rubén Castro 32'
R. Santa Cruz 52'
Full time in Camp Nou. A valiant performance from Real Betis but Barcelona show class to grind out a 4-2 thanks to goals from, Cesc, Xavi, Alexis, and Messi. Thank you for joining us on Goal.com!
Alexis finds a pocket of space just to the left of the Betis box and attempts to curl the the ball into the top corner but it goes just wide.
Barcelona have the win in the bag now and are starting to run down the clock. Andres Iniesta gets a standing ovation as he comes off. Adriano is given a run out for the last few minutes.
Penalty Goal Lionel Messi
GOOOOOAAAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!!! Messi drives the ball emphatically into the left corner from the penalty spot. Game. Over.
Yellow Card Dorado
Penalty for Barcelona! A handball by Dorado in the penalty area after Messi's shot is blocked on the six yard line!
A change for Barcelona as Cesc Fabregas is replaced by Thiago Alcantara.
Yellow Card Matilla
Barcelona, understandably, are being a lot more patient with their play now. The Camp Nou faithful want more goals but they game is being played at a slower pace now.
A tense atmosphere in Camp Nou at the moment. The game is on a knife edge as Betis as still seeing enough of the ball to grab a late goal.
Careless from Busquets as his attempted pass to Alexis on the left is intercepted. Betis now mount a counter attack.
Goal Alexis Sánchez
GOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLL FOR BARCELONA!!! Alexis Sanchez picks up a pass from Xavi on the edge of the box and opens up a yard of space before driving a shot at Castos' near post that squeezes under the Betis goalkeeper! 3-2 Barca!
Alexis Sanchez at the back post!!! Dani Alves clips a fantastic cross into the area for the Chilean, who can only manage to head wide. He should have scored!
A sensible substitution from Pepe Mel. Jorge Molina comes off to be replaced by defender Ustaritz. It looks like its going to be attack versus defence for the last twenty minutes.
Messi steps up to hit the free kick but clips the top of the wall. Barcelona gather possession again and mount another attack. Betis have twenty minutes to hold on with 10 men.
Mario is sent off for Betis!!! A second booking for the Betis man after he brought down Lionel Messi on the edge of the box with a trailing leg. Real Betis down to 10 men!
Yellow Card Iniesta
Penalty shout for Barcelona!!! A delightful turn in the box by Iniesta and the Barca man is clipped by Montero! However the referee books Iniesta for diving! Terrible decision! That looked like a definite penalty!
Fantastic goalkeeping from Casto to sense the typical pass from Xavi to Alves over the top of the defence. The Brazilian looked to be latching on to the ball but the Betis goalkeeper made a brave punch to clear the ball.
Dani Alves drives down the right wing and cuts inside before standing a cross to the back post for Cesc, but the Barca man struggles with his first touch and Betis manage to desperately clear.
Barcelona showing great hunger to get back into the game now. Mascherano has been excellent at the back for Barca and won the ball back magnificently from Castro as Betis looked to be mounting a counter attack.
Yellow Card Mario
Free kick to Barcelona and a yellow card for Mario after the Betis man took out Cesc with a lunge from behind. A bad challenge but Fabregas gets up fairly quickly and Barcelona start play again.
The Barca supporters are creating a fantastic atmosphere to help get their side back into the match now! They were a little flat in the first half but they sense their team need them.
Excellent football from Barca. Xavi clips a gorgeous pass over the top of the Betis defence to Cesc, but the former Arsenal man takes to much time on the ball and sees his shot deflect out for a corner kick.
Well Betis have definitely deserved that equaliser. Barcelona concede two goals in the one game at home in the league having conceded none in the entire first half of the season! Incredible stuff.
Assist Rubén Castro
Goal Roque Santa Cruz
GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL FOR REAL BETIS!!!!! Santa Cruz kicks off a counter attack down the left to Ruben Castro, who gives the ball back into the centre for the Paraguayan, who clips the ball into the top right corner! Great goal! 2-2!!!
Salva Sevilla's free kick goes disappointingly into the wall. Betis pick up the ball again and attempt to mount another attack.
Yellow Card Carles Puyol
Another booking for Barcelona, and for another handball. Carley Puyol comes across and blocks a pass through to Santa Cruz with his elbow. Free kick to Betis on the edge of the box.
Yellow Card Salva Sevilla
A couple of substitutions at half time. Dani Alves has come on to replace Isaac Cuenca for Barcelona and Iriney is replaced by Santa Cruz for Betis.
Roque Santa Cruz
The second period kicks off at Camp Nou. A cracking match so far, lets hope we see some more of the same in the next 45 minutes.
Half time at Camp Nou. Barcelona take an early two goal lead over Betis in the opening fifteen minutes but Pepe Mel's side rallied and grabbed a goal back to make it 2-1 going into the break. Join us in fifteen minutes for the second half!
Yellow Card Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi receives a booking after a deliberate handball on the edge of the box to control the ball. Two weeks in a row the Argentine has earned a yellow card.
Yellow Card Iriney
A heated interaction in midfield between Iriney and Busquets. The Barca midfielder looked to be driving forward to launch a counter attack but the Brazilian tugged and kicked until he committed the foul, and earned a booking.
The corner comes in and Valdes flaps at the ball which allows Molina to head at goal but it goes just over the crossbar!
Corner for Betis after Jefferson Montero's shot is deflected out by a Carles Puyol block. Set-piece opportunity for the visitors.
The Camp Nou crowd are getting on the back slightly of the team now. A couple of misplaced passes have gave Betis a few openings in the midfield area in the last few minutes.
The game is starting to get very stretched now. Real Betis will always have a real chance to hurt Barca on the counter attack due to the three man defence that Pep Guardiola has fielded this evening. They will just need to take advantage of any opportunities.
Assist Salva Sevilla
Goal Rubén Castro
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL FOR REAL BETIS!!! Barcelona concede their first goal at home in the league this season!! Jorge Molina takes the ball around Valdes but in a wide position sets up Sevilla for a shot, which is dragged into the centre where Ruben Castro is waiting for a tap in! Game on!
However, Pepe Mel's side are spraying the ball around nicely in the Barca half, they just need to create some chances.
A quiet period in the match at the moment. Betis are starting to retain possession better in midfield but apart from Castro's shot on the edge of the box, they have barely had a sniff after Barcelona scored their second goal.
Patient play in the final third from Barca at the moment. They are exchanging short, neat passes outside the Betis box but cant find a way through at the moment.
Barca back to exhibition football now. They have dropped a gear in the last 10 minutes or so and are playing the game at their own pace. No need to rush with a two goal lead in the bag.
The visitors opt to take it quickly and play the ball around the Barcelona half. The ball eventually finds its way to Ruben Castro just outside the area but his shot is miss-hit and does not bother Valdes in goal.
Betis with a small period of possession at the moment, and have earned themselves a free kick in a decent position after Busquets fouled Jefferson Montero.
Pinball play from Barca at the moment, Messi to Iniesta, to Xavi, to Alexis, its extremely intricate and entertaining football being played at the moment.
Barcelona have really got into their groove now. After a slightly cautious start they are beginning to dominate the game in every area, and with a two goal lead inside the first twenty minutes, you fear for Betis.
Fantastic run from Messi, driving forward from the centre circle the Argentine fended off several challenges before just allowing the Betis defence to get in a couple of blocks. Barca look in the mood now.
Assist Alexis Sánchez
Goal Lionel Messi
GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!!! An unbelievable couple of minutes! Alexis drives down the left wing and squares an excellent cross into the centre for Messi who taps home from the edge of the six yard box! Too easy!
Assist Cesc Fàbregas
GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!!! Just as I say Barca are under pressure to go up the park and score! An in fortuitous fashion! Cesc found some space just inside the Betis box and was unlucky to hit the post with a left-footed strike, however the rebound comes straight to Xavi, who scores!
Excellent pressing from Betis at the moment. Barca seem to be camped in their own half. Puyol and co at the back are keeping a cool head at the moment, but are under a lot of pressure from the Betis frontline.
Chance for Betis!!! Jorge Molina finds himself through on goal but takes to long to shift himself and his shot hits the chest of the on-rushing Victor Valdes! A great save from the Barca man but Betis should be one up.
A fairly scrappy start to the match at Camp Nou. The middle of the park is congested at the moment and as a result, Barca have been unable to establish their slick passing game as of yet.
Decent start to the match from Betis, they look to be up for the match and are attempting to get in the faces of the Barca midfield.
The match has kicked off in Camp Nou. There is plenty of attacking flair in both line-ups tonight, so we can expect a free-flowing entertaining match!
The last league meeting between the sides was back in February 2009, and the match ended in a 2-2 draw. Always an entertaining match in store whenever Barca take on Betis.
The last time Barcelona played Real Betis, Pepe Mel's side emerged with a surprise 3-1 victory over the Catalan side in the Copa del Rey, with Jorge Molina grabbing a brace to help his side to victory.
This is the starting XI of Real Betis: Casto; Isidoro, Dorado, Mario, Nacho; Sevilla, Iriney, Canas, Montero; Molina, Ruben Castro
So it looks like Pep Guardiola is setting Barcelona up in a 3-4-3 formation against Real Betis this evening.
The teams are in and this is how Barcelona are lining up tonight: Valdes; Puyol, Mascherano, Abidal; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Cesc; Cuenca, Alexis, Messi.
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I will be reporting on the match this evening. You can follow me on Twitter at @MartinMac1 so feel free to post your thoughts, feelings, and predictions on the match!
Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Primera Division match between Barcelona and Real Betis at Camp Nou.
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