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Played
December 9, 2012 8:00 PM GMT
Estadio Benito Villamarín — Sevilla
Referee:‬ Carlos Velasco‎
Attendance:‬ 46157‎
 
Messi 16′
 
Messi 25′
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Betis 1-2 Barcelona

Goal.com was on hand to cast a critical eye over events at Estadio Benito Villamarin as Lionel Messi's double made history and led the visitors to a hard-fought three points

By Keeghann Sinanan

  • Adrián San Miguel Del Castillo
    28
    8
    3.00

    Adrián San Miguel Del Castillo

    Two fine saves from Xavi and Pedro kept his side in the game, and he could do nothing for the goals. A bit unfortunate.

  • Chica
    12
    9
    3.00

    Chica

    Supported the attack well by overlapping on the right, and did not neglect his defensive duties, tracking back well. A solid display from the full-back.

  • Amaya
    11
    7
    3.00

    Amaya

    Allowed Messi past him too easily for the first goal, but recovered sufficiently to put in a solid shift for his side at the back.

  • Dorado
    12
    9
    3.00

    Dorado

    A decent job at the back and though the pressure from Barca threatened to boil over at times, he held his nerve and did what he had to do in defence.

  • Nacho
    4
    25
    2.50

    Nacho Flop of the Match

    Struggled to contain Iniesta when the midfielder drifted out to his flank, and was not the most composed figure in defence either, with a few clearances finding the opposition rather than his team-mates.

  • Beñat
    34
    10
    3.00

    Beñat

    Solid enough in the middle of the park, working hard to close down the space, and willing to get forward and support his side when they broke towards goal on the coutnerattack.

  • Salva Sevilla
    9
    12
    3.00

    Salva Sevilla

    Sent a decent header straight at Valdes from a position where he probably should have scored. Drifted to the flanks in the second half with increasing frequency in a bid to find space.

  • Juan Carlos
    11
    11
    3.00

    Juan Carlos

    Did not see the ball often, but an effective weapon on the counterattack as he did not hesitate to exploit the space afforded to him on the flanks. He ran down cul-de-sacs a bit too often however.

  • José Cañas
    10
    12
    3.00

    José Cañas

    Put in a solid shift in the middle of the park as he was not afraid to get stuck in and ruffle a few feathers. Some good moments defensively, and a neat passing job as well.

  • Joel Campbell
    12
    18
    2.50

    Joel Campbell

    Showed promising signs early on with a good delivery from out wide to set up Sevilla for a header, but he would not last beyond the first-half as his coach saw it fit to take him off at the break.

  • Rubén Castro
    32
    9
    4.00

    Rubén Castro

    Brought Betis back into the game after profiting from a defensive mix-up to slot come from close range. Continued to trouble the Barca defence in the second period with his pace and movement on the counter. Lead the line superbly for his team.

Substitutions

  • Pozuelo
    4
    9
    2.50

    Pozuelo

    Smacked a well taken volley against the crossbar shortly after coming on.

  • Vadillo
    9
    9
    3.00

    Vadillo

    Set up Castro's goal with a quick pass, and looked comfortable on the ball.

  • Jorge Molina
    9
    7
    3.00

    Jorge Molina

    Added an extra weapon for his side in attack, but a lot of his deliveries did not beat the first man.

  • Víctor Valdés
    129
    40
    3.00

    Víctor Valdés

    Very fortunate to escape with a fumble in the second-half, but came up with two good recovery saves to keep Betis at bay.

  • Piqué
    161
    12
    3.00

    Piqué

    Lucky to get away with a pair of handballs early on, and though he made a few good last-ditch defensive tackles he appeared vulnerable on occasions. A little more poised in the second half.

  • Carles Puyol
    146
    15
    3.00

    Carles Puyol

    Generally solid at the back, though a little slow to recover for the Betis goal. He only played one half of football, as Mascherano replaced him during the interval.

  • Jordi Alba
    133
    22
    3.00

    Jordi Alba

    At fault for the Betis goal in the first half, as he failed to grasp an offside trap set by the rest of the defence, and played Castro on for a simple finish.

  • Adriano
    111
    41
    2.50

    Adriano

    Looked decent going forward with several overlapping runs. However, Alba’s lack of concentration on an attempted offside trap meant that he inadvertently let Castro in behind for a Betis goal, and he was otherwise not the most convincing at the back.

  • Cesc Fàbregas
    125
    21

    Cesc Fàbregas

    Lasted only 10 minutes on the field before limping off for Sanchez.

  • Xavi
    205
    9
    3.50

    Xavi

    Your typical Xavi performance – efficient in possession and spot on with his passing. Happy to sit back all game long while letting the younger legs of Messi and Co. to handle the attacking burden.

  • Andrés Iniesta Luján
    309
    18
    4.00

    Andrés Iniesta Luján

    The headlines will rightly go to Messi, but Iniesta was every bit as influential in orchestrating Barca’s victory today. Set up both of the Argentine's first-half goals, with his second assist an audacious back heel.

  • Busquets
    148
    25
    3.00

    Busquets

    Hit or miss in midfield, as he functioned effectively as a pivot when Barca were on the ball, but was not as secure when made to cover Betis on the break. His effort could not be faulted, but the execution was not always there.

  • Messi
    677
    44
    4.50

    Messi Top of the Match

    Record breaker and history maker. The Argentine sensation became the greatest ever goalscorer both in a calendar year and in Barcelona’s entire Liga history. Both goals were symbolic of what makes Messi great – a driving run and shot to cause panic in the defence, and a cool finish after he was left in an inch of space. Looked capable of scoring every time he got on the ball.

  • Pedro
    96
    96
    2.50

    Pedro

    Try as he might, Pedro struggled to impose himself on this game and fluffed his one chance, shooting straight at Adrian in the Betis goal.

Substitutions

  • Javier Mascherano
    106
    51
    2.50

    Javier Mascherano

    Lucky to avoid an own goal as he diverted a header onto his own post shortly after coming on.

  • Alexis Sánchez
    129
    62
    2.50

    Alexis Sánchez

    Came on for Fabregas early on in the game, and his diagonal runs and movement off the ball helped to open up space for Barca on a few occasions, but he was not able to offer much on the ball.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
27 5
Messi Messi
Striker
Barcelona
25 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0