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Spain - Copa del Rey
Copa del Rey
January 12, 2011
• Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo
• Attendance: 60000
Real Betis were not worse by five goals, and they were deserved of an away goal that alluded them. Both Molina and Ruben Castro were guilty of missing chances for the Verdiblancos. Barcelona too had numerous chances but they were able to bury five of theirs. Betis will feel hard done by but they can walk away knowing that in this clash of the league leaders they put into it all they could, and will be wondering how they lost 5-0. The answer: Lionel Messi. Goodnight from us, as we look forward to the development of the Copa del Rey.
Full-time at the Camp Nou, and without any disrespect to Betis, full-time in the tie.
Jeffren looks to get in behind the Betis defence latching onto Dani Alves's through ball. And it seems as if he has managed to do that bearing down on goal, but he was flagged offside, wrongly. Betis lauch the free-kick up field.
Standing ovation for the man with three goals to his name as his number goes up on the board. Lionel Messi applauds back as he takes a well earned rest; Jeffren is the man to replace him.
Betis looking for a late consolation and have a free-kick and corner in quick succession. Like previous attempts both set-pieces come to nothing.
Goal Seydou Keita
GOAL!! Unstoppable. Kieta leaps like a salmon fighting upstream, after Iniesta's looped cross comes down for the Malian International who heads home. That is five, and we still have seven minutes to play!
Barca work it across the pitch three times before Xavi plays in Dani Alves on thr right. He was marginally offside but it wasn't seen and he continued his run, only to see Castro prevent him for getting his name on the score sheet.
Afellay, a recent addition to the game, does well down the left and wins his side a corner which is taken short.
If you were Pepe Mel would you be thinking "damage limitation" or "away goal at all costs". Interesting dilema; either way one I'm sure he wishes he wasn't faced with.
Messi tries a cheeky chip on the angle but his effort is just too long and the score remains at 4-0.
Betis attack well down the left, Iriney interchanging passes well, before Castro offered himself further forward. After a good run Pique picked him well and cleared any danger.
GOALLLL!!! PEDRO! Pedro was the goal scorer but Dani Alves was the creator. He was sent in by Xavi and diagonally cut in heading towards goal, he avoided the first challenge but his effort was well saved by Castro. Alves with his back to goal laid it back to Pedro who fired high into the net, to make it 4-0.
MESSI! He is human after all. What is an easier chance than his third goal he has more time when advancing on Castro but this time he never looks comfortable and the 'keeper rushes out to the Argentines feet and smothers the attempted chip finish.
GOALLL!!!! HAT-TRICK! Lionel Messi holds his run, just, as Xavi plays him in. He is one-on-one with Castro with Miki Roque looking to put him under pressure but the Argentine holds his nerve to fool Castro and put the result beyond any doubt.
Betis waste an attack, Sevilla looks to generate a chance but instead tries an impossible pass.
Iniesta shows us his quick feet as he side steps Iriney and then Sevilla of Real Betis only to hammer his shot at Miki Roque.
DANI ALVES! He is screaming for it on the right, and Pedro Xavi plays it to him, the Brazilian had held his run brillaintly and took one look before striking the ball across goal. His effort narrowly missed the far post, as he vented is anger with a roar. So close to putting this tie to bed.
REAL BETIS! Molina is played in and his touch brings Pinto out of his goal but Molina beats him to the ball. The strikers touch puts him too wide to shoot and instead he pulls the ball back to his striking partner who blasts over with players in the way. Close.
Barcelona will be looking to kill the tie off tonight as they continue to committ players forward.
Castro has been brilliant tonight and it seems unfair that he has conceaded two goals, he comes out to beat Messi to the ball and once again clears any danger.
GOAL!!!!!! MESSI'S SECOND! Betis look to play their way out of trouble, instead they do the exact opposite. Benat gifts the ball to David Villa who has three players to pick out ahead of him and opts with Messi. The Argentine's first effort is well saved by Castro but after the chance seems to have gone he squeezes the ball beyond 'keeper and defneders to put Barcelona two ahead.
Yellow Card Isidoro
Pinto is forced into a another save there. Ruben Castro is the architect but the Betis strikers need to work on forcing the goalkeeper to move rather than shooting straight at him. Pinto stands up tall and punches the ball away from his goal and any danger.
Iriney fouls Sergio needlessly their, the Brazilian needs to be careful as he already has a yellow card to his name. He could easily of have been booked again their.
Beits really have been poor from set-pieces tonight. The free-kick on this occasions fails to pass the first man and Barcelona start another attack.
Yellow Card Busquets
Xavi is central to everything Barca are doing so far this half and he was on the ball three or four times in that attack but Betis stay strong and look to launch a quick counter through Ruben Castro but he was brought down by Sergio Busquets earning the defensive midfielder a booking.
Maxwell ventures forward again and shots against Miki Roque winning his side a corner kick.
Xavi opted to put this one into the box and after a slight touch from Puyol, his centre back partner Pique was presented with a golden chance but he wasn't able to react in time and the ball went wide.
Well worked corner, it was played short and then moved onto Messi who searched for Maxwell at the backpost. The Brazilian did well to send the ball back into the danger area but Arzu did well to clear it up field.
Pedro, who has been pretty quiet by his standards, finds himself with some time in the box but cannot get a shot away; he manages, though, to win a corner kick.
Offside. Busy man the official tonight, but as long as he is getting them right it's fine. This time Dani Alves goes a fraction ealry and play is brought back.
Barca work the ball to the right and the ever present Dani Alves after two touch football got them out from the left-back position. They continue to pass the ball around before Villa is flagged offside by the linesmen.
BETIS CHANCE! Ruben Castro finds himself facing goal on the angle and fires with some pace but Pinto is alert and fists the ball away for a corner kick, Early promise from Verdiblancos there.
Iniesta hasn't been allowed any real time on the ball tonight, the one occasion he found some time was to release Messi for the only goal of the game.
After a short delay, Barcelona didn't come fruition until some time after the Betis players, the Catalan side restart the game.
Real Betis would have hoped to see out 'til half time but Messi struck at the death to put Barca in to a deserved lead. Whilst it had been coming for much of the half, Betis have challenged the Barcelona goal and they will have to be wary of the Verdiblancos both on the break and from sustained pressure.
The players emerge for the second half and we are moments away from re-commencing this nicely poised tie.
WOODWORK! Stunning strike from Bascon Gigato. He is given the ball 35 yards out from goal by Molina and the ball sits up to be hit, and hit it he does. He lets fly and belter that thunders against the cross bar and away to safety. Nearly an immediate reply from the away side.
GOAL! LIONEL MESSI! The Argentine maestro receives the ball to the right of the goal from Iniesta and his first touch sets himself up wonderful and his second touches the ball over the advancing Castro who cannot do anything about that one. Barcelona have their lead.
VILLA...OFFSIDE!! The No. 7 thought he had been played in by Xavi and he dinked the ball beyond Castro. But before he wheeled away to celebrate he noticed the flag had been put up and celebration were put on hold.
BARCELONA!! Training ground free-kick. The ball is played square by Messi to Iniesta, and the former sprints forward to get on the end of the return cross from Iniesta; which is sublime. Messi's control was good but he was unable to keep it away from Arzu and he didn't have a clear sight of goal. The ball remained in the area, and the it bounced everywhere possible before a foul was blown.
Yellow Card Miki Roque
Pinto with a moment of madness. He looks to get Barcelona going quickly from the goal kick but passes it straight to Gigato whose strike is straight down the thankful 'keeper's throat.
Pep Guardiola is not too pleased with what he is witnessing so far, as Betis look to attack once again. The ball is put across will to the advanced Isidoro but when Castro makes a darting run the full-backs pass is easily intercepted.
MOLINA! Betis are not lying down here. Castro did extremely will to get in a crossing positon and found an unmarked Molina who directed his effort into the corner of the goal. Pinto, seeing Castro in action at the opposite end takes a lesson from him, flings himself low to his right to turn the ball around the post.
Castro has a couple of more relaxed touches as Betis look to keep the ball for a period.
VILLA! The talisman of Barca's attack finds himself one-on-one with plenty of time to find his spot but Castro remains big and gets a hand to Villa's shot that was right next to his foot. Brilliant from the 'keepr, he then gets up to block the rebound effort before the third shot is deflected wide for a corner. Incredibly it remains 0-0.
Barca look to work within the smallest of spaces. This time Villa and Pedro work together but the latters return pass is over hit and Castro collects the loose ball.
Sevilla wins a freekick inside his own half, giving his side a rest-bite from Barcelona's advances; much needed.
CASTRO!! STUNNING SAVE! The 'keeper is playing out of his skin tonight, Villa steps up and strikes the dead ball low around the wall and it is creeping inside of the post with some pace to it but Castro was able to get across well and divert the ball away. Maxwell's rebound was struck across the goal but missed the far post.
Messi collects a knock down from a Betis head and looks to capitalise on the poor clearence but his advancements are halted, illegally and he wins his side a freekick 25 yards out.
Pique and Dani Alves share a hand bags moment, the big man is certainly unhappy about something.
Castro see's that Pinto is off his line and looks to chip him from 35 odd yards. His effort though wasn't on target, but he was left in a central position with all the time he needed again.
CASTRO! WHAT. A. SAVE! Maxwell sends in a ball to Messi at the back stick and his control is world class bringing him inside of Nacho, as the ball comes down he fires toward the top corner on the volley; only for Castro somehow to fling his body to his left and keep the effort out. Incredible stuff from both Messi and Castro.
MOLINA! SO CLOSE! The Real Betis striker looked like he was in the wrong colours, he was played in between Puyol and Pique by Sevilla's ball and with his head down ran towards goal. As the defence caught him up he checked his run and took Pique in two direction before firing a low shot at the near post that went into the side netting.
Xavi was the man, he swung it in and Pique beat an advancing Castro to the ball only to see his header go wide. The young defender though was offside, something that was missed by the officials. Food for thought if that had gone in.
Yellow Card Iriney
Free kick given against Iriney, who was adjudged to have come in from behind and earns him a yellow card. The kick is to the right of the box, and it looks like Xavi or Messi will swing it cross.
Offside is given against Castro. He wasn't. He held his run brilliantly and was heading clean through had the flag stayed down.
Betis are continuing to defend high up the pitch and are forcing Barcelona to go long. On this occasion Xavi puts a diagonal ball striahg to Dani Alves' feet but his cross is poor.
Dani Alves gets forward and brings the ball infield heading towards the Betis goal. He pulls it back to Messi on the edge of the 18 yard box line but he is tumbling as he shoots and Castro is untroubled.
Betis win a free kick upfield, perhaps their most likely route to a goal tonight, but the delivery is poor and the resultant shot is dragged wide.
MASSIVE CHANCE! Barcelona work the ball well down the right, with Pique, Alves and Pedro all involved. Pedro cuts the ball back for Xavi who spreads it to Maxwell on the left, via a clever flick from Iniesta. Maxwell plays the ball into Messi, who has the goal at his mercy but fires against the upright. Chance goes begging.
Verdiblancos look to counter through Sevilla and Castro but the latter miscontrols allowing Pique to steal the ball away from the striker.
Betis with a good but of pressure here, from a well worked throw in on the right, Gigato is found in acres of Space on the left and he swings in a dangerous cross which is well defended for Pique. Sevilla looks to continue to the attack by sending the ball out wide but the recipient is offside and Barcelona start again.
Real Betis look to counter after Dani Alves had given the ball away needlessly. Benat lifted the ball towards Iriney but the Brazilians control let him down and Barcelona were able to bring the ball clear.
BARCA! Incredible passing passage works the ball from the left to the right, with each player involved. It ends up with Iniesta in between defence and attack, he looks up to find Messi surging forward and the Spanish playmaker puts him in; only for Messi to let the chance go after he allowed the Betis defence to get back.
Busquets wins a foul in midfield as Barcelona look to start up their short passing game which Betis have done very well to prevent in the opening exchanges.
Pinto is forced into action. Castro is played the ball to the left of the Barca goal and he sizes up Dani Alves before touching it to the outside and forcing Pinto to push the ball behind.
Messi tries to be clever, the ball comes in from Pedro on the left to the near post and the No. 10 back heels it towards Villa but the pass is well intercepted by Arzu.
Real Betis are pressurising Barcelona high up the pitch, the ball with Pinto and there are four Betis players challenging the defence.
Messi gets his first touches on the ball and does well to control the ball and start a Barcelona attack. Iniesta gets on the ball from Puyol and sends a ball directed at the Argentine over the top who looks to play in Villa but the Spanish striker wasn't on the same song sheet and Betis clear.
With the pitch cleared of presentation equipment and the two coaches placed in their respective dug outs; Real Betis get us underway for what is sure to be an intriguing tie. Go, Go, Go.
A moment is taken before the game to honour Lionel Messi who has been awarded the Ballon d'or honour ahead of team mates Andrea Iniesta and Xavi.
The sides take to the field, with Barcelona sporting their infamous red and blue strip whilst Real Betis don their usual green and white.
Pepe Mel also goes with a strong team for the game at the Camp Nou and will be hoping that his side can continue to fight for the Second Division in the competition. They managed to fend of La Liga outfit Getafe in the previous round so will be up for the occassion against the Catalan side here tonight. The starting eleven for Betis: Castro; Isidoro, Arzu (c), Miki Roque, Nacho; Benat, Iriney, Sevilla, Gigato; Castro, Molina.
Barcelona, who put out Athletico Bilbao in the last round on away goals include all three nominees of the Ballon d'or, which went to Argentine Messi, one note is that Guardiola continues with Pinto in goal, as he has done so throughout the tournament. Here is the starting eleven in full: Pinto; Dani Alves, Pique, Puyol (c), Maxwell; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi; Villa.
Quarter-Final time in the Copa del Rey, and tonight see's two league leaders go up against one another. Real Betis sit atop of the Second Division after narrowly missing out on promotion last year, whilst Barcelona lead La Liga ahead of arch-rivals Real Madrid. Both will be hoping that they can continue their winning ways in the first leg of two in the Copa del Rey.
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