FC Barcelona News: 16 January 2012; Barça Survive Betis Scare, Pep, Busquets and Xavi Celebrate Milestones

Happy Birthday Seydou Keita!

Barcelona see off spirited Real Betis - Yahoo! Eurosport
Shortly after the interval half-time substitute Roque Santa Cruz equalised with a superb shot, but Barca’s increased pressure first saw Betis reduced to ten men when defender Mario was sent off for a second bookable offence. Sanchez then scored with 15 minutes remaining before Messi added his second of the evening from the penalty spot just before full time, adding a gloss to the scoreline which belie the problems that the away side had caused Barcelona at various stages throughout the game.

Barcelona's Andres Iniesta angry with Real Betis booking: 'I did not dive' - Goal.com
The Spain international went into the referee's book midway through the second half after he went to the ground in the Betis area in an attempt to win a spot-kick, and Iniesta insists that his booking was undeserved. "I hope they take the card away. I didn’t dive, they brought me down. Thankfully it played no part in the outcome of the game," Iniesta said to the official Barcelona website.

Messi presents Ballon d’Or, the squad shares the Club World Cup | FC Barcelona
The World Number One, Lionel Messi, was given a rousing reception by the Camp Nou faithful when he came onto the pitch before the Betis game with the FIFA Ballon d'Or trophy he won for the third year running in Zurich last week. The rest of the squad then presented their Club World Cup trophy won in Japan in December to the fans who showed their appreciation with a series of banners and chants from the terraces.

Guardiola: "If this team has anything, it's that they don't relax" | FC Barcelona
During the post-game press conference, Guardiola stated that the Club will appeal the yellow card shown to Andrés Iniesta after the referee ruled that the player had intentionally fallen in the area as opposed to being brought down. "Normally we don’t appeal these things, but we will on this one."

Josep Guardiola reaches his 100th win in the Liga since he arrived in 2008 | FC Barcelona
The game against Betis was special for Guardiola for obvious reasons, it was the manager’s 100th win in the Liga: 57 wins at home and 43 away from the Camp Nou. In the three and a half season that Guardiola has coached Barça, he hasn’t stopped winning titles: three Ligas, two Champions Leagues, one King’s Cup, two European Super Cups, three Spanish Super Cups and two Club World Cups.

Xavi marks Barcelona milestone with goal against Real Betis | guardian.co.uk
The Barcelona playmaker Xavi celebrated his 400th league appearance for the club by scoring the opening goal and Lionel Messi struck twice in a 4-2 home win for the La Liga champions over 10-man Real Betis on Sunday.

Sergio Busquets reaches 100 games for Barça in the Liga | FC Barcelona
The game against Betis this Sunday was special for Sergio Busquets as he finished his 100th game for FC Barcelona in the Liga. The midfielder, with only 23 years of age, has an enviable list of accomplishments: three Ligas, two Champions Leagues, one King’s Cup, two European Super Cups, three Spanish Super Cups and two Club World Cups.

50 games straight without losing with Puyol on the pitch | FC Barcelona
After the loss to Inter and tonight’s win against Betis (4-2), the Azulgranas have won a total of 42 games and tied 8 in the last 50 matches with Puyol on the pitch. The run began 20 months ago. When Puyol lines up with his fellow defenders the Azulgranas don’t lose. At 33, and successfully overcoming the injury that kept him away from the pitch last year, Barça’s captain is an integral part of Guardiola’s plans.

Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria ready to feature against Barcelona - report - Goal.com
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has received positive news from the treatment table ahead of Wednesday's Copa del Rey match against Barcelona as Angel Di Maria has been deemed match fit after a spell on the sidelines, AS reports. The 23-year-old sustained a thigh injury in Madrid's last training session of 2011, and has since been out of action.

Bilbao beat Levante - Yahoo! Eurosport
Athletic Bilbao improved their chances of playing in Europe next season when Fernando Amorebieta, Fernando Llorente and Mikel San Jose secured a 3-0 Liga win at home to Levante. Marcelo Bielsa's side climbed to fifth with 26 points from 18 matches, level with Osasuna but ahead on goal difference after the Pamplona-based club lost 2-0 at home to Racing Santander, their first defeat in seven games.

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