clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Real Bétis 0-2 Barcelona, 2016 La Liga: 3 Things We Learned

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Barcelona stays firm at the top of the La Liga table after a key road victory against Real Bétis on Saturday, and the Catalans are favorites to take home the trophy again after three straight league wins. Here's a few lessons from what we saw in Seville:

1. Lionel Messi will be a fantastic midfielder

During the Pep Guardiola Era, Messi was the best (false) striker on the planet. He scored goals at an absurd rate, and while he did many more than just find the back of the net, his numbers were off the charts, unmatched in world football. After a couple of down years, Messi went back to world domination, but he did as the best winger on the planet. Yes, he was more than just that, but it was that change of position to create the 'MSN' trio that made Leo a Ballon d'Or winner again.

And then, as we saw against Bétis, Messi will probably win another Golden Ball as a midfielder. He played as the distributor on Saturday, and boy was he awesome. He had two assists, and his second to Luis Suárez was unbelievable. Number Ten Leo is just as amazing as Striker Leo or Winger Leo. If he does decide to drop deep into a midfield role, there needs to be a tactical change, since Barça will need a proper winger on the right side. Having the full-back overlap all the time is dangerous defensively, but if Enrique or the next coach does use Messi as a creator, we could see some variation of a 4-2-3-1, a formation Lucho did use this season.

Messi behind the striker is something very dangerous, and if used right, could be a new position in which Leo would continue to dominate football. Saturday was certainly a sign.

2. Sergio Busquets is back

Busi dropped in form when the whole team went through a mini-collapse in the beginning of April, but now he's back to normal. Barça's whole system depends on Sergio's best version, since he's the guy who begins plays and recovers balls in a position where the team could quickly take advantage or simply regain possession. He was a little inaccurate with his passing and a little slow and out of position during the bad stretch, but he was superb against Bétis. He had the highest passing accuracy rate of the match, and he attempted almost 100 passes and helped the Blaugrana dominate possession and the majority of the game. Good to see you again, Real Busi.

3. Neymar is (almost) back

The Brazilian is slowly rebounding from the bad form. Unlike Busquets, Messi and Suárez, who returned to their best quickly, Ney is still struggling a little bit. Ironically, he did score in the two previous matches when he wasn't so good, but on Saturday, one of his best performances in a while, he couldn't find a goal. Especially in the first half, we saw the good old Neymar, taking people on and beating them with his skills, moving well and linking up with his teammates, running into space and taking shots on goal. Messi took over in the second half, but Ney was still important and looking to contribute. He's not back to his best just yet, but that shouldn't take long to happen. Hopefully we can see it again this season with two league games and a Cup final left.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Barca Blaugranes Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Barca news from Barca Blaugranes