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Three things we learned from Real Betis 2-3 Barcelona

Quique Setien’s men picked up a big win

Real Betis Balompie v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Fran Santiago/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Messi can’t score but keeps on assisting

Lionel Messi may not have found the back of the net against Real Betis but he still proved absolutely crucial by assisting all three Barcelona goals.

The first was a delicate dink over the top for Frenkie de Jong to finish before he set up Sergio Busquets and Clement Lenglet from two free-kicks.

All of which means he now has 11 assists in La Liga for the season, keeping him top of the charts and four clear of his nearest challenger.

Messi now has five assists in his last three Barca games but curiously no goals, a veritable drought by GOAT standards.

It’s not for the want of trying either. He had three shots on target but could not beat Joel Robles and even came close to replicating last season’s brilliant effort against Betis only to see it flash wide.

The stats say Messi has now had 27 shots on goal in a row without scoring, a curious streak and one that surely will not continue for much longer.

Clement Lenglet did a bit of everything

Barcelona were without the suspended Gerard Pique against Betis, meaning Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti started at centre-back and enjoyed an eventful night.

Lenglet in particular was involved in absolutely everything. He conceded the penalty inside the opening 10 minutes for a handball but was then involved in De Jong’s equaliser.

The centre-back’s superb yet risky pass out of defence sent the Dutchman scampering into the Betis half but was inches away from being intercepted by Emerson.

Things got even better for Lenglet in the second half when he headed home Barcelona’s third of the night, and what turned out to be the winner, on 72 minutes.

Real Betis Balompie v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Yet there was still more drama to come as Lenglet was sent off seven minutes later after picking up a second yellow card for a foul on Joaquin.

Fortunately for Barcelona the visitors managed to see out the game, but the red card means Lenglet will now serve a suspension. Setien will be able to welcome Pique back next time out and he’s likely to be partnered by Umtiti.

Frenkie de Jong steps it up

Frenkie de Jong has settled into life well at Barcelona following his move from Ajax but without quite producing the kind of sustained excellence that made him such a star with the Dutch side.

The midfielder has said all season in interviews that he feels he has more to give Barcelona, and perhaps tellingly gave himself a 6 out of 10 recently when asked to rate his season so far.

Yet there’s no doubt De Jong will be feeling happier about life after Sunday’s win. The 22-year-old put in a great performance at the Benito Villamarin and topped it off with the sort of goal you’re not going to get tired of watching easily.

De Jong spoke after the game and said he thought it was “one of my best games after suffering a bit” and he looked to be enjoying himself against Betis. Long may it continue.

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