Barcelona kicked off the new season of La Liga in exciting fashion, thoroughly dominating Real Betis for 90 minutes en route to a 2-0 win at Camp Nou. The score isn’t as big, but the performance was truly sensational, especially in the first half. Maybe the season won’t be too bad after all.
For those going into the match expecting a tough match, they were treated to a Pep Guardiola style beatdown. With Lionel Messi at False Nine and some amazing Positional Play, Barça dominated the entire first half, using high pressing, quick passes and movement to find spaces and create chances. There were one-twos, triangles and through balls for the first time in a long time, and Messi had at least four real chances to score the opener.
It took the Blaugrana 35 minutes to find the net, but they did it. Messi played a one-two with Gerard Deulofeu, who had his pass deflected by Tosca into the net. Just two minutes later Deulofeu pressed a Betis defender, recovered the ball inside the box and gave a tap-in to Sergi Roberto, who easily scored the second.
At halftime, it was a truly amazing performance from the Catalans, and they had a deserved two-goal lead.
The final period was about keeping the lead and avoiding trouble, and the plan worked. Betis got a little more possession and tried moving into Barça’s half, but they were never able to test Ter Stegen in goal. The Blaugrana couldn’t replicate the spectacle shown in the first half, but that wasn’t really necessary.
In the end, the league debut was a lot better than anyone expected, and maybe the season will also be a lot better than we expected. Tonight’s win is certainly a very encouraging sign.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Mascherano, Umtiti, Alba (Digne); Rakitic, Busquets; Deulofeu (Vidal), Roberto, Alcácer (Denis); Messi
Goals: Tosca (O.G. 36’), Roberto (39’)
Betis: Adán; Barragán, Mandi, Feddal, Tosca; Narváez (J.García), Guardado, Camarasa (Fabián); Nahuel (Francis), S.León, Joaquín