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Five things we learned from Barcelona’s defeat to Real Betis

Another look at Sunday’s loss

FC Barcelona v Real Betis Balompie - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona must stop leaking goals

Barcelona conceded four goals at home in a competitive game for the first time since a 4-2 defeat against Deportivo (thanks Opta) in 2003 on Sunday.

Ernesto Valverde’s side are without a La Liga clean sheet since August, have conceded 18 times in 12 games and will have to tighten up if they are to retain their title.

Sergi Roberto had a horrible game, Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet were not muc better, but the defence also lacked protection and were frequently exposed.

Even Ter Stegen makes mistakes

FC Barcelona v Real Betis Balompie - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Marc-Andre ter Stegen has staked a claim to be Europe’s finest goalkeeper in recent seasons, but he made a rare error for Real Betis’ third goal which came at a crucial time.

The German has been so consistent it was a real shock to see that even he is capable of making mistakes, the problem is when goalkeepers mess up it usually results in a goal.

Ter Stegen has saved Barcelona so many times already this season he’s easily forgiven, and he’ll get a break now after being rested by Germany due to a shoulder complaint.

Barca need Rakitic replacement against Atletico

FC Barcelona v FC Internazionale - UEFA Champions League Group B Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Ivan Rakitic was another player who had a bad day against Atletico, his second yellow card on 81 minutes saw Barcelona forced to finish the game with 10 men.

His sending off was ill-timed. Barcelona head to the Wanda Metropolitano after the international break to take on Atletico Madrid in a key clash in the title race.

Rakitic will have to sit that one out which means Ernesto Valverde will have to switch up his favoured midfield of Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Arthur.

Messi doesn’t do rusty

FC Barcelona v Real Betis Balompie - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Lionel Messi was back in the starting XI three weeks after breaking his arm against Sevilla and showed no signs of rustiness against Real Betis.

The GOAT scored twice, played a big role in Arturo Vidal’s goal and was easily Barcelona’s best player.

His return to the team was completely overshadowed by the result, but Messi showed his time on the sidelines has not affected his form at all.

Setien gives Barcelona something to think about

Quique Setien came to the Camp Nou and watched his side deservedly take all points with a superb display.

The result means he’s now notched up away wins at both Barcelona and Real Madrid, something no one else has managed for a long time.

It’s a performance that may just make Barcelona sit up and take notice. His name is often thrown around amid talk of future candidates to take charge of the club.

His comments after the game may also encourage Barcelona. Although he praised Valverde and spoke of his happiness at Betis, he also admitted he has always admired Barca’s play.

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