Last night FC Barcelona took on seventh-place Real Betis and defeated them with an impressive, though slightly shaky, 4-2 scoreline. Betis pressed and attacked well, exposing the continuing frailties of Barcelona’s defense, but ultimately the blaugrana attack, led by Andres Iniesta and substitute Lionel Messi, proved to be too much for them.
totalBarça welcomes you all to the Liga game between FC Barcelona and Real Betis!
(Sunday May 5, 2012 @ 21:00 Barcelona time - Convert to local time). We also have the return of the Match Countdown Timer at the right side of the main page above the Search bar!
Éric Abidal and Sergio Busquets have both been cleared to play by FC Barcelona’s medical staff following training on Sunday morning, which was the final session before the visit of Betis this evening (21:00). The two players, along with Messi, were able to train normally with the rest of the group. Pedro, meanwhile, did specific training work separate from his teammates.
Avoiding the blame-game for the time being, the main thing learned from the previous few matches is that errors cost games. Defensively, there were three errors committed throughout the second leg against Bayern Munich, and they all resulted in goals. Offensively… there was no end in sight. Pedro had a good shot on goal, in a single unexpected long distance attempt. Dani Alves broke through the box with no one covering him, but then hesitated to finish it, waiting for someone to break into the box, to pass it to. The problem is that the Bayern defense recovered during his wait. The rest of the attempts were either similar or less important.
There are many reasons as to why these displays happened, and there are many theories as to how they can be addressed, but the one sure thing is that regardless of the scoreline against Betis in La Liga, Barça will not claim the title on Sunday night.
Real Madrid had battled to a 4-3 score at the Bernabéu against Valladolid, and so pushes our party to at least next week, if we manage to draw and win our next two games (including Sunday’s Betis game). So how will Barça bounce back after the German hammering?
FC Barcelona’s first team was back at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper this Saturday morning. Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets were both able to train normally with the group. Defender Abidal was also able to continue working at the same pace as his teammates, as he had during Friday’s training session.
Bad news coming from FC Barcelona’s official website. Goalkeeper Víctor Valdés (31) is injured for tomorrow’s game against Real Betis.
Valdés reportedly has a foot injury, the same one which kept him from playing the Catalunya-Nigeria friendly in January. He has been officially ruled out of the game against Betis at Camp Nou so we will probably see José Manuel Pinto (37) between the sticks tomorrow.
FC Barcelona will take to the football pitch once again on Sunday, in a match against Real Betis that could decide La Liga. You have to look all the way back to May 3, 1998 to find the last time that Betis beat Barcelona in the Camp Nou. Hello Liga title?
Image: TONI ALBIR [EFE]
Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fàbregas will miss next Sunday’s match against Real Betis on an evening in which the Catalans could secure the Liga title. Fàbregas saw his fifth yellow card in Saturday’s match in Bilbao and will serve the automatic disciplinary one match suspension.
The encounter between Barça and Betis was singled out by culés as one of the most important in the la Liga season, since it has always been said that Liga titles are won on difficult fields such as this one. An away match, small ground, loud crowd. In fact, Pep Guardiola’s Barça had never won at Betis’s field. So everyone was expecting to see a hard fought game.
FC Barcelona continued its triumphal La Liga run with a narrow 1-2 win at the Benito Vilammarín in a match where Lionel Messi finally broke Gerd Muller’s record for most goals in a single calendar year. It was far from an easy victory as Betis performed exceptionally and had enough chances to get a better result, but Barça’s players showed their champion mentality by grinding out these all important three points, thus keeping the distance to their closest followers in the standings – 6 points over AtléticoMadrid, who travel to Camp Nou next week, and 11 over Real Madrid.
Here are the ratings for last night’s match:
totalBarça welcomes you all to the Liga game between Real Betis and FC Barcelona.
(Sunday December 9, 2012 @ 21:00 Barcelona time – Convert to local time)
A trip South to Sevilla to face Real Betis Balompié is next on the agenda for FC Barcelona. Before the rise of the Sevilla team cultivated by Joaquín Caparrós and taken to success by Juande Ramos, Real Betis were always at least on par with Sevilla FC and were the power team in Sevilla (Seville), particularly during the mid 90s. They were relegated in 2008/9 but returned immediately and have reacclimatized nicely. The season thus far is going fantastically for the men in green and white, with 25 points from 8 wins, 1 draw, and 5 defeats leaving them in 4th place, 4 behind Real Madrid and 6 above their city rivals. They usually draw strength from the fanatic home crowd and playing at the Manuel Ruiz de Lopera stadium has recently not been a fruitful experience for Barça.
Pep Guardiola’s last game of La Liga was sealed with a draw. But beyond the result, which might seem a bit dissapointing, there were a lot of things to be said about this entertaining match, which had rhythm despite the fact that both teams were not fighting for anything relevant.
First, Pep surprised once again as he included Ibi Afellay in the starting XI. He also used Adriano and Dani Alves (who had a good game, despite the red card) as left and right back, and Piqué and Mascherano as central defenders. In midfield, both Busi and Keita were present, both of them having a great game. Nearer the forwards, Xavi, and then Pedro, Messi and Ibi.
In the last league game of the Pep Guardiola era, FC Barcelona couldn’t do better than an away draw against Betis, with a last minute equalizer from Seydou Keita. In a game marred by Daniel Alves’ sending off, Barcelona completely lost focus and control after half-time and were lucky to get a point in Sevilla.
This is it. The closure of an amazing four seasons in the history of FC Barcelona is here. Both Real Betis and FC Barcelona will play to honour their crest and professionalism, but not much will change in the table. As things stand, Barcelona will finish in 2nd with Betis in 12th. Things are close in the middle of the table but the difference in prize money in finishing midtable is not very substantial.
FC Barcelona has broken records here and there, especially with how things were going in the beginning of the season. But our rivals from Madrid got the better of us in the league this season. Real Madrid have been blowing teams away, which is the main difference between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid this time around. But things are not in decline for FC Barcelona as there are positive notes to take from this season.
José Manuel Pinto did not train this Friday owing to a sprained right ankle. The goalkeeper received treatment and will miss Saturday’s match against Betis (22:00). In his place Guardiola decided to call up Barça B’s Oier Olazabal, who made the list of 19 players that will travel for the final Liga match of the season at the Benito Villamarín stadium. The squad list names 15 players from the first team -including Keita, who has recovered from the calf trouble in his left leg- as well as Bartra, Tello, Montoya, and Oier from the reserves. Guardiola has also included Piqué and Cuenca on his list, two players who received their medical clearance earlier this week.
This is your chance to prove not only your knowledge about the game of football, but also your psychological insight by cracking the code of Barcelona coach Josep ‘Pep’ Guardiola’s master brain:
Predict Barcelona’s Starting Lineup
This is not (as in: N-O-T) a place for discussion on team tactics or personal player preferences. You just give the system and the eleven names you think will start the game. Line-ups posted in the comments sections will not be considered as valid entries for the game.
Join us after the jump to take part in the game.