Published: Mon, November 12, 2018
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

Messi returns with double but Barcelona lose at home to rampant Betis

Messi returns with double but Barcelona lose at home to rampant Betis

Junior Firpo gave Betis a deserved lead after 20 minutes, before veteran Joaquin made it two before the break.

Giovani Lo Celso then capitalised on a rare mistake from Marc-Andre ter Stegen only for Barca to come again, Arturo Vidal making it 3-2, having come on as a substitute.

First, Ivan Rakitic was sent off, a second yellow card for a late challenge on Lo Celso, and then Sergio Canales tapped in Betis' fourth from Junior's cross.

William Carvalho produced a brilliant through-ball to release Junior down the left and he cut in on to his right foot in front of Sergi Roberto before beating Ter Stegen at the near post.

Pau Lopez superbly tipped over Clement Lenglet's stretching volley five minutes later before an incisive counter attack doubled Betis' advantage in the 34th minute.

Joaquin Sanchez made it 2-0 for Betis before halftime.

Betis should have opened the scoring on nine minutes when Joaquin found space in the area but he skied his effort from close range. The goal was eventually given after a VAR review for offside, but it was too little, too late for Valverde's shell-shocked side.

Though, the hosts kicked off on a high with Lionel Messi, who recently returns from injury fired a shot towards the opponent's goal but the ball failed to reach its target. Espanyol can pull level on points with Barcelona if it beats Sevilla later Sunday.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg released from hospital after breaking ribs
Court spokesperson Kathy Arberg said Ginsburg "is doing well and plans to work from home " on Friday. Ginsburg is the court's oldest member and is considered most senior of its liberal minority.

Betis, meanwhile, climb to 12th.

"We paid dearly for not playing well in the first half".

The loss ended an unbeaten run of 42 consecutive home games for Barcelona in the league dating back to a 2-1 defeat to Alaves on September 10, 2016.

La Liga leaders Barcelona fell to a first home defeat in any competition for more than two years when they were beaten 4-3 by Real Betis at the Nou Camp on Sunday despite Lionel Messi returning from injury.

"We will nearly never be the team that concedes the fewest goals because of our attacking philosophy, but we know we have to improve". It was the first time ever that Messi scored twice and Barcelona lost.

Three hours later, Real Madrid were putting the finishing touches to a 4-2 win away at Celta Vigo, a result expected to earn Santiago Solari an extension to his tenure as coach.

- Barcelona have conceded 18 goals in LaLiga this season, their worst defensive total after the first 12 games since 1974/75 (also 18 goals).

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