club | 2016-08-21
Barça thrash Bétis: A win with a smile on everyone's faces
An impressive start to the season: Barça sent an early warning to their rivals by beating Real Bétis 6-2 in brilliant fashion in the first game of La Liga
The new La Liga season started well for Barça - and by well, I mean brilliant. The Champions trashed Real Bétis in their season opener on Saturday at the Camp Nou in an impressive way. Luis Enrique’s team had already looked good in the Super Cup against Bétis’ local rivals Sevilla (2:0, 3:0), putting in a fine performance especially in the second encounter at home - but against Bétis, Messi and company upped their game again in an impressive way and clinched a win with smiles on their faces.
Messi was everywhere on the field, orchestrating, dribbling, pressing, shooting, passing - Bétis had their hands full with the Argentinian, who looked as motivated as ever. Barça’s #10 was by far the best player on the pitch, although Luis Suárez scored a hat trick, with two goals coming in brilliant fashion.
The game’s opener was initiated by, of course, Messi and scored by Arda Turan, who again not only showed fine form but that he also looks far more comfortable playing on the left wing. It seemed like Arda finally ‘arrived’ at Barça, taking part in the link-up play and some one-twos, his understanding of Barça’s game looked far better than last season. "I a'm more than satisfied with Arda, he seems adapted and happy”, Luis Enrique noted afterwards about the performance of the Turkish International.
From the start of the game, there was no doubt who’s going to win it, although the visitors quickly equalised with a fine free-kick by Bétis forward Ruben Castro, who, aged 35, looks as eager and hungry for goals as ever. He even settled the score with his second goal to make it 6-2 in the final minutes. But in between that, it was all Barça. Messi, Suárez, Arda, Rakitic, Denis - Barcelona’s more attacking minded players showed the excellence of free flowing football. Bétis never knew what hit them, simply overwhelmed by the brilliance of the Blaugrana, who came to play. And whenever the players lost possession, they pressed like crazy to get the ball back immediately.
Even going into the halftime with a comfortable 3-1 lead, Barça continued to look sharp and motivated from the very start of the second half, not taking their foot of the gas, with Messi again initiating attack after attack. Messi set up a tap-in of Suárez after great counter-attack, then minutes later Messi scored the fifth goal in a fashion reminiscent of his goal in Wembley in the Champions League Final against Manchester United in 2011. The best of the wonderful goals was Suárez’ unstoppable free-kick to make it 6-1.
"Bétis have improved a lot but it's too hard to outplay us at the Camp Nou when we're at this level. We created 29 chances", Luis Enrique recognized afterwards. But in the end, of course Barcelona’s coach, as always, had to appease the fanbase a little: “It's almost impossible to play like this the whole season - but we'll try our best."
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WRITTEN BY: Alex Truica
Creator of The Pep Episodes. Has a Bachelor degree in journalism and works as a freelance sports journalist and editor, covering international football.