Barcelona thrashed four goals against Real Betis, last night in Camp Nou, with a dominant performance from all the players, emerging victorious against the Andalusians in a night which saw many records tumble, as the Catalans inch closer to a La Liga triumph.
Barca was in a rampant mood after a sorry defeat against Rayo in the midweek fixture, with defender Christensen opening the scoring with a superb assist from Raphinha, who is making his selection worthwhile with improving performance everyday. Lewandowski and Raphinha soon added to their tallies, as they has already killed the game in the half time.
Attack is the best defense
Barca was always known for its attacking and swift passing style of play. Even last night, the tiki-taka magic came into play as Xavi’s men geared up to get an inch closer to the title. With a 4-3-3 line-up, Xavi had played his cards right as the famous “B-A-C-K” was back in the defense line, comprising Balde, Araujo, Christensen and Kounde.
The midfield was back to its best with seasoned veteran and captain Busquets returning in to the team after missing out a trip to Vallecas due to suspension, flanked by Frenkie and Pedri.
Lewandowski was helped by Brazilian star Raphinha and the prodigal Gavi, in both the wings, with waves of assists and passes coming from both the sides.
Betis went for a traditional 4-2-3-1 formation with Willian Jose being the only striker, who was assisted by Ayoze Perez, Sergio Canales and Luiz Henrique.
But, this formation could not help Pellegrini’s men last in the game as they were down with 10 men in the 33rd minute, after which the Catalans carnaged in to the scene.
Dominant outing at home
Barcelona have been the league favorites this season since matchday 1. Xavi has impressed fans and critics equally from the beginning and as the league progressed, his team had made everyone fall in love with their swift playing style.
Last night was not an exception either as Barca were already ahead in the game in the 15 minutes when Brazilian Raphinha curled an assist towards the Betis penalty area, which Christensen headed home. The Danish defender was a direct inclusion into the squad after his return from injury.
As soon as Betis were down with 10 men, they went clueless as to how thwart the lethal attacks from Barcelona’s strikers.
And in no time, they were trailing 0-3, owing to a classy finish from Lewandowski after a gorgeous assist from Kounde, after Raphinha hit the back of the net three minutes later.
The former Leeds winger is having a dream run this season, with comparisons already geared up with another Brazilian superstar Neymar. He already has 10 goals and 11 assists, with more than five games left, he would like to increase the tally.
The match went dead eight minutes from full-time whistle when Guido Rodriguez slotted the ball into their own net, after Ansu Fati’s left footed shot got deflected.
Barcelona had 15 shots on target in comparison to 4 by the Betis players, as they could barely snatch the ball from the Catalans.
Return of Dembele
Ousmane Dembele was sidelined due to injury since January. Yesterday, he was added to the squad and was fielded on the 73rd minute, when he substituted Raphinha, and went on to play some nice passes in remaining 17 minutes. Fans got a glimpse of his magic and would hope for more in the business end of the season.
Another day, another cleansheet
Marc Andre Ter Stegen has been out of the world this season as he is tumbling records everyday with his brilliant thwarting of attacks from the opponents and maintaining a perfect record of not conceding a goal.
Last night, he tumbled one more record, as he became the first goalkeeper to keep 24 clean sheets in a single season, and with 7 more games left he could increase its tally.
With this record, he surpassed the record of keeping 23 clean sheets in a season, previously held by another Barcelona legend, Claudio Bravo. He kept on delaying opponents last night, with getting brilliant assistance from his sturdy and fearless defenders.
Another prodigy in the making
La Masia has always been a powerhouse of producing and nurturing bright young talents. With the likes of Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and now Gavi, Fati, it has always been a historic academy of budding prodigies.
Last night, another feather was added to the academy when the youngest player in the history of Catalan football, Lamine Yamal was put on the field by Xavi in the 83rd minute, creating a unique and proud milestone for the youngster.
Born in 2007, his magics were visible from the minute he started playing, with almost scoring a goal in the dying minutes of the game, only to be stopped by opponent goalie Rui Silva.
Barcelona would like to maintain their streak into the final few games, with an exulted beckoning of the title glory after four years.