Five-star Barcelona crush Real Betis to go top of LaLiga

By Sports Desk September 16, 2023

Champions Barcelona thrashed Real Betis 5-0 to move to the top of LaLiga on Saturday.

Joao Felix marked his first start of the club with his first goal and Robert Lewandowski also struck as Xavi’s side took control in the first half at their temporary Olympic Stadium home.

Ferran Torres, Raphinha and Joao Cancelo wrapped up an emphatic victory in the second half.

The result took them a point clear of Real Madrid, who face Real Sociedad on Sunday, at the top of the table.

Betis, with seven points from their opening four games, had travelled with hope of causing an upset, but they were firmly put in their place by the champions despite an encouraging start.

Barca were sluggish in the opening minutes and the visitors had the first clear-cut opening when Luis Henrique fired just wide after being cleverly played in by Isco.

Barca eventually clicked into gear and Felix put them ahead after 25 minutes. He initially miskicked after meeting a cross from Oriol Romeu with an attempted volley but readjusted brilliantly to dribble round Rui Silva and slot home from an acute angle.

They then moved through the gears and doubled the lead just after the hour as Lewandowski claimed his first league goal of the season.

Felix, who is on loan from Atletico Madrid, was again involved, this time dummying from an Andreas Christensen pass to allow the Pole to run through and fire past Silva.

Betis threatened to reply before the interval as Willian Jose tested Marc-Andre ter Stegen, but Silva also had to be alert to deny Felix from a Barca counter-attack.

That proved Silva’s final contribution as he was substituted at half-time for Francisco Vieites, but his replacement was unable to halt Barcelona’s march.

Felix thought he had claimed his side’s third just before the hour only for his effort to be ruled out for offside.

The champions did not have to wait much longer, however, as Torres curled in a superb free-kick after 62 minutes.

Victory was then made absolutely certain four minutes later as Raphinha, who had replaced Torres after the third goal, scored with his first contribution. The Brazilian took a touch and then lashed in a fierce drive from the edge of the area.

Cancelo wrapped up the scoring with his first Barca goal nine minutes from time. The on-loan Manchester City full-back found space on the right and wrong-footed Juan Miranda before firing into the far corner.

Barcelona went close to adding even more in the closing moments as Raphinha forced a save from Vieites and Lewandowski backheeled narrowly wide.

Related items

  • Xavi wants Barcelona to make defensive improvements against Sevilla Xavi wants Barcelona to make defensive improvements against Sevilla

    Barcelona boss Xavi wants his side to defend better as they prepare for their LaLiga clash with Sevilla on Friday.

    Barca are currently unbeaten in the league so far this term but have conceded four goals in their last two games, coming from behind to beat Celta Vigo 3-2 before a 2-2 draw with Mallorca.

    Despite their recent defensive flaws, Xavi’s side have scored 18 goals, which is the joint most in the division alongside league leaders Girona.

    The Barca boss acknowledged those differences but thinks his side have to improve at the back.

    He said: “We might not be as brilliant in defence as we were last season.

    “We need to improve our pressure after losing the ball, press higher up the pitch, concentrate a bit harder.

    “But we have got better up front. We created six clear chances against Mallorca and I think that’s good baggage.”

    The Catalan giants will face a Sevilla side who, after a tough start to the campaign, are starting to show their true colours and are currently unbeaten in three.

    Xavi praised their opponents on Friday and has called on the home fans to be the 12th man.

    He added: “Sevilla are the defending Europa League champions and a difficult team to play.

    “They’re solid, they like to play down the wings and play a direct, vertical game. But we’re at home.

    “We need the fans and the atmosphere at Montjuic to get back on the winning track.”

    A win for Barcelona could take them top of the league temporarily before the top two, Girona and Real Madrid, face each other on Saturday.

    Xavi is not surprised by how well current league leaders Girona are doing.

    He continued: “It’s no surprise to me because they have been doing things well at that club for several years.”

  • Rusea’s remain undefeated to lead Zone B; Frome, STETHS, William Knibb secure big wins Rusea’s remain undefeated to lead Zone B; Frome, STETHS, William Knibb secure big wins

    Zone B action in the ISSA/WATA DaCosta Cup saw Rusea’s and Frome Technical both secure wins on Wednesday.

    Former champions Rusea’s maintained their perfect record after five games with a 4-0 home win over Cambridge High while Frome secured a comfortable 7-0 win over Merlene Ottey to move to nine points from four games in second.

    In Zone A, Cornwall College moved to 13 points from their five outings with a 2-0 win over St. James High at Jarrett Park. Irwin High are close behind them in second with 11 points from five games as well after their own 2-0 win over Maldon at home. Spot Valley and Green Pond played out a 1-1 draw in the zone’s other game.

    In Zone C, William Knibb secured a massive 8-0 win over Discovery Bay while Browns Town beat Ferncourt 7-1. William Knibb are currently third in the Zone with nine points from five games, one behind York Castle and three behind zone leaders, Cedric Titus. York Castle lost 2-4 to Ocho Rios on Tuesday while Cedric Titus beat Aubuthnott Gallimore 10-2.

    STETHS moved to 13 points from five games in Zone E after a massive 9-1 win over Sydney Pagon. Munro College trail the former champions by two points after securing a 7-0 win over Roger Clarke on Tuesday. Elsewhere in the zone, Lacovia and Maggotty played out a 1-1 draw.

    In a pair of Zone I clashes, St, Mary High got the better of St. Mary Tech 3-2 while Wycliffe Martin High secured a 5-0 win over Carron Hall High. Wycliffe Martin and St. Mary High are currently fourth and fifth in the zone with seven and six points, respectively. Tacky High (13 points from five games), Annotto Bay (12 points from five games) and Horace Clarke (10 points from four games) occupy the top three spots.

    Morant Bay High maintained their perfect record in Zone K after four games with a 4-2 win over Robert Lightbourne.




  • KC strengthen lead atop Group A; Mona, JC, Haile Selassie also secure wins KC strengthen lead atop Group A; Mona, JC, Haile Selassie also secure wins

    Kingston College now have five wins from as many games as action continued in the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup on Wednesday.

    KC, who initially opened their season with an 0-4 defeat to Hydel before that result was overturned to a 3-0 win after it was deemed that their opponents used an ineligible player, defeated Charlie Smith 1-0 to move to 15 points from their five outings, six points ahead of Calabar in second and nine ahead of Hydel in third. Charlie Smith also have six points in fourth.

    Elsewhere in Group B, defending champions Jamaica College secured a 2-1 win over Kingston Technical to move to the top of the group with nine points from four games, two points ahead of Tivoli in second and three ahead of Kingston Technical in third.

    Group C action saw Haile Selassie continue their winning ways, moving to 15 points from five games with a 1-0 win over Eltham. The other game in the group saw Dunoon Technical defeat Denham Town 3-2 for their first win of the season.

    In Group E, Mona High hammered Edith Dalton 6-0 to move to five wins out of five.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.