FC Barcelona managed to grab all the 3 points thanks to Lewandowski and Raphinha’s 2nd half heroics, beating Real Betis at the Benito Villamarin in a narrow 1-2 win.
The Catalans, as usual had the fair share of possession from the start in the opening half as they created danger through the flanks using Alejandro Balde’s rapid speed.
Although FC Barcelona controlled the game, both teams had clear cut chances to score goals but was unable to break the deadlock at half time.
Henriques of Real Betis had the game’s first chance in the 10th minute when the winger’s close range effort deflected off Alejandro Balde’s outstretched boot.
Both teams stayed the same without any half time substitutions and right from the get go FC Barcelona continued the attacking threat through the left flank using Alejandro Balde.
The young fullback kept on building the attacks and creating chances for his fellow teammate but others failed to convert his chances until Raphinha broke the deadlock in the 65th minute, slotting home the low pass sent by young Balde.
In the absence of Ousmane Dembele, Raphinha had to stepup his game and he exaclty did what the fans expected from him.
In the 80th minute Robert Lewandowski scored Barca’s 2nd goal of the night and The Polish striker extended his season goal tally to 23 ( 14 Laliga Goals).
Five minutes after adding the 2nd goal, a sluggish effort to clear the ball saw Jules Kounde scoring an own goal to put Real Betis in the touching distance of grabbing a point form this game.
However, thanks to the incredible work rate of Barca players in the final minutes, The Catalans grabbed all the 3 points at the end when the referee blew the final whistle.
At the midway point of the Laliga season, FC Barcelona have gathered 50 points while scoring 39 goals and only conceding 7 (1 own goal). This is the 4th best run at the midway point for the catalans in their history.
Although, Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha performed below par for their standards, the two players scored when The Catalans needed them the most to secure all the 3 points. The Brazilian winger is enjoying some much needed form after the criticism he received from the fans. Raphinha have scored 3 goals and provided 3 assists between all competitions in 2023.
He has scored 3 Laliga goals in 10 starts and all those three goals has come in crucial moments ( opener against Sevilla , Match winner against Osasuna , opener against Real Betis). After Ousmane Dembele’s unfortunate injury, Raphinha must up his game and justify his hefty price tag.
After returning form suspension, Robert Lewandowski managed to score a goal and extend his impressive run to 23 goals in 25 matches this season. The Pole has assisted 5 times as well and remains to be the biggest attacking threat of FC Barcelona so far.
Despite the own goal, the defense had another brilliant game. Jules Kounde, Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen and Alejandro Balde once again proved that it’s the best defensive four that FC Barcelona have currently at their disposal.
Alejandro Balde picked up the Man of the match and the young star from the academy continues to prove his worth day by day. He has provided 4 assists in this season so far only topped by Jamal Musiala (6) of all under 21 players.
FC Barcelona continue to be on top of the league table and now enjoy an 8-point lead although 2nd placed Real Madrid has a game in hand.
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