Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez ran the show at Camp Nou as Barcelona thrashed Real Betis 6-2 at on Saturday to get their consecutive La Liga title defence to an impressive start.
The champions Spanish Champions Barcelona took control at half-time with goals from Arda Turan, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez whhile Ruben Castro scored Betis’ only consolation of the game.
Suarez and Messi ran the show after the break. The Uruguayan struck a brace after the break in the 56th and 82nd minutes respectively for his first hat trick of the season while Messi also found the back of the net in the after Suarez’s second of the game.
Claudio Bravo started what was likely to be his last game in a Barcelona shirt ahead of his proposed switch to Manchester City. New Betis boss Gus Poyet handed debuts to five new players, including ex-Blaugrana striker Antonio Sanabria.
The Champions wasted no time in exerting their dominance on the match as Lionel Messi, just minutes after he led his side’s League trophy presentation, squared the ball to Jordi Alba at Antonio Adan’s far post, the left-back then cutting back for Arda Turan for a superb finish.
However, Betis gave drew level 15 minutes later when Ruben Castro – accountable for over half of the visitors’ goals last season – stood over a free kick on the edge of Barcalona’s box and blasted it into Bravo’s top-right corner.
The equalizer seemed an energyzer for the Catalans who only came back stronger and restored their advantage through Messi, who did what he does best, dancing past opposition players from the right, pulling the ball onto his left foot and bending a deft effort past a flailing Adan.
There was time for a third goal before half-time as Luis Suarez got off the mark for 2016-17 with a sweet finish from Sergi Roberto’s pass into feet in the box, the Uruguayan pinging the ball across Adan and into the bottom-left corner of the former Real Madrid man’s net.
More to follow….
Goals: Arda 6, Messi 37, 57, Suarez 42, 56, 82 (B) Castro 21, 84 (RB)
Barcelona: Bravo; Sergi, Pique, Umtiti, Alba (Digne 76); Busquets, Rakitic, Denis (Munir 70); Messi, Suarez, Arda
Real Betis: Adan; Bruno, Mandi, Pezzella; Cejudo, Jonas (Ceballos 36), Petros (Fabian 59), Felipe (Musonda 55), Durmisi; Sanabria, Castro