Barcelona run riot against Real Betis

La Liga

Barcelona secured a comfortable 4-0 victory against Real Betis at Camp Nou on Sunday evening. Andreas Christensen, Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha scored for the hosts with Guido Rodriguez netting an own goal to round off the rout. Edgar Gonzalez was sent off early in the game, making it an easy night for Xavi Hernandez’s side. Barcelona restored their 11-point lead with six games remaining in the league. Real Madrid had cut the gap after defeating Almeria 4-2 in their previous fixture.

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With Barcelona comfortably leading, Xavi brought on 15-year-old forward Lamine Yamal, who became the club’s youngest player to debut in the 21st century. On the other hand, Betis brought on veteran Joaquin Sanchez, 41, for his final appearance at Camp Nou before retiring at the end of the season. He was applauded by Barcelona supporters.

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Christensen returned to the starting lineup after an injury, while Ousmane Dembele had to make do with a place on the bench after a three-month layoff. Christensen made an immediate impact on his return. Raphinha whipped in a vicious ball that Ronald Araujo narrowly missed, but Christensen followed up with a header that found the back of the net. Betis were set back further when Edgar was sent off for two bookings after half an hour.

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Lewandowski added to the scoreline soon after by netting his 19th league goal of the season. He reacted after Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema earlier scored a hat-trick against Almeria to move within one of his tally. Three minutes later, Raphinha scored the third, making a clever run in behind the defence and finishing from Sergio Busquets’ chipped pass. It was Raphinha’s 10th goal of the campaign across all competitions.

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Lewandowski hit the post early in the second half, but Barcelona continued to dominate in the pouring rain. Xavi brought on Dembele with little over 15 minutes to go, and there was applause for Joaquin as he limped off injured. Rodriguez deflected in Ansu Fati’s cross as Barcelona added a fourth goal in the 82nd minute. Home supporters were also treated to 15-year-old Yamal’s debut in the final stages, and the winger came close to scoring with a shot repelled by Rui Silva.

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