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.

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