FC Barcelona got their first league of the season thanks to a 5-2 victory over Real Betis on the Blaugrana’s home opener at the Camp Nou. Barça kicked off their league campaign away with a 1-0 loss at Athletic Bilbao for its first opening league defeat in a decade. Heading into today’s game against Real Betis, Barça were without the injured Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele. Nonetheless, new signing Antoine Griezmann stepped up and delivered by scoring twice and assisting on another to help lead the club to its first Spanish league win of the season with a 5-2 rout of Real Betis. Manager Ernesto Valverde went with an attacking trio of Griezmann, Rafinha and youth team graduate Carles Pérez.
Barça’s loss last week added more pressure on the team to deliver a better performance, however their evening got off to a rocky start when Fekir gave the visiting side the lead after fifteen minutes. Barça struggled to get going but fortunately the new star signing, Griezmann scored the equalizer four minutes before the break and then gave the Blaugrana the lead four minutes into the second half, much to the delight of the over 79,000 Blaugrana faithful in attendance, with a sublime goal. Barça B’s Carles Pérez made his league debut a memorable one when he scored in the 55th minute for what would turn out to be the game winning goal. In the 60th minute, Busquets set up Jordi Alba for the fourth goal and in the 76th minute, Griezmann setup substitute Arturo Vidal for the fifth and final goal for the Blaugrana this evening. This night was also a special night for the young 16-year-old academy starlet, Ansu Fati, who was making his senior-team debut with Barcelona as a second-half substitute, becoming the second youngest to play with the club in the Spanish league. It was a special night and Fati came close to scoring during his memorable cameo. Betis managed to pull one back in the 78th minute through Loren but result was never in doubt as Barça captured their first league victory of this campaign. The only bad news was the substitution of Sergio Busquets in the 72nd because of an apparent injury. Next up for the Blaugrana is another trip north as they travel to Pamplona to face newly promoted Osasuna.
Match Facts (From Sport):
FC Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Busquets (Arturo Vidal, 72′), Sergi Roberto, De Jong; Carles Pérez (Ansu Fati, 77′), Griezmann & Rafinha (Junior Firpo, 80′).
Real Betis: Dani Martín; Emerson, Bartra, Sidnei, Pedraza; William, Guardado (Joaquín, 60′), Canales (Lainez, 74′); Fekir, Loren & Tello (Kaptoum, 60′).
Goals: 0-1, Fekir (M.15); 1-1, Griezmann (M.41); 2-1, Griezmann (M.49); 3-1, Carles Pérez (M.55); 4-1, Jordi Alba (M.60); 5-1, Arturo Vidal (M.76); 5-2, Loren (M.78).
Referee: González González
Cautions: Piqué (31′); William (89′).