Barcelona played against Real Betis, on Camp Nou, in their first match of the 2017/2018 La Liga season.
The Catalans started the match without Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique or Andres Iniesta. All three of them are injured, although Pique made the bench.
Barcelona (4-3-3): ter Stegen – Semedo, Mascherano, Umtiti, Alba – Roberto, Busquets, Rakitic – Messi, Alcacer, Deulofeu;
Betis (4-1-4-1): Adan – Barragan, Mandi, Feddal, Tosca – Guardado – Nahuel, Narvaez, Camarasa, Joaquin – Leon.
Barcelona started the match very determined and Deulofeu missed a good opportunity in the 3rd minute. Having received a pass from Sergi Roberto in the box, the winger took a shot that went just wide of the right post.
In the 14th minute, Messi came close to open the score. The Argentinian took a free-kick from the edge of the box, but his shot went just over the crossbar.
Messi had another chance in the 25th minute. After a one-two with Busquests, the Argentinian received the ball at the edge of the box and took a quick shot. Unfortunately for him, the ball went inches wide of the left post.
In the 35th minute, another free-kick for Barcelona. Messi stepped up, curled it past the wall but the ball hit the right post.
1-0: In the 37th minute, a quick action in the box saw Messi passing the ball to Deulofeu on the right side, who then tried to find Messi again in the centre, only for his cross to be deflected into the net by Betis’ defender, Alin Tosca.
2-0: Only two minutes later, Barcelona striked again. The same Deulofeu recovered a ball on the byline, entered the box and passed behind for Sergi Roberto, who cooly finished past Antonio Adan.
Half-time: Barcelona lead 2-0 at the break, after a first half which they dominated. Betis, however, have shown some good football and the match is far from over.
Barcelona continued to dominate the game in the second half as well.
In the 60th minute, Messi received a ball 30m away from the opposition’s goal in a central position. The Argentinian advanced and took a shot from the edge of the box, but the post denied Messi the goal again.
70th minute – another free-kick, another close miss for Lionel Messi. The Argentinian tried his luck from the right wing, but his shot went inches over the crossbar.
Aleix Vidal received a brilliant through ball in the box from Messi, in the 76th minute. Vidal tried to get past the goalkeeper, but Adan managed a good save with his left foot.
Messi hits the post for the third time. In the 81st minute, the Argentinian played a quick one-two at the edge of the box and unleashed a powerful shot at the near post. His shot hit the bar once again.
In the 82nd minute, Rakitic crossed after a corner kick and found Messi totally unmarked in the box. His header went inches wide.
The first chance of the second half for Betis came in the 88th minute. A rebound ball found its way to Fabian Luiz at the edge of the box, but his strong shot went flying over the crossbar.
Full-time: The referee blows the whistle to signal the end of the game. Barcelona get the three points in their first La Liga game of the new season, after a 2-0 win over Betis.