Madrid (AFP) – Lionel Messi scored twice against Real Betis 5-2 on Saturday, including his first goal since the opening game of the season against Barcelona.
Messi was rested by Ronald Koeman before Antonio Sanabria canceled Usman Tempel’s opener, but in the absence of Argentina, Antoine Griezmann missed a penalty and the match was drawn.
But within four minutes of the launch, Messi gave Griezmann an open goal with a fantastic dummy and then scored twice, the first penalty that saw Betis’ Issa kneel.
Meanwhile, Lauren Moron had given Betis brief confidence, but Messi’s second and Petrie’s late strike put Barcelona on course for a four-match unbeaten run and their rise to eighth in La Liga.
Commonwealth assistant Alfred Schrடர்der said before the match that Messi was “not new”, but the 33-year-old had a better response to those who suggested his performance this season.
Before the first goal of the season could be recorded from the opening game, Messi turned the game around, controlling Barcelona with his superb dummy for Griezmann, then won a penalty from a Temple shot, which was crushed by his pass.
Griezmann scored his goal with Messi on the pitch, but he could not prove a point without him.
Despite being alive for half an hour, Griezmann missed a penalty before Messi scored, and was eventually converted by the Frenchman, who sat on the stand with a dark expression as Barca progressed towards victory.
Griezmann and Anshu Pathi each fired two shots as neither team showed much interest in defending early on, while Mark-Andre der Stegen had to be careful to push William Carvalho’s header.
Barca broke 22 minutes later when Tempel cut off Claudio Bravo on his left leg just before the finish for his first league goal in 13 months.
When Mandy conceded a penalty after slipping Ansu in the front post, Griezmann had a chance to add a goal to his busy first half scene.
But Griezmann missed, a damn shot that was easily saved by Bravo, before Bedis scored, and Sanabria finished after Christian Dello clearly rose to the left again.
Four minutes after Messi arrived, Barca were in front, trying to meet Argentina’s Jordi Alba’s cross in the front post, only to step on the ball, fooling his marker and goalkeeper, and leaving Griezmann with an open net.
Eleven minutes later, Messi made it 3-1 with a penalty and won after his pass set the tempo for a shot, which was blocked in the line by the hands of the sent knee.
With 17 minutes left to complete Alex Moreno’s setback, Moron gave Bedis confidence, but Messi confirmed, with Sergio Roberto’s shot, his second and Barca’s fourth. Petrie did it for five at the time of the injury.