Great match at Villamarín between two daring teams that exchanged blows and goals, such as those of Ansu Fati and Bartra
The draw seemed fair but Xavi’s team was ambitious until the end and a cross from Alves in 93′ was finished off by the left-back with an extraordinary volley
Suffering is over. Barça tied a place in the Champions League next season and put the direct towards second place in LaLiga by defeating a direct rival like Betis 1-2 in a fast-paced game. Jordi Alba resolved it in the last minute of added time with a formidable volley after an assist from Dani Alves . Perhaps the tie was fairer after goals from Ansu Fati and Bartra , but Xavi Hernández ‘s team had ambition in a final attack and received the award.
Without Ter Stegen , who stayed in Barcelona due to a stomach ailment, or Piqué , who already joined the known casualties of Pedri, Dest, Sergi Roberto and Nico during the week , Xavi Hernández gave Neto the title under the sticks , he bet by a tandem of right-handed center -backs Araujo-Eric (with the left-handers Lenglet and Umtiti on the bench) and in attack he sat down Aubameyang , struggling with the goal lately, and lined up the trident Dembélé-Ferran-Memphis,with the Valencian of ‘9’. The team ends the season with a wardrobe, a good sign, but without a well-defined ideal eleven because the transition to a reliable Barça has not been completed yet.
The attitude and the will to finish the season well were evident from the first minute at the Benito Villamarín against a Betis without Bellerín , who left at the last minute, or William Carvalho , an unusual substitute, but full of enthusiasm in his first game in front of his devoted fans after win the Copa del Rey and be honored by his rival with a sports hall. The April Fair in Seville, which ended last night, helped the festive and cheerful tone of the first bars, but it was noted that a Champions League place was at stake and the fight for second place, with a succulent economic prize and the Super Cup from Spain. The verdiblancos competed against themselves due to their inevitable relaxation and the azulgrana, too, because this League has become very long.
There was intensity, speed in both teams and arrivals in both areas. A rebound by Bravo , who was injured in that action after a quarter of an hour and was replaced by Rui Silva , was almost used by Ferran . The Portuguese showed off early, deflecting a header from Araujo to the crossbar after a corner taken by Memphis in the 19th minute. Betis, with bursts of great quality led by Fekir and Canales , answered with a shot at the post by Guido Rodríguez in the 29th minute and a low attempt by Canales himself in the same action that Neto blocked .
It was an open game, with constant runs from Dembélé , although without precision in the center, and with a very active Memphis team that tested Rui Silva from distance in the 32nd minute. Betis, perhaps more tired, slowed down before the break, but Barça did not take advantage of it and the break was goalless.
In the second half the vertigo returned, with an internship by Canales that Eric aborted , replicated by another by Dembélé , who crashed the ball into the side of the net. But in the exchange of blows, Barça lost light and Betis grew.
Neto avoided Juanmi ‘s 1-0 in the 64th minute with feline reflexes because it was a point-blank shot and the first touch after Alex Moreno ‘s service in an extraordinary match against Verdiblanca. And the Brazilian goalkeeper repeated, this time exhibiting placement, before another shot by Juanmi , who was left alone, but somewhat heeled, enabled by Borja .
In a game of streaks for both teams, Barça was slow to react this time and did not worry again until 71′ with a high shot from Memphis , a foretaste of the best Barça chance in Ferran Torres ‘ boots . He made a hole in the area and finished with everything in his favor, but Rui Silva saved the goal with a great save.
Memphis , Ferran and Dembelé left and Aubameyang , Ansu Fati and Adama entered . And then came the goal of the young center forward, invented by him, extracting oil from nowhere in the 76th minute, with a strange but effective shot against the team against which he was seriously injured last season. However, on a day of quick responses, Bartra , after a free-kick from Fekir , headed it 1-1 in the 79th minute. And start again.
In the last few minutes, anything could have happened. Another header from Bartra almost entered , a poisoned cross from Adama was sung as a goal… Riqui Puig even entered in search of more ideas. In a crazy ending, it was 1-2 in added time. Ambitious attack by Barça with many players, great center by Alves and extraordinary volley by Jordi Alba to tie the Champions League.