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Feb 10, 2020

Barcelona came from beind twice to secure vital three points against Real Betis, what incidentally is the first away win under Setién in the League.

Real Betis - 2 | FC Barcelona - 3

This was an emotional affair on so many levels. First, there was this Manager who is making a visit to the place where he made the real mark, then there is a host of ex-Barcelona players, some sold out and some on loan and finally there is the stadium, which for the Catalan side is nothing short of a bull ring! This was bound to be messy, and so it was.

In the end, Setién would be a relieved man, having secured the three points which keep his team on the heels of arch-rival Real Madrid. Barcelona needed to come back from behind twice in the match. The goals came from pretty much unlikely sources - De Jong, Busquets and Lenglet; assisted by the usual suspect Lionel Messi.

Setién makes Some Tough Calls ahead of the Match

Once again Setién continued with his experiments at Barcelona in this match with the starting line-up. We lined up in a 4-3-1-2 formation with Vidal lying behind both Griezmann and Messi. But the biggest call was none of these, it was the dropping of Jordi Alba for Firpo. It was clearly meant to send a signal to the influential left-back after his performances have dropped this season. Have Firpo made an impact?

The defense had that unusual pairing of Lenglet and Umtiti, with Semmedo and Firpo flanking on each wing. Busquets, Sergi Roberto, and De Jong made the midfield. Vidal was positioned behind Messi and Griezmann, who occupied the twin striker role. The idea was to keep the central defense occupied when Messi drops back. This formation also needed both wingers adding the width - and that explained the selection of Semedo in right-wing.

Barcelona started the Game in the Worst Way Possible

Real Betis, always has been a tough side for Barcelona to face especially away from home. And if that task wasn't already tough, we made it worse by conceding a penalty in the very sixth minute. Lenglet handled the ball while defending a cross from sensational winger Fekir. It was a very unprofessional mistake, something at his level should not have happened. The goal wasn't the only issue there, Lenglet carrying the yellow card for the rest of the match was a liability and towards the end that came to hurt us.

Everyone expected Barcelona to disintegrate but Messi had other plans. Barcelona equalized through De Jong in the ninth minute, when Messi spotted his run into the box and sent in a delightful looped cross. He was left unmarked was a huge advantage, but the Dutch youngster did really well controlling and finishing the chance in front of an onrushing keeper.

Soon Barcelona started controlling the midfield and the pace of the game. This match was in part the best version of Setien's controlling style and at the time the worst of it. After the equalizer, we settled easily and it appeared we will be building on the game. Messi had a brilliant chance in the 23rd minute which he failed with his finish. After two minutes, Griezmann who was subdued in the match had a great chance but failed.

But then slowly we started losing control fo midfield, especially on the right where Fekir was making fun of both Roberto and Semedo. Then in the 26th minute Real Betis went once again ahead with a brilliant strike from Fekir, the best player of the match till that time. The goal will be remembered for the comical defending by Umtiti and Semedo, who never felt the need for closing down the winger, leaving Ter Stegan wide open.

Barcelona Equalizer before the Break was Crucial

From the goal of Fekir, we were clearly the second-best side until the half time whistle. We were really lucky not to have gone further behind after the central defense of Umtiti and Lenglet creating havoc at the back. Firpo aided them well in making life difficult. Then against the run of play at the very end of the half, Barcelona equalized via Busquets from a Messi free-kick.

There was no denial that the equalizer, especially before the first half had a huge impact on the game. Barcelona came out of the dressing room better organized and looked much more solid. Messi had a couple of great chances, which the keeper denied by pulling out exceptional saves. He even tried that audacious chip which went just wide off the far post.

Arthur coming in for Vidal and we moving to a traditional 4-4-2 helped Barcelona retain a lot of control. Then in the 73rd minute, Lenglet turned from Villain to Hero by scoring a brilliant header from another Messi free-kick into the box. Barcelona was able to preserve that lead till the end, even though they should have really added one more.

Messi's form in front of goal would be a cause of worry for many Barcelona fans. But he was instrumental in organizing a spirited fightback in a stadium which was made Barcelona suffer in recent times. Their first away win under Setién would settle a lot of nerves, and also the fact that it came against Real Betis.

All About FC Barcelona is a Blog dedicated to the Most prestigous Club in the world, FC Barcelona by an ardent fan. Here I discuss about the Latest happening surrounding our Club and present my Views about the same.

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