Barcelona beat Betis as 15-year-old Lamine Yamal makes debut
Barcelona took one other step towards a primary LaLiga title since 2019 as they thumped 10-man Real Betis 4-0 at Spotify Camp Nou on Saturday.
Andreas Christensen headed Barca right into a 14th-minute lead earlier than Betis have been lowered to 10 males simply after the half-hour mark when Edgar Gonzalez was despatched off for 2 bookings.
Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha made it 3-0 earlier than the break, with an personal objective from Guido Rodriguez finishing the scoring inside the ultimate 10 minutes.
Barca then handed a debut to 15-year-old Lamine Yamal for the ultimate stretch of the match as they restored their 11-point lead over Real Madrid on the prime of the desk with simply six video games to go.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, extra (U.S.)
1. Barca get well from Rayo setback in type
Barca had misplaced for simply the third time in LaLiga this season after they have been comfortably crushed by Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday. Real Madrid’s win over Almeria on Saturday then moved them inside eight factors of Xavi Hernandez’s aspect, barely placing the stress on them to get a outcome towards Betis.
They responded. Boosted by the return of Andreas Christensen in defence — and Ousmane Dembele on the bench — Barca took the sport to Betis from the off and deservedly led when the Danish centre-back headed in Raphinha’s cross.
Any hopes Betis had of staying within the recreation disappeared within the thirty third minute. Substitute Edgar Gonzalez, who had changed the injured Luiz Felipe, was proven a second yellow card for a foul on Pedri.
With the numerical benefit, Barca raced clear. Lewandowski flicked house his nineteenth league objective of the season from a Jules Kounde cross. Raphinha, after an excellent Sergio Busquets by means of ball, then killed the sport earlier than halftime.
For Lewandowski, his rating put two objectives between him and Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, whose hat trick earlier within the day took his tally to 17. With six video games left for each gamers within the Pichichi race, the final time the league’s prime scorer did not hit 25 by season’s finish was 2001-02.
2. Lamine Yamal, 15, makes Barcelona historical past
The second half was an train of assault towards Betis’ defence as Barca eased to their twenty fourth clear sheet of the season. And whereas Lewandowski may have added to the house aspect’s tally, essentially the most attention-grabbing moments got here from the bench.
After Betis winger Joaquin, 41, got here on for his closing Camp Nou look — he was given a rousing reception by the group of 88,000 within the rain — it was time for Barca to herald Lamine Yamal. At 15, Yamal turns into Barca’s youngest to debut in LaLiga and fifth youngest to play in Spain’s prime flight (Luka Romero, who made his debut for Mallorca in 2020, continues to be the youngest debutant).
It was virtually a dream debut for Yamal, too, who noticed likelihood well-saved by Betis keeper Rui Silva, whereas it was a tragic ending for Joaquin, who exited the match with a knee harm.
It was one other substitute, although, who created Barca’s fourth objective. Ansu Fati noticed his try changed into the online by Betis midfielder Guido Rodriguez for an personal objective.
3. Betis self-destruct in Champions League race
The three factors edge Barca nearer to the league title, however Betis’ Champions League hopes have been quashed this week. If they’d crushed Real Sociedad at house earlier this week, they might have been inside three factors of the highest 4 spots within the desk. As it stands, following that draw with La Real and this loss to Barca, they’re now 9 factors adrift.
A visit to Camp Nou was by no means more likely to yield three factors however Manuel Pellegrini’s aspect didn’t assist themselves. From Luiz Felipe’s harm to seeing Edgar despatched off to Guido scoring an personal objective to Joaquin hobbling off, it was an evening when virtually the whole lot that might go improper did.
Joaquin introduced earlier this month he’ll grasp up his boots at season’s finish, and Betis will hope that his harm won’t sign an early retirement and that he’ll get the prospect to say goodbye on the pitch.
Best and worst performers
BEST: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)
At his finest in video games that his aspect management. Produced a number of sensible passes by means of the strains, together with one for Raphinha’s objective.
BEST: Raphinha (Barcelona)
Took his objective rather well and delivered a very good cross for the opener, nodded in by Christensen.
BEST: Pedri (Barcelona)
Xavi’s aspect are simply higher when Pedri performs. Making simply his second begin since recovering from harm, virtually the whole lot went by means of him.
WORST: Edgar Gonzalez (Real Betis).
Lasted simply 20 minutes on the pitch after approaching within the first half. His first reserving could have been harsh, however the problem for the second was silly when already on a warning.
WORST: Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis).
Lost the midfield battle towards Barca’s 4 within the center and later put by means of his personal internet.
WORST: Martin Montoya (Real Betis).
The former Barca right-back was roasted for tempo a few occasions by Alejandro Balde on a troublesome return to his former house.
Highlights and notable moments
Whatever you have been doing at age 15, it actually wasn’t getting the Camp Nou crowd on its toes.
15-YEAR-OLD LAMINE YAMAL NEARLY SCORES JUST MINUTES AFTER MAKING HIS BARCA DEBUT 😮😮😮 pic.twitter.com/5SiOUvC1wH
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 29, 2023
After the match: What the managers, gamers mentioned
Barcelona’s Xavi Hernandez on Lamine Yamal’s debut at age 15: “I told him to try things and he did. At 15 years old, imagine it. … He is special. He could have scored, he played with confidence. He showed what he is about. He has no fear. He has talent. Some of his passes were really good.
Xavi, on if Yamal’s debut was similar to Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati: “Yes, he is an analogous participant as a result of he has that innate expertise within the closing third which is tough to seek out. He does not appear to be a 15-year-old, he is extra mature. He’s prepared and he’s coaching properly. He confirmed that within the 10 minutes he was on when he performed with the arrogance we would like. He can mark an period at this membership.”
Betis coach Manuel Pellegrini, on their Champions League hopes: “We aren’t within the kind to attempt to pull that off in the meanwhile. We should attempt to finish the season properly. Unfortunately, we’re in a hunch in the meanwhile after being constant for 2 and a half years.”
Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Information)
– Lamine Yamal turns into the fifth participant aged 15 years or youthful to play within the historical past of Spain’s prime division.
– This is Barcelona’s fifth LaLiga win by a minimum of 4 objectives distinction, the second most of any workforce within the prime 5 European leagues (solely Bayern Munich has extra with six wins).
– Raphinha is the fifteenth completely different participant (first on Barcelona) on a membership from the highest 5 European leagues with 10+ assists and 10+ objectives this season throughout all competitions.
– With Edgar Gonzalez’s second yellow card, Betis now lead LaLiga with essentially the most gamers despatched off this season (13). Second are Elche and Sevilla, each with 12.
– This is Barcelona’s twenty fourth shutout of the season in LaLiga, tying the workforce’s single-season document of 24 shutouts in 1986-87.
Barcelona: Another house recreation on the Camp Nou vs. Osasuna on Tuesday (stream dwell on ESPN+ at 2:30 p.m. ET).
Real Betis: Back on the highway at Athletic Club subsequent Thursday (stream dwell on ESPN+ at 4 p.m. ET).