Tag Archives: betis

Betis Eyes Barca’s duo in summer


The Seville-based club are keen on brining in the two youngsters next season.

Both Riqui Puig and Pedri, who will join Barcelona in the summer, are being lined up by Real Betis this summer.

The youngsters are two of the highest-rated players in Spanish football and are wanted by a number of clubs.

Riqui Puig has insisted his desire to remain at Camp Nou and fight for a first-team place, but Pedri, currently at Las Palmas, faces an uncertain future.

Among the interested clubs are Betis, formerly managed by Quique Setien, a club that has a good relationship with Barcelona.

They currently have Carles Aleña on loan and the co-ordinator for the club’s sporting department, Alexis Trujillo, has revealed interest in an interview with ‘La Provincia’.

“There’s still a lof planning to be done, it’s not finalized yet,” he said. “We will have to see how things are when we go back (after the pandemic). Pedri is a kid that has come up on the market and is playing well.

“He is good technically, he’s at a good level… but in football, everything depends on the needs to may have. Right now, planning is not complete. But he’s shown what he’s made of at Las Palmas. He’s only 17 but plays with responsibility.”


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Real Betis 2-3 Barcelona: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Lionel Messi Inspires Dramatic Comeback


Barcelona had Lionel Messi to thank once more after his hat-trick of assists helped the La Liga champions battle to a 3-2 win over Real Betis.

Betis were awarded a penalty inside the opening five minutes when Clement Lenglet was adjudged to have blocked a shot with his arm, and Sergio Canales tucked away the resulting spot-kick to give the hosts a shock lead.


The advantage lasted only four minutes, however, as Frenkie de Jong levelled proceedings with a smart finish, latching onto an exquisite Lionel Messi pass.

Frenkie de Jong

La Blaugrana then spurned a whole host of chances to edge ahead, but it was the hosts who struck next, when Nabil Fekir capitalised on an Arturo Vidal mistake to lash home. Sergio Busquets levelled the scores deep in first-half injury time, and the two sides went into the half-time break all square.


Barça were the better side at the start of the second half, and Messi was denied twice by two smart Joel Robles saves. But the visitors weren’t finished there, and Lenglet secured all three points with 20 minutes to play, planting a superb header beyond the Betis goalkeeper from another Messi cross.

Fekir was then sent off a few minutes later for dissent towards the referee, as the hosts began to crumble, before Lenglet also saw red. Despite the late setback, Barça held onto the victory and moved to within three points of rivals Real Madrid.


Here’s 90min’s breakdown of the game.

Real Betis

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Joel (6); Emerson (6), Mandi (6), Bartra (7), Alex Moreno (6); William Carvalho (7), Guido Rodríguez (6), Aleñá (8); Canales (7); Fekir (6), Borja Iglesias (7)

Substitutes: Moron (6), Joaquin (6), Tello (6)

Barcelona

Key Talking Point

Given Barcelona are currently in a full-blown crisis, the last thing the Catalan giants needed was one of their own stars putting in a superb performance against them on Sunday evening.


But that’s exactly what happened.

On-loan Carles Aleñá was starting in the Betis midfield against his parent club, and he demonstrated exactly why La Blaugrana should not have allowed him to leave.

Clement Lenglet,Carles Alena
Although Barça were able to get the ball up the pitch to the forwards quickly, they lacked any real balance or control in the midfield and Aleñá and his teammates took full advantage of their woes.

It was the 22-year-old himself who created the second goal, seizing the ball from Vidal in the centre of the park and sliding an inch-perfect pass to Fekir, who gleefully buried his chance. With only a few players available for selection for the coming months, Barça fans must be wishing they could recall a talent like Aleñá back to Camp Nou.


When it rains, it pours.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Ter Stegen (6); Semedo (6), Lenglet (6), Umtiti (7), Junior (6); Vidal (5), Busquets (7), De Jong (8), Sergi Roberto (5); Messi (9*), Griezmann (7)

Substitutes: Jordi Alba (6), Arthur (6), Rakitic (N/A)

Lionel Messi

Sorry for stating the blinkin’ obvious, but this Messi fella is alright at football, isn’t he?


The Argentine superstar wasn’t at his mind-boggling best in possession, but it was his vital contributions from set-pieces that won the game for Barcelona.

The 32-year-old clipped a delicious pass over the top of the Betis defence to allow De Jong the chance to level the scores early on, and the little magician then delivered a superb free-kick which was tucked away by Busquets to restore parity once more.


Lionel Messi

Messi’s awards for ‘best supporting act’ didn’t stop there, though, as the Barça star whipped a mouthwatering ball onto the head of Lenglet, who dealt the final blow to this courageous Betis side.

Argentina’s captain almost marked the game with one of his trademark chipped finishes – one of which he scored against the very same opposition – but his majestic clip narrowly missed the far post.

The man deserves a better cast.

Continue reading Real Betis 2-3 Barcelona: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Lionel Messi Inspires Dramatic Comeback

Zinedine Zidane Defends Real Madrid Team Selection After Humbling Copa del Rey Exit


Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has defended his team selection following the club’s Copa del Rey quarter-final exit at the hands of Real Sociedad on Thursday night, insisting it was not the wrong line-up despite their 4-3 home defeat.

Zdiane had named a strong team with Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema all in from the start. Luka Modric also entered the fray at half-time in place of James Rodriguez when the visitors were leading only 1-0.


Marcelo

Martin Odegaard, on loan from Madrid, came back to haunt his parent club, opening the scoring before young Swedish forward Alexander Isak scored twice to put La Real 3-0 up.

Marcelo pulled one back, but Mikel Merino made it 4-1, with the visitors managing to hold on to the lead, despite late goals from Rodrygo and Nacho.


Speaking after the game, via the club’s official website, Zidane said: “When I name a team, it’s one that’s capable of going out and doing well.

“It’s easy to offer opinions afterwards. I don’t think we got the team wrong, there’s another team involved and they did really well, they opened the scoring and we then struggled. We made mistakes that we don’t usually make, but that was nothing to do with the personnel.


“We’re all in this together, we win together and lose together.”

Martin Odegaard
Zidane explained that key midfielder Casemiro wasn’t fit, adding: “There were other players out there and we can’t be looking for excuses. We all know what great quality Casemiro has and what he brings to the team, but others played tonight.”


The Frenchman was also adamant that there will be no knee-jerk reaction to the defeat in terms of future team selections.

“Conceding four goals is a lot and it hurts, but that won’t alter anything in terms of my plans to rotate,” Zidane said. “I believe in this group and what we’ve now got to do is lift ourselves and continue to work really hard because this one game won’t change anything


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Carles Aleñã agrees real betis loan deal.


Barcelona midfielder Carles Aleñá has apparently reached an agreement to leave the club on a short-term loan deal during the January transfer window.

The 21-year-old has only made four league appearances this season, while he also started for Barcelona in their last group stage match in the Champions League.

It’s understood that Barcelona’s academy graduate has been pushing for a move away in the build up to the January transfer window, and SPORT (via Forbes) report that Aleñá will join La Liga rivals Real Betis next month.


Carles Alena

Los Verdiblancos have helped to nurture a handful of top midfielders throughout their history, including Fabián Ruiz, Joaquín and most recently Giovani Lo Celso.

Although Aleñá’s appears to have been sorted, Ivan Rakitić recently admitted that he still hasn’t held talks with manager Ernesto Valverde over his future at Barcelona.

Speaking to Sportske Novosti, Rakitić said: “No [we haven’t spoken]. There’s nothing to say, I think everything is clear.


“For me, it’s important to enjoy football. I’m happy to go to training in the morning and prepare myself for a match in the best way possible.

“The most important question for me is if I can play at Barcelona. If I can play, I’m sure that Barcelona is the best place for me.

“We’ll see what happens, but I’m preparing to contribute as much as possible this season. I’ve been here for five years and I’ve experienced my most important moments with Barcelona.”


Elsewhere, Marca also link centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo with a short-term loan move away from Barcelona. The 19-year-old has previously been linked with Manchester United, AS Monaco and AC Milan.

Jean Clair Todibo
As far as incomings are concerned, however, it’s claimed that Valverde’s side will not bring any new players to the club next month.

Barça spent almost £230m on new signings before the start of the season, but that hasn’t stopped new rumours popping up throughout the campaign and the club have most recently been tipped to make a move for their former academy star, Dani Olmo.


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