Even the weather complemented Barcelona’s win over Betis as it rained steadily, bringing a bit of relief to one of the driest areas of drought-stricken Spain. The club posted a message on Twitter saying “We love a rainy night.”
Betis’ Édgar González had a night to forget at Camp Nou. He replaced the injured Luiz Felipe in the 12th minute, but by the 33rd he was heading back to the bench after being sent off with two yellow cards for fouls.
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So it went for Betis, which saw its chances for a Champions League berth fade. Manuel Pellegrini’s side was left in sixth place at nine points behind Sociedad, which holds fourth place and the last spot for Europe’s elite competition.
Barcelona was already winning thanks to a 14th-minute header by Andreas Christensen before Édgar left Betis undermanned. Robert Lewandowski then took his league-leading tally to 19 goals, two more than Benzema.
Raphinha, who crossed the ball for Christensen’s opener, added a third goal in the 39th.
Ousmane Dembélé went on late for his first appearance since the Barcelona winger injured his left thigh in late January.
Betis veteran Joaquín Sánchez received an ovation from a large part of Barcelona’s 88,000-strong crowd when he went on as a second-half substitute. The 41-year-old forward recently announced he will retire after this season, the 23rd of his career.
Betis finished with nine men after Joaquín walked off with what looked like a right knee issue in the 80th and all their substitutions made.
Betis’ Guido Rodríguez then turned a pass by Ansu Fati into his own net.
Fifteen-year-old Lamine Yamal debuted for Barcelona in the final minutes.
Barcelona said the forward is the youngest player to play a Spanish league game in club history. In 1902, a 13-year-old played for Barcelona in a cup competition.
Yamal would have scored if not for a save by goalkeeper Rui Silva.
“I told him to try things. And boy did he do that, and at 15 years old, imagine that,” coach Xavi Hernández said. “He almost scored, almost assisted for a teammate. He can become a special player.”
Elche rolled to its biggest win of an otherwise painful season when it beat Rayo Vallecano 4-0. The last-placed side was still 16 points from safety with six games left.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)