Afp and Europa Press

La Jornada newspaper

Monday, February 8, 2021, p. 5

Madrid. Driven by a Leo Messi who began on the bench, Barcelona kept second location in the Spanish League after coming back to beat Betis 3-2, which suffered its very first defeat of the year and was close to condemning the options to the title of the Barça team.

Barcelona, with 43 points, is even with Real Madrid, who likewise had to return on Saturday, however versus bottom Huesca, with a double from French main Raphaël Varane.

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman seemed to focus on the Copa del Rey. The Catalan squad will play the first leg of the semifinals versus Sevilla on Wednesday, so the helmsman left 3 of the most fit players on the bench: Leo Messi, Pedri and Frenkie De Jong.

The Dutchman, however, needed to leap onto the pitch in the 10th minute due to the injury to Uruguayan center-back Ronald Araújo.

After a very first half of little feeling and quality, in which the highlight was the preliminary objective of Borja Iglesias (38 ), the departure of the young Pedri and, above all, of Messi, changed the characteristics of the video game.

With simply 2 minutes on the court, Messi (59) matched the match by ending up off a fantastic private play by Frenchman Ousmane Dembelé. Shortly after, Barcelona took the lead with a goal from Víctor Ruiz (68) after a failed shot by Frenchman Antoine Griezmann.

The Andalusian defender made up for his error shortly after, scoring the provisionary 2-2 objective (75 ). The rating stayed till the Portuguese Francisco Trincao specified the duel at 87 minutes with an objective.

Mexican Andrés Guarded started the match with an impressive performance, while Diego Lainez is still missing after evaluating positive for Covid-19.

Hours earlier, Real Sociedad beat Cádiz 4-1, with two doublets by Mikel Oyarzábal and Swede Alexander Isak, which enabled them to remain in sixth position, in the European zone.

The San Sebastian team concerned the break with a 2-0 lead, after objectives from Oyarzábal (26 from penalties and 35). Isak increased the lead in the 2nd half, with two more goals (54 and 59).

Cádiz, ranked 14th in the standings after this defeat, scored the goal of honor in the 65th minute through Jairo Izquierdo.

Meanwhile, Athletic Bilbao and Valencia equaled 1-1 at San Mamés. Hugo Guillamón, with an own objective put the locals ahead in the 43rd minute. Osasuna included 3 really important points in the defend permanence by beating Eibar 2-1, likewise from the side.