What did we learn from this match? Well, Barcelona still need Messi. Koeman made a big call to bench the Argentine, but in the end the Catalan club needed their best player to come off their bench at half to give them that little bit extra in the final third. This was a good performance from Messi.
- 2nd Half
- TelloVíctor Ruiz63'
- Messi (P)61'
- 1/2 Time
- 1st Half
FC Barcelona - Real Betis
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FULL TIME: Barcelona 5-2 Real Betis
Ter Stegen makes the stop! Moron got ahead of his man at the front post to glance a header towards goal, but the Barcelona goalkeeper makes the save to deny Betis a third.
This looked like being a tough test for Barcelona, especially after Real Betis equalised at the end of the first half, but they have showed their quality in the second period of the match.
There will be five minutes of stoppage time played at the end of the match.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Barcelona 5 (90 mins - Pedri) Real Betis 2. The finishing touches are put on the Barcelona victory. The cross was played to the back post by Roberto and Pedri was on hand to finish into the back of the net. This has been an emphatic display from the Catalans in the second half.
Messi fancies it! The Barcelona number 10 wants a second half hat trick here. He created the shooting opportunity inside the area, but Bravo was equal to the effort this time.
Barcelona will have a two-week break after this game for the international break, but two wins from their last two games makes things look a bit better. They still have some problems to address.
GOOOOOOOOOO... NO! Messi thinks he has scored a hat trick goal, but the flag goes up for offside and the VAR review confirms that is the correct call. He still has time to get the third.
This will be a tough final phase of the match for Real Betis. They are down to 10 men and Barcelona finally seem to be in the mood. Messi is sniffing around for a hat trick goal here.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Barcelona 4 (82 mins - Lionel Messi) Real Betis 2. Messi has a second! What a performance this has been in the second half from the Barcelona number 10. Roberto's backheel flick sent Messi through on goal and he lashes a finish high into the Real Betis at the near post. Excellent.
Griezmann scored his 200th goal in club football this afternoon. Amid all the chat of his place at Barcelona, it's easy to forget just how good the Frenchman has been over the last few years.
It was a mixed afternoon for Griezmann. He missed so many opportunities in the first half, including a penalty kick, but he found himself in good positions and generally played well.
A change for Barcelona here and it's Braithwaite who comes on for Griezmann.
PICTURE: Messi's step-over was so good
This game looked as good as over at 3-1, but Real Betis have given themselves a chance of a comeback. Barcelona don't look so assured now. This one isn't over yet.
- GoalLoren MorónReal Betis
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Barcelona 3 Real Betis 2 (73 mins - Loren Moron). Talk about an instant impact! Moron has only been on the pitch for a matter of seconds, but the striker has got Real Betis back into this contest! The ball was squared back to him by Moreno and he finishes into the net from six yards out.
- OffAntonio SanabriaReal Betis
- OnLoren MorónReal Betis
Moron comes on to try and give Real Betis some more fire power in front of goal.
Dragged wide! Griezmann created the shooting opportunity for Pedri inside the area with a wonderful turn on the ball, but the 17-year-old sent his effort wide of the far post. Disappointing.
Pedri seems to have been pushed out to the left side in this second half, at least since Dembele was taken off. The teenager is clearly very highly rated by Koeman. What a talent.
Dembele can reflect on one of his best performances for Barcelona in a while. The Frenchman opened the scoring with a wonderful finish and caused the second penalty as well.
- OffOusmane DembéléFC Barcelona
- OnFrancisco TrincãoFC Barcelona
Koeman makes another change and it's Trincao who comes on for Dembele.
PICTURE: Guess who's back, back again...
- OffTelloReal Betis
- OnVíctor RuizReal Betis
And a second Real Betis change sees Pellegrini throw on Ruiz
- OffJoaquínReal Betis
- OnAitor RuibalReal Betis
A change for the away side, with Ruibal coming on for the final 30 minutes.
Things are looking a bit better for Barcelona now. Messi has made a difference coming on for the start of the second half. The Catalans look to have so much more confidence in front of goal.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Barcelona 3 (61 mins - Lionel Messi) Real Betis 1. Wow. What a brilliant penalty kick from Messi. Bravo went the right way, but the Real Betis goalkeeper stood no chance of getting there. The powerful shot from the Barcelona number 10 finds the very top corner of the net. So good.
SENT OFF! After a lengthy VAR review, Mandi is shown a straight red card for stopping a goal with his arm on the line. He can have no real complaints about that.
This surely has to be a spot kick. There was a lean into the ball from Mandi and he stopped the ball from finding the back of the net with his arm. Barca will surely have a penalty here.
Off the line! Dembele has a powerful strike cleared off the line by Mandi, but did that strike the hand of the Real Betis defender? The officials are going to have a good look at this. Strong case.
The introduction of Messi for the start of the second half has made all the difference for Barcelona. They are doing a much better job of spreading the play and stretching the Betis defence.
Well, he's only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes and Messi has already changed the game for Barcelona. That step-over to give Griezmann the chance was absolutely brilliant.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Barcelona 2 (49 mins - Antoine Griezmann) Real Betis 1. Barca have the lead again early on in the second half and it's Griezmann who finds the back of the net at last! Alba burst down the left side, Messi's clever step-over saw his French teammate presented with the chance to finish into the empty net.
Barcelona are already trying to do more in terms of stretching the pitch. They have Alba very wide on the left and Dembele very wide on the right. Will that many any difference?
What will this half hold for Barcelona? They should have been out of sight by the time Real Betis found the back of the net on the stroke of half time. They have been so wasteful.
- OffAnsu FatiFC Barcelona
- OnLionel MessiFC Barcelona
Messi comes on for the start of the second half. It's Ansu who makes way for the Argentine.
- 2nd Half
The second half is under way! It's 1-1 between Barcelona and Real Betis in this La Liga fixture.
HALF TIME: Barcelona 1-1 Real Betis. A strange half at the Camp Nou. Barca have played some good stuff, they have had plenty of chances and yet they have been pegged back by Betis.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Barcelona 1 Real Betis 1 (45+3 mins - Toni Sarabria). An equaliser late in the first half! In stoppage time! Canales drives forward, plays the pass out to Tello who gets the ball into the middle. Sanabria arrives late on the scene and smashes a finish into the Barcelona net on the stretch!
Braithwaite was warming up down the touchline a few moments ago, so is that a sign Koeman is considering throwing on the Danish striker for the start of the second half?
There will be three minutes of stoppage time played at the end of the half.
- Yellow cardAnsu FatiFC Barcelona
Ansu picks up a yellow card as Barcelona get close to half time with a 1-0 lead.
That was a bit of a waste from Dembele. He was in a good position to get a cross into the middle, but there was far too much weight on the ball and Betis come away on the counter.
Tello shoots over! Good play by Moreno down the left wide sets up Tello on the edge of the box, but the former Barcelona winger sends his effort just over the crossbar. Not far away.
As much as Barcelona have undoubtedly been the better team in this first half, Real Betis will feel they still have a chance as long as the scoreline remains as tight as this.
One wonders if Koeman is considering playing Braithwaite a bit more. The Dane has been working with Henrik Larsson this season. Could Griezmann be under pressure?
PICTURE: Barca have a 1-0 lead
Griezmann is lacking any kind of confidence right now. He has had the chances to score three this afternoon, but has missed every single opportunity that has come his way, including that penalty.
PENALTY KICK SAVED! Griezmann steps up and sees his spot kick saved by Bravo! It was a good height for the Real Betis goalkeeper. Griezmann has had countless chances this afternoon!
PENALTY KICK TO BARCELONA! Ansu is taken down inside the area by Mandi and the referee points to the spot!
Pedri is so confident on the ball. What a find he has been for Barcelona, signing him from Las Palmas in the summer. The future is bright for the Catalans. He's even younger than Ansu!
Cross needed to be better! Joaquin had the chance to swing a delivery into the box, but he failed to find anyone in a green and white shirt in the middle. Barcelona survive.
De Jong is playing well alongside Busquets in the centre of the Barcelona midfield this afternoon. The Dutchman played at centre back in the Champions League win over Dynamo Kiev.
Griezmann should have scored! Another golden opportunity for the French forward who was set up by the wonderful flick from Pedri, but Griezmann shoots wide of the near post.
Barcelona have taken a grip of this game since scoring the opening goal just a few moments ago. They are dominating possession. Real Betis having to dig deep at the moment.
There was a fairly lengthy VAR check after that goal, but Dembele was onside when the pass was played to him by Griezmann and the goal stands. Barcelona have the lead.
That's what Dembele can offer you and that's why so many fans are frustrated by the performances he tends to turn in for Barcelona. The Frenchman can be so devastating!
- GoalOusmane DembéléFC Barcelona
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Barcelona 1 (23 mins - Ousmane Dembele) Real Betis 0. Wow! What an astonishing finish! The ball was played out to the right by Griezmann, Dembele cut inside on to his left foot and lashed a ferocious strike into the back of the net! Bravo didn't see the ball until it had already flashed past him!
Tello takes aim! The former Barcelona winger gets the shot away on the edge of the box, it was a curling one, but Ter Stegen watched it all the way and made the comfortable save.
PICTURE: Messi in the stands...
Real Betis are enjoying a good spell in this match at the moment. They will get chances against this Barcelona team, just as Alaves did last weekend and Dynamo Kiev did during the week.
Chance for Betis! Moreno is played in behind down the left side, he had Sanabria in the middle, but decided to take the shot on himself and dragged the effort wide of the far post.
Ter Stegen played his first game of the season in the win over Dynamo Kiev during the week. Barcelona are a much stronger unit with the German goalkeeper between the posts.
Bravo is back at the Camp Nou this afternoon. He was, of course, Barcelona's first choice goalkeeper in the league not so long ago. His move to Manchester City didn't pan out so well.
So close from Griezmann! This time the Frenchman bursts through the Real Betis midfield and gets the shot away from just inside the box, but Griezmann grazes the outside of the post!
Ansu forces the save! The Barcelone teenager beats his man and gets the low shot away, but Bravo stands up long enough to make the save with his legs at the near post.
Just wide! Canales bursts into the Barcelona penalty area and plays a pass into the danger area, but Busquets sends his intervention just wide. The midfielder had his heart in his mouth.
Indeed, it is a front two for Barcelona this afternoon. Koeman has pretty much imposed a 4-4-2 formation on his players, with Ansu and Griezmann the ones leading the line for the hosts.
ANSU... wide! Another good early opportunity for Barcelona. This time it's Ansu who is presented with the shooting chance, but the teenager sends his shot just wide of the far post.
GRIEZMANN... wide! What an opportunity for Barcelona to take the lead. Ansu cuts the pass back to Griezmann, he took his time to compose himself, but he sends his low shot just wide of the post.
This is a glimpse of what Barcelona might be like if Messi decides to leave the club next summer. Keep in mind that he is out of contract at the Camp Nou at the end of the season.
Pedri has been given the nod by Koeman once again for this match. the 17-year-old has become a favourite of the new Barcelona manager. He is playing in the number 10 position.
So this is interesting. We were debating whether it would be Ansu or Griezmann that would start through the middle, but it's both players leading the line in the early stages of this game.
So what sort of performance will we get from Barcelona this afternoon? They were very good against Juventus two weeks ago, then poor against Alaves and then Dynamo Kiev in the week.
- 1st Half
The match is under way! It's Barcelona against Real Betis in this La Liga fixture at the Camp Nou!
Okay, here we go. We are about to get under way at the Camp Nou. Kick off is just moments away.
The two teams are in the Camp Nou tunnel about to come out on to the pitch for this match. Should be a good one.
Messi didn't train yesterday, so that suggests he is carrying a knock which could explain his absence from the lineup.
In Messi's absence, it's Dembele who starts on the right side of the Barcelona attack this afternoon. Is Griezmann playing through the centre or will it be Ansu who leads the Barca line?
I'm Graham Ruthven and you can catch me on Twitter ahead of the match to let me know your thoughts. How will Barcelona cope without Messi? Is this an opportunity for Betis? Tweet me!
Messi has certainly played within himself so far this season, but it's a massive call from Koeman if he has decided to drop the Argentine to the bench on the basis of tactics and form rather than an injury.
NO MESSI! There's no doubting where the big team news is this afternoon. Messi has been dropped to the bench by Koeman! Is that down to an injury? Resting him? Surely it can't be tactical?!
TEAM NEWS: Barcelona - Ter Stegen, Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Busquets, de Jong, Dembele, Pedri, Fati, Griezmann. /// Real Betis - Bravo, Emerson, Bartra, Mandi, Moreno, Carvalho, Rodriguez, Joaquin, Canales, Tello, Sanabria.
Good afternoon and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Liga fixture between Barcelona and Real Betis. We'll bring you all the action as it happens at the Camp Nou. Kick off is at 15:15 GMT.