Atletico Madrid jumped to the highest of La Liga on Saturday with a 4-Zero thrashing of Cadiz after Lionel Messi got here on at half-time to rescue Barcelona towards Actual Betis. Atletico claimed first place, forward of Actual Sociedad on aim distinction, with the superb Joao Felix scoring twice in one other spectacular victory for Diego Simeone’s facet. Luis Suarez and Marcos Llorente had been additionally on the right track as Atletico made it 5 wins and two attracts from their opening seven video games and underlined their standing as real title contenders.
They’ve scored 17 objectives and conceded simply two in that point.
After the worldwide break, Atleti play at house to Barcelona, when Suarez and Antoine Griezmann might be up towards their former golf equipment.
However whereas Suarez has loved an excellent begin for Atletico, scoring 5 objectives already, Griezmann continues to battle within the shadow of Messi at Camp Nou.
Messi had been rested by Ronald Koeman however was thrown on with the sport within the steadiness after Griezmann missed a penalty, earlier than Betis’ Antonio Sanabria cancelled out Ousmane Dembele’s opener.
Inside 4 minutes of his introduction, Messi gave Griezmann an open aim with an excellent dummy after which scored twice himself, the primary a penalty that noticed Betis’ Aissa Mandi despatched off for a handball on the road.
In between, Loren Moron had given Betis temporary hope however Messi’s second and a late strike from Pedri ensured Barcelona ended their four-match winless run and climbed to eighth in La Liga.
Messi additionally gave a convincing reply to these suggesting his performances this season have been proof of decline.
“Leo completed the match towards Kiev with some issues,” stated Koeman. “He wasn’t ready to play within the first half however we talked about him being on the bench and stated he would come on if he felt good.
“He is a participant who in precept all the time performs, however as we speak he did not due to some minor issues.”
Griezmann additionally acquired his aim with Messi on the pitch however was unable to show some extent with out him.
Regardless of a energetic opening half an hour, Griezmann missed a penalty earlier than Messi scored his and Griezmann was ultimately substituted, pictured sat within the stands with a dark expression whereas Barca romped to victory.
“I hope he continues to work like he’s working,” stated Koeman. “To overlook alternatives it’s important to be there. We should spotlight his character, to maintain working. He is aware of completely nicely that he has missed a penalty, and a few probabilities, however it means he’s all the time there to attain.”
Barca broke by means of after 22 minutes when Dembele minimize inside onto his left foot earlier than hammering a end previous Claudio Bravo for his first league aim in 13 months.
Mandi conceded a penalty after sliding in on Ansu however Griezmann missed, a tame shot simply saved by Bravo, earlier than Betis scored, Sanabria ending after Cristian Tello had once more surged clear down the left.
Messi got here on and 4 minutes later Barca had been forward, the Argentinian scuttling to satisfy Jordi Alba’s cross on the entrance publish, solely to step over the ball, fooling his marker and the goalkeeper, to go away Griezmann with an open internet.
Messi made it 3-1 with a penalty, received after his move had arrange Dembele for a shot that was blocked on the road by the arm of Mandi, who was despatched off.
Moron gave Betis hope with 17 minutes left however Messi made positive, latching onto Sergi Roberto’s flick and smashing in his second and Barca’s fourth. Pedri made it 5 in injury-time.
Sevilla later beat Osasuna 1-Zero due to a penalty from Lucas Ocampos, that strikes them as much as 11th.
It’s only the second time Sevilla have managed back-to-back wins this season, after a 3-2 victory over Krasnodar on Wednesday within the Champions League.
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