Aug 20, 2017 at 7.15pm UK at ​Camp Nou
Attendance: 56,480
Real Betis
Tosca (36' og.), Roberto (39')
Alba (52'), Digne (92')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Leiva (63')

Live Commentary: Barcelona 2-0 Real Betis - as it happened

Live Commentary: Barcelona 2-0 Real Betis - as it happened
© SilverHub
Relive Sports Mole's live coverage of the La Liga clash between Barcelona and Real Betis from Camp Nou.

Barcelona started their 2017-18 La Liga campaign with a 2-0 victory over Real Betis at Camp Nou on Sunday night.

The home side led by two at the break courtesy of an own goal from Alin Tosca and smart Sergi Roberto finish, and that was how it finished as the Catalan giants started their league season with a win.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

6.16pmEvening all! Sports Mole's live La Liga coverage for the 2017-18 campaign begins from Camp Nou as Barcelona welcome Real Betis. The Catalan giants will enter the new league season off the back of a 5-1 aggregate defeat to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup, and with a host of criticism ringing in their airs. It is a massive game for a wounded Barcelona. Stay tuned for all of the action!

6.19pmTo suggest that Betis do not have the best record against Barcelona would perhaps be the understatement of the century. The pair played out a 1-1 draw in the reverse match in Seville last season, but Barcelona have won seven of the last eight league meetings between the two teams. Not since March 2008 have Betis beaten Barcelona in La Liga, while the Green and Whites have not triumphed at Camp Nou in the league since a 3-1 victory in May 1998. It is a tough ask for the visitors tonight, that is for sure.

6.22pmRight, without further ado, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from Camp Nou. Any new faces for either team tonight? Let's run through the two XIs that will start here...

Barcelona's Paco Alcacer challenges Ruben Vezo of Granada during the La Liga clash at the Camp Nou on October 29, 2016© SilverHub


FCB: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Mascherano, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Roberto; Messi, Alcacer, Deulofeu

BETIS: Adan; Barragan, Mandi, Feddal, Tosca; Guardado, Camarasa, Narvaez; Joaquin, Leon, Nahuel

6.28pmLuis Suarez's four-week absence with a knee injury has opened up a spot at centre-forward for Paco Alcacer, while Gerard Deulofeu also joins Lionel Messi in Barcelona's front three. Further back, Sergi Roberto, despite speculation surrounding his future, starts in midfield alongside Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic, while there is a La Liga debut for Nelson Semedo following his arrival from Benfica.

6.32pmAs for Betis, Victor Camarasa, Sergio Leon, Zouhair Feddal, Andres Guardado, Juan Jose Narvaez and Antonio Barragan all make their debuts for the Seville outfit. There is also a position in the team for experienced midfielder Joaquin, but fellow new arrivals Jordi Amat and Javi Garcia start on the bench, while former Barcelona attacker Cristian Tello misses out altogether through injury.

Levante's midfielder Victor Camarasa (L) vies with Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar da Silva Santos Junior during the Spanish league football match on September 21, 2014© Getty Images

6.35pmSo there we have it. The two teams are in, and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff on this warm evening in Barcelona. I shall speak about the away side a little bit later, but let's start with Barcelona. Tonight will mark the start of a new era for the Catalan giants as Ernesto Valverde, formerly of Athletic Bilbao, takes charge of the former Spanish champions in the league for the first time.

6.38pmLuis Enrique stepped down from his role as head coach at the end of last season. The Spaniard delivered another Copa del Rey title last term, but Barcelona fell short - three points short - of Real Madrid in La Liga, and were knocked out of the Champions League by an impressive Juventus team. All in all, it was a modest season for a club that are used to winning major silverware.

6.42pmBarcelona ultimately finished three points behind Real Madrid at the top of La Liga last season, but there seemed a bigger gap between the two teams in the Spanish Super Cup. Indeed, Real Madrid landed the domestic trophy with a 5-1 aggregate victory – beating Barcelona 3-1 in the first leg at Camp Nou last weekend before recording a 2-0 victory at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night.

Cristiano Ronaldo scores past Gerard Pique during the Supercopa de Espana first-leg match between Barcelona and Real Madrid on August 13, 2017© Offside

6.45pmReal Madrid appeared superior to their rivals all over the park, and the pressure is firmly on Valverde's side to collect all three points tonight. That will have to happen without a certain Neymar, however, with the Brazilian joining Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record deal this summer. It seemed an impossible move, but PSG managed to convince the Brazilian to join the capital outfit.

6.48pmPaulinho, Nelson Semedo, Gerard Deulofeu and Marlon have all moved to Barcelona this summer, while at least one from Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele and Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho is expected to follow. There is no question that Barcelona are in need of some fresh blood, but their focus for the moment is just getting through tonight's game unscathed, and with all the points.

6.52pmIn terms of what is ahead for Barcelona, they will travel to Alaves next weekend, before welcoming rivals Espanyol to Camp Nou on September 9. Next month will also see the group stage of the Champions League begin, and the Catalan giants will be looking to improve on what has been a disappointing couple of years in that competition. The atmosphere is building at Camp Nou!


6.58pmAs for Betis, Quique Setien's side ensured that they would play in La Liga for the third season in a row after finishing 15th in the table last term. The Seville outfit secured a 10th-place finish on their return to the division in 2015-2016, but a fairly difficult campaign saw them end last season in 15th. They were actually just eight points clear of the bottom three when all was said and done.

7.02pmBetis have lost Dani Ceballos to Real Madrid this summer, while Cristiano Piccini, Petros, Jonas Martin, Francisco Portillo, Dani Pacheco and Bruno Gonzalez have also moved on. Legendary forward Ruben Castro, meanwhile, has been loaned to Chinese side Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng.

7.05pmVictor Camarasa, Ryad Boudebouz, Cristian Tello, Sergio Leon, Zouhair Feddal, Andres Guardado, Javi Garcia and Antonio Barragan have all arrived at Betis, meanwhile, in what has been an incredible turnaround in terms of players. Betis certainly have a fresh look about them this season, and they could yet be dark horses to secure a Europa League finish this term. Only time will tell!


7.12pmHere we go then - both sets of players have joined us on the field for the action. Can Betis cause an upset at Camp Nou, or will Barcelona put their recent troubles behind them to triumph? It is a massive football match on the opening weekend of the new La Liga season, that is for sure.


7.15pmWe will have a period of remembrance for those that lost their lives in the devastating terror attack on Barcelona last week. The entire city stands united.

0 minKICKOFF! Barcelona kick things off tonight...

2 min... there is a subdued atmosphere inside the stadium, no question about that. Far from a full Camp Nou, meanwhile. Let's hope that the two teams put on a display of football to remember those that perished in the shock attack on Las Ramblas last week. It has been a fairly open first two minutes.

3 minCHANCE! Early chance for Barcelona as Roberto drives into the Betis box before picking out Deulofeu at the far post, but the Spaniard pokes his effort just wide of Adan's goal.

4 minMessi just misses the crossbar with a long-range strike as Barcelona continue to force the issue in the early moments. You just get the feeling that Barcelona could do with an early goal tonight.

6 minBit of possession for Betis in the last couple of minutes as Mandi and Feddal recycle the ball in a defensive area. Nothing much from the visitors going forward in the opening six minutes, though.

8 minJust a few signs that Barcelona are starting to warm to their task as they enjoy a period of possession in the away side's half of the field. Betis are confident when they have the chance to break, however, and Joaquin's trickery eases the pressure on his side after winning a free kick from Mascherano.

11 minSo, 11 minutes on the clock, and we are are still goalless at Camp Nou. Just the one clear chance for Barcelona, with Deulofeu poking a Roberto cross wide of the post in the third minute. Betis have had some bright moments on the counter-attack, although the visitors are yet to test Ter Stegen.

12 minJoaquin is a touch fortunate to escape a booking following a late challenge on Busquets.

14 minBetis clear their lines after a Messi free kick causes some panic inside the away side's box. Barcelona are in control of the possession, but Betis are quite comfortable at the moment.

14 minBarcelona have a free kick in a dangerous area as Nahuel brings Messi to the deck...

14 min... CLOSE! Messi's free kick lands on the top of the net!

15 minBetis make ground in a wide area, but Nahuel's cross is too deep for Joaquin on the opposite side.

18 minAlcacer is a touch unfortunate to be flagged offside after making a clever run to meet a pass from Messi. It is a big game for the former Valencia striker as he looks to impress in Luis Suarez's absence. Half-chance comes for Deulofeu moments later, but his close-range strike is blocked.

20 minStill goalless with 20 minutes on the clock, and Betis have been quite comfortable it must be said. With a little more care in the final third, meanwhile, the visitors could have created some opportunities.

22 minPlenty of possession for Barcelona, but they are struggling to carve out clear opportunities here.

24 minBarcelona's possession statistics are around 70%, but Betis have not been worried on too many occasions. Deulofeu and Messi have come the closest for the home side, although neither hit the target. Betis, meanwhile, are struggling to get lone forward Pedro Leon involved in the match.

25 minCLOSE! Wonderful chance for Barcelona as Messi finds space just inside the Betis box before curling the ball towards the bottom corner, but his effort just misses the post!

27 minBetis would have wanted to get through the opening 30 minutes without conceding, and they are almost there. Barcelona are the team on the front foot, however, and it would not be a surprise to see the home side make the breakthrough in the next five or 10 minutes. Betis need to be careful.

28 minJoaquin releases Leon with a wonderful pass, but the number seven is crowded out inside the box after facing up to Umtiti. Joaquin showed a wonderful touch and pass in that moment!

30 minLittle over 15 minutes of the first period remaining at Camp Nou, and both teams are threatening to make the breakthrough. Betis in particular are looking very dangerous on the counter-attack.

32 minBarcelona need more from Deulofeu and Alcacer. With respect, that duo is not quite Neymar and Luis Suarez, but Messi needs more help in the final third. You suspect that if Barcelona are to triumph tonight then a certain Messi will play a key role in that occurring. Still goalless here.

34 minSmart goalkeeping from Adan as the Betis stopper palms clear a low cross from Deulofeu.

36 minCamp Nou needs a goal. The Barcelona supporters need something to cheer at the moment. Valverde looks pretty calm on the touchline, but the head coach will also be desperate for his team to make the breakthrough. The home side have a free kick in a dangerous area as Busquets is felled...

36 minPOST! Messi's free kick hits the post, what a strike!

36 minGOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Betis (Tosca OG)

37 minIt had to be him! Barcelona make the breakthrough in the 36th minute as Deulofeu delivers a low cross into Messi, and it appears that Tosca might have got the final touch on the ball!

38 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Betis as Leon uses his pace to break into the Barcelona box, but Mascherano comes from nowhere to make a stunning last-ditch challenge!

39 minGOAL! Barcelona 2-0 Betis (Roberto)

40 minOh my word, what a couple of minutes! Barcelona double their lead in the 39th minute as Deulofeu finds Roberto with a clever pass and the Spaniard carefully finds the back of the net!

42 minWell, Camp Nou has suddenly come to life! Betis are now in all sorts of trouble as they look to survive conceding a third goal in the latter stages of the first period. Barcelona are purring here.

44 minPossession football for Barcelona in the latter stages of the first period here.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Barcelona 2-0 Betis

8.03pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close with Barcelona leading 2-0 courtesy of an own goal from Tosca and smart finish from Roberto. Betis actually frustrated Barcelona for the majority of the opening 35 minutes, but the home side have a two-goal lead at the break.

8.08pmSTATISTICS! Barcelona have dominated the possession with 66%, while the home side had 10 attempts in the first period - two of which were on target. Betis, meanwhile, only managed one attempt off target in the opening 45 minutes. No yellow cards to report at Camp Nou tonight.

8.13pmBENCH WATCH! Durmisi, Garcia, Ruiz and Sanabria are among those available for Betis tonight, and it would not be a surprise to see the latter come off the bench in the second period. Barcelona, meanwhile, have the likes of Gomes, Denis Suarez, Arda Turin and Aleix Vidal in reserve here.

46 minRESTART! Betis resume the action here...

47 min... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period gathers pace at Camp Nou.

49 minIt must be said that Roberto has been brilliant for Barcelona tonight. The Spaniard has been linked with a move to the Premier League in recent days, but he looks very happy in a midfield position. Barcelona are in control of the possession in the early stages of this second period.

51 minDeulofeu already has two assists for Barcelona tonight, and the Spaniard continues to look bright in the early stages of the second half. I think it would be fair to say that Betis need to score the next goal if they have any ambitions of taking something from this match. It is a tough ask from this position.

52 minBOOKING! Alba (Barcelona) is booked for a foul on Nahuel.

54 minDecent spell for Betis in the last couple of minutes, but they are not really going anywhere in the final third of the field. Leon, for me, needs some more support. Sanabria off the bench? We shall see.

56 minBetis have the chance to threaten from a set piece in an advanced position, but the delivery from Joaquin is disappointing, and Barcelona can clear their lines. Not much happening at the moment.

58 minBarcelona are not too interested in breaking forward at the moment, with the home side simply recycling possession. Surely Betis need to make a change or two in the coming minutes here.

60 minPOST! Messi hits the post with another curling effort!

62 minMessi could have had four or five tonight, but he is yet to register after Barcelona's first went down as an own goal for Tosca. It would take a brave man to bet against him registering tonight though!

63 minBOOKING! Nahuel (Betis) is booked for a poor tackle on Roberto.

66 minSuper challenge from Barragan as the Betis defender manages to deny Deulofeu inside the box. There is no question that a third for Barcelona would kill off any hopes of a comeback for the visitors. That said, it is difficult to imagine Betis scoring twice in the final 25 minutes here.

68 minJust a reminder that Real Madrid will start their title defence away to Deportivo tonight, and I shall also be providing live coverage of that match from 9pm ahead of a 9.15pm kickoff in La Coruna.

69 minBETIS SUB! Javi Garcia replaces Narvaez for the visitors.

70 minHalf-chance for Betis as Nahuel finds space just outside the Barcelona box, but his attempt is over the crossbar as the visitors pass up a decent opportunity, and they have not had many tonight.

71 minCLOSE! Messi just misses the crossbar with another super free kick!

72 minBARCELONA SUB! Vidal replaces Deulofeu for the home side.

72 minBETIS SUB! Francis replaces Nahuel for the visitors here.

74 minPossession football for Barcelona as they pass and probe in the final third of the field.

76 minHalf-chance for Barcelona as Messi feeds Vidal inside the Betis box, but Adan comes out to make the block, and the visitors manage to clear. Vidal might have done a little bit better there.

78 minBETIS SUB! Betis introduce Fabian for the injured Camarasa.

81 minLittle under 10 minutes of football remaining at Camp Nou, and Barcelona still lead 2-0. The home side have not been great tonight, but they are doing enough for all of the points at the moment.

81 minPOST! Messi hits the woodwork once again with a thumping strike!

82 minMessi then heads wide of the post after meeting a corner from Rakitic.

82 minBARCELONA SUB! Denis Suarez replaces Alcacer for Barcelona.

84 minMessi again as the Argentine dances into the Betis box before unleashing, but Mandi makes a smart block, and Adan can collect. How on earth has Messi not found the back of the net tonight!

86 minWe are into the final five minutes of action at Camp Nou, and it does appear that Barcelona will open their new La Liga season with three points. Betis have not really done enough tonight.

88 minBARCELONA SUB! Digne replaces Alba for the home side.

89 minFabian misses the crossbar after meeting a loose ball on the edge of the Barcelona box.

90 min+1We are into the first of three additional minutes here.

90 min+2BOOKING! Digne (Barcelona) is booked for a late challenge on Guardado.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Barcelona 2-0 Betis

9.08pSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period at Camp Nou to a close with Barcelona starting their La Liga campaign with a 2-0 win over Betis. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live coverage once again. Until next time!

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