First Division - Day 4

Barcelona 3 - Betis 2

Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Daniel Alves, Márquez, Martín Cáceres, Abidal; Xavi, Touré Yayá (Sergio Busquets 71'), Keita (Gudjohnsen 71'); Messi, Etoo (Bojan 76'), Iniesta. 4-3-3.
Betis: Casto; Nelson, Arzu, Juanito, Fernando Vega; Mehmet Aurelio; Sergio García, Emaná (Damià 46'), Capi (Juande 87'), Mark González (Monzón 40'); José Marí. 4-1-4-1.

Team changes: Barcelona: Martín Cáceres, Touré Yayá for Puyol, Sergio Busquets / Betis: José Marí for Pavone.

1-0. 17. Eto'o. Picked up Messi pass on edge of area and shot in off crossbar.
2-0. 23. Eto'o. Got ahead of marker to turn Messi cross in on near post.
2-1. 59. Monzón. Drove low shot past keeper following Capi's short free kick.
2-2. 67. José Marí. Ran on to Sergio García pass and chipped shot past Valdés.
3-2. 80. Gudjohnsen. Got on the end of Alves cross to steer shot wide of Casto.

Yellow cards: Touré 13', Vega 43', Capi 73', Busquets 84', Mehmet 85'.

Barcelona were almost caught out by Betis at the Nou Camp, and only a late goal by substitute Gudjohnsen gave them a 3-2 win in the end. After the six goals scored at Sporting last weekend, it seemed that another big result was on the cards when Eto'o scored twice in a six minute period in the middle of the first half. Messi was the provider of both, and on the half hour mark he could have added another when a good run ended with a shot at the keeper. Iniesta had a penalty appeal turned down, and Alves got free on goal only to be closed down at the last minute.

The Andalusians improved after the break though, Capi firing a long warning shot which Valdés just tipped over the bar. And two minutes later the visitors got one back, debutant Monzón (who had replaced Mark González just before the break) firing a shot through the defensive wall from Capi's short free kick.

There was more to come though, and Martín Cáceres was lucky to be let off a penalty claim when he brought down Sergio García inside the area. And soon afterwards José Marí made it all square when he chipped the ball past Valdés after running on to Sergio García's through ball, his first goal in two years.

That woke Barça up, and Guardiola brought on fresh legs to try and win back the match. Xavi tested Casto with a free kick, and soon afterwards Gudjohnsen lunged forward to slide Alves's cross wide of the keeper. There was still time for Casto to make a first class save from the advancing Bojan, and for Alves to hit the post with a free kick. But the locals had done enough to win and, pending Thursday's games, the Catalans are back in the top four.