With a 4-0 victory over 10-man Real Betis on Saturday, Barcelona consolidated their position atop the La Liga standings and took another step towards clinching their 27th league championship. The win, which increased the home team’s lead over second-placed Real Madrid by 11 points, came courtesy of goals scored by Andreas Christensen, Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, and an own goal by Guido Rodriguez.
Barcelona moves closer to La Liga title with 4-0 Real Betis rout
Christensen gave Barcelona the early lead when he headed in a cross from Raphinha in the 14th minute. When Betis substituted defender Edgar Gonzalez for the injured Luiz Felipe in the 12th minute, things got more accessible for the home team. After 21 minutes, Gonzalez was sent off for receiving two yellow cards for poor tackling.
Barca capitalized on their numerical advantage by scoring twice in the first three minutes on goals by Lewandowski and Raphinha. Lewandowski scored his 19th goal of the season in the 36th minute, putting him atop La Liga’s scoring records. Then Raphinha scored 3-0, though VAR reviewed the goal and ultimately stood.
Even though they slowed down in the second half, Barcelona added to their lead on an own goal by Guido Rodriguez of Betis in the six-yard area. Barcelona’s coach, Xavi Hernandez, decided to make his La Liga debut with 15-year-old winger Lamine Yamal once the game was already decided. Barcelona needed a win like this after their midweek loss to Rayo Vallecano derailed their title hopes. The Catalan team is now in a great position to win the championship, with only six games left.
The win was also an emotional night for Betis’ veteran player Joaquin Sanchez, who played his final game at Camp Nou before retiring at the end of the season. Sanchez received a standing ovation from the Barcelona supporters as he left the field.