Ter Stegen is human after all: howler gifts Betis their third goal

DEMBELE

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde insists that he has not taken a risk by selecting Lionel Messi in his squad for Sunday's La Liga clash with Real Betis.

Junior Firpo gave Betis a deserved lead after 20 minutes, before veteran Joaquin made it two before the break.

Messi pulled Barca back into the game by converting a penalty midway through the second half but Betis restored their two-goal cushion through Giovani Lo Celso.

Ivan Rakitic was sent off, however, with nine minutes left and Sergio Canales added a fourth for Betis before Messi poked home at the end of an enthralling encounter.

Barcelona's second league loss of the season left it one point ahead of Atletico Madrid, which it visits next round after an global break.

Barca last endured a league defeat at the Camp Nou against Alaves in September 2016 but, following 42 games unbeaten, their run was ended by a brilliant, counter-attacking display from Betis.

Espanyol could jump both and move level on points with the Catalans when they visit Sevilla later on Sunday.

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Though, the hosts kicked off on a high with Lionel Messi, who recently returns from injury fired a shot towards the opponent's goal but the ball failed to reach its target.

Betis, meanwhile, climb to 12th.

- Setien is the only away manager to win at the Santiago Bernabeu and Camp Nou in LaLiga in the last 10 seasons.

Betis were soon pouring onto Barca's defence again, with Junior's cross evading everyone before finding Lo Celso on the opposite side.

Rakitic received a second yellow card for a foul on Lo Celso before Canales appeared to put the result beyond doubt, sliding home Junior's cross seven minutes from time, but Messi ensured there was late drama, tucking home Vidal's pass deep into stoppage time. MESSI's first goal came from the penalty spot, a well executed strike into the top corner of the net.

Second half substitute Arturo Vidal registered his name on the scores sheet in the 79th minute as they hope to avoid defeat in the match.

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