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Barca stunned by Betis despite Messi return


Barca stunned by Betis despite Messi return

Lionel Messi scored twice on his return from a broken arm but Barcelona conceded four goals and was reduced to 10 men in a 4-3 home defeat to Real Betis in the Spanish league on Sunday (Nov 11). The loss ended an unbeaten run of 42 consecutive home games for Barcelona in the league dating back to a 2-1 defeat to Alaves on Sep 10, 2016.

Barcelona lost a home league match for the first time in two years as the Spanish champions were beaten by Real Betis's expert display at the Nou Camp.

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

Lionel Messi scored a penalty in reply but a Marc-Andre ter Stegen error saw Giovani lo Celso add a third for Betis. Arturo Vidal's tap-in gave Barca hope, but Sergio Canales got the away side's fourth, before a Messi consolation.

Ernesto Valverde's side remain at the top of La Liga, one point ahead of Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Alaves.

The hosts had Ivan Rakitic sent off for a second yellow card with eight minutes left when trailing 3-2 and were powerless to match a determined and clinical Betis side, despite Messi's two goals on his return from a fractured arm suffered three weeks ago.

Barca's previous home league defeat came on Sep 10, 2016 when they lost 2-1 to Alaves.

Betis had lost on their past eight visits to the Nou Camp and had not won there for more than 20 years.

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