Barcelona suffered a disappointing loss to visiting Betis in Sergiño Dest’s first start under new coach Xavi, while Yunus Musah only got a short drink of water for Valencia at the tail end of their win over Celta Vigo.
FC Barcelona 0 – 1 Real Betis
Sergiño Dest was back in Barcelona’s defense on Saturday afternoon, however the team continued their disappointing season, and notched their first loss of the Xavi era in a one-goal shut-out at the hands of visiting Real Betis.
After seeing only extremely limited time under his new coach after returning from a back injury, Dest returned to his traditional right back role on Saturday, and helped his teammates limit their visitors to only 37% possession and a total of eight shots.
However, with Barcelona generally displaying a lack of offensive bite, Betis only needed one of those shots to take the late win.
The hosts were already put into a tough position eight minutes before the halftime break, when 17 year-old midfield prospect Gavi was forced to leave the game after going down while fighting for a ball in the attacking half of the field. Several minutes before, he had taken a hard ball to the side of the head when Betis defender Héctor Bellerín attempted to make a clearance, likely the cause of the injury.
Riqui Puig quickly took his place on the field, however the Blaugrana attack never clicked, and it ended costing them dearly.
Betis looked to have taken the lead early in the second half when Juanmi put away a cross from Aitor Ruibal, however the linesman judged him to be offisde, as was checked again and confirmed by VAR.
Dest did his best to create some chances from the right flank, however a cross to Memphis Depay at the far post in the 59th minute was dealt with by Betis keeper Rui Silva, and a fast back-and-forth with Ousmane Dembélé in the 76th minute saw the Frenchman’s shot go wide left.
Nevertheless, the team’s bet efforts were for nought, with Betis finally scoring the deciding goal with 12 minutes left on the clock.
Sergio Canales streaked into the area and evaded Frenkie de Jong and Clément Lenglet to maintain possession, before picking out Christian Tello at the edge of the 18-yard box. Tello took a single touch to control the ball, and slid a pass to his left where Juanmi was waiting to send a low strike beyond Marc-André ter Stegen’s reach to the far post for the winner.
The result leaves Barcelona in seventh place, still six points out of the Champions League spots. They face the defining game of their Champions League campaign when they visit Bayern on Wednesday, then return to Spain for a visit to Osasuna on Sunday.
Following his man-of-the-match performance in Valencia’s midweek Copa del Rey game, Yunus Musah only saw six minutes of action from Valencia’s bench as they went on the road to beat Celta Vigo by a 2-1 margin, climbing to eighth place in the process.
Matt Miazga didn’t make it off of the Alaves bench on Friday as they fell at Granada by a 2-1 margin.
Matthew Hoppe is still injured and did’t suit up for Mallorca’s 2-1 road win over Atletico on Saturday.
Shaq Moore and Tenerife will visit FC Cartagena on Monday evening in La Liga 2 action.