Barcelona 5-2 Real Betis: 4 talking points | LaLiga 2019/2020
After kicking off their LaLiga title defence with a 1-0 loss away to Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames on matchday one, Barcelona needed an urgent response against Real Betis to get their season back on track.
The Blaugrana issued a perfect response, defeating their visitors 5-2 at the Nou Camp to calm Catalan nerves and get their campaign up and running.
Barcelona came into the match occupying the unfamiliar position of 13th on the points table, but their emphatic victory was enough to send them four places up into ninth spot, three points behind table-toppers Atletico Madrid.
In this piece, we shall highlight four talking points from the fixture.
#4 Barcelona thrives in Messi's absence
Lionel Messi has been Barcelona's talisman for the best part of the last decade, and this serves as a no-brainer, as the Rosario native is among the best to have ever graced a football field.
Given his extreme importance to Barcelona, it stands to reason that the club depend on him massively to deliver in matches, and Messi's mercurial abilities mean that he steps up more often than not.
However, football is very much a team sport, and Barcelona's squad is replete with numerous world-beaters, which makes their over-dependence on Messi somewhat ironic.
The club's record goalscorer missed the season opener due to a calf injury. He was in line to come back against Betis, but was ruled out of the clash.
Fans would have feared the worst when a Sergio Busquets mistake led to Nabil Fekir giving Real Betis the opener against the run of play, especially since Lionel Messi was not on the field of play.
However, as it happened, the home side did not let their heads drop, and rallied back to complete their comeback victory.
While Lionel Messi is still the most decisive player in the squad, the fact that he is human means that he cannot be relied upon 100%, and with their display against Real Betis, Barcelona showed that they are capable of stepping up in the absence of their captain.