Barcelona traveled to the Estadio Benito Villamarin for their La Liga Matchday 20 clash with Real Betis on Sunday night (January 21). The Blaugrana got off to a great start against Betis, but a nervy second 45 threw a spanner in the works. It ultimately took a heroic shift from Ferran Torres and Co. to propel Barcelona to a 4-2 victory, which extended their winning streak to three games in the Spanish top flight.
Ferran Torres The Star Of The Show In Barcelona’s Win Over Real Betis
Barcelona signed Spanish attacker Torres from Manchester City for a sizable €55 million fee ($59.96 million) in January 2022. Over the last couple of years, he has been a bit of a hit-and-miss, impressing in some games and completely disappearing in others. On Sunday, he brought his A-game, scoring the first hat-trick of his Barcelona career.
Showing superb awareness, Torres scored the first goal of the game in the 21st minute. Ilkay Gundogan’s deflected pass fell kindly to Pedri inside the box, who rolled the ball to Torres. The Spaniard had positioned himself nicely and tapped the ball into an open net. Torres doubled Barcelona’s tally just three minutes into the second 45, again showing excellent awareness to thump home Lamine Yamal’s rebound.
Real Betis ace Isco scored a couple of excellent goals to pull the score back level, but Torres ensured his team went home with maximum points. In the 90th minute, he received the ball from substitute Joao Felix before returning it to him. The Portuguese then used the outside of his left boot to dispatch a curler, which nestled into the bottom-left corner. A couple of minutes later, Torres completed his hat-trick, thus sealing all three points for the visitors. Receiving a fine pass from Yamal, Torres exhibited his pace to escape his marker before driving into the box and applying a delicate finish to beat the onrushing Rui Silva.
Ferran Torres is the first Spanish international to score a LaLiga hat-trick for Barcelona since Pedro in September 2013. 🎩 pic.twitter.com/SOvjkfT3of
— Squawka (@Squawka) January 21, 2024
Three goals and an assist aside, Torres created two chances, completed 27 passes (87% accuracy), attempted two dribbles, made five recoveries, and won two duels. All in all, it was a five-star performance from the 23-year-old left-winger.
Ex-Real Madrid Star Isco The Standout Player For Real Betis
Former Real Madrid superstar Isco extended his purple patch with another fine performance on Sunday night. He moved the ball around with grace, created chances, helped out at the back, and, of course, scored two fine goals. His first goal came in the 56th minute, with him latching onto Inaki Pena’s weak clearance and blasting it into the Blaugrana goal. Three minutes later, he scored the equalizer for Betis, showing the delicate side of his finishing as he chipped the ball over Pena and past the Barca goal line.
Brace aside, Isco created one big chance, lodged all three of his attempted shots on target, completed two dribbles, made six recoveries, and won six duels.