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 Griezmann at double as Barcelona hit five against Betis
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Griezmann at double as Barcelona hit five against Betis

Agency News

Madrid, Aug 26 : Antoine Griezmann scored FC Barcelona's first two goals as the defending La Liga champions produced an impressive display to come back from a goal down to beat Real Betis 5-2, in a performance that should calm any doubts following last weekend's defeat away to Athletic Bilbao.

Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez were all out injured, while Ivan Rakitic was on the bench again for a Barca side that started with a front three of Rafinha, Griezmann and youngster Carles Perez.

Barca may have had key players missing, but they started brightly and controlled the ball deep in the Betis half for the first 15 minutes, when the visitors took the lead. Sergio Busquets' poor pass allowed Sergio Canales to take the ball into the Barca half, before passing to Loren Moron to tee up Nabil Fekir who beat Barca keeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen with a well-placed shot.

Barca continued to move the ball well, but Betis still posed a threat on the break. Rafinha saw a shot deflected just wide in the 36th minute, before Griezmann got Barca level when he stretched to guide home a pass from Sergi Roberto in the 41st minute.

Four minutes after half-time, Griezmann put Barca ahead with his second goal of the night, as he curled a 20-yard shot wide of the grasp of Betis keeper Dani Martin to make it 2-1. That was the sign for the floodgates to open, and Perez capped a good home debut with a calm finish to make it 3-1 after good work by Sergio Busquets and Nelson Semedo, before Jordi Alba added a fourth in the 60th minute after Busquets won the ball and set him up.

Busquets was replaced to a deserved ovation, and his replacement Arturo Vidal made it 5-1 in the 77th minute, before Loren Moron netted Betis' second of the game with a thundering shot.

Moments earlier, 16-year-old Ansu Fati had come on for Barcelona to become the second youngest debutant in the club's history to round off a good night in the Camp Nou. (XINHUA)