Real Betis pulled off the unthinkable by putting four goals past a Barcelona team, who are the table toppers of the La Liga to win the match by 3- 4 at the Camp Nou stadium on Sunday.
The defeat marked the Catalan club’s first home game loss in a span of over 26 months.
Real Betis’ bold approach paid off sooner than they might have expected as Spanish left-back Hector Junior Firpo Adames gave his team the lead 20 minutes into the first half on a powerful shot that got past goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, reports Efe news.
Just 15 minutes later, Spanish right winger Joaquin Sanchez Rodriguez, best known as Joaquin, added to Barcelona’s woes as a pass by Spanish forward Cristian Tello set him up for the second goal.
Betis had several chances to increase their tally as Argentine midfielder Giovani Lo Celso made the most of the space he was offered on the left side and then passed the ball to Joaquin whose shot went high.
Barcelona appeared somewhat overwhelmed by Betis despite getting back their Argentine talisman Lionel Messi, who had recovered from a broken forearm.
During the first half the Catalan club managed to get off just one shot on target by French defender Clement Lenglet but it was nullified in a great save by Spanish goalkeeper Pau Lopez.
In a bid to boost the offensive line, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde sent in Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal to replace Arthur after the intermission.
The change bore fruit as Vidal energised Barcelona, who started to pose a danger to Betis’ goal.
Vidal himself tried his luck, as did Messi, but Pau saved the day, maintaining Betis’ 2-0 lead, although not for long.
It was Messi who finally got Barcelona on the scoreboard in the 68th minute when he successfully converted a penalty kick.
Three minutes later, however, Betis regained its 2-goal advantage as Ter Stegen failed to catch a harmless shot by Lo Celso.
Vidal proved to be a decisive factor as he scored Barcelona’s second goal with the referee having to check the video assistant referee before allowing it in the 79th minute.
However, Spanish midfielder Sergio Canales gave Betis the insurance it needed four minutes later against a short-handed Barcelona who saw Croatian Ivan Rakitic being sent off after being booked twice.
Two minutes into second-half stoppage time, however, Messi scored Barcelona’s third goal, but it was too late for him to prevent his team’s first home league defeat in more than two years.
The last time Barcelona lost on their home ground was on September 10, 2016, when they fell to Alaves 2-1.