Betis Inflict Barca's First Defeat Under Xavi, Atletico Stunned By Mallorca
Faizan Hashmi Published December 05, 2021 | 02:10 AM
Madrid, Dec 4 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 5th Dec, 2021 ) :Barcelona suffered their first defeat under Xavi Hernandez on Saturday as they were beaten by Real Betis before Atletico Madrid lost at home to Mallorca in a day of shocks in La Liga.
Barca's 1-0 loss to Betis inflicted another blow on their hopes of catching La Liga's top four.
Both teams now have to pick themselves up ahead of crunch Champions League group games in midweek.
Barcelona were hit by a brilliant Betis counter-attack, finished by Juanmi in the 79th minute, which consigned the Catalans to their fourth league defeat of the season.
"That goal annoyed me a lot because we had worked on those situations," said Xavi. "We didn't deserve to lose." The result will leave Barcelona 16 points behind leaders Real Madrid, if Madrid win at Real Sociedad later on Saturday while Betis moved into third to continue their excellent start to the campaign.
Barcelona's Gavi is unlikely to be available against Bayern after the midfielder had to be taken to hospital "according to protocol", said the club, for a head injury.
The 17-year-old was substituted in the first half after a Hector Bellerin clearance saw the ball strike his head from close range.
Xavi had started with two wins out of two in La Liga but even he admitted the results owed a lot to good fortune, with Espaynol and then Villarreal guilty of squandering chances.
In between, a goalless draw at home to Benfica in the Champions League exposed Barcelona's ongoing problems in front of goal and that was evident against Betis, who were relatively untroubled throughout.
Ousmane Dembele, who come on off the bench, posed the greatest threat while the 19-year-old Abde Ezzalzouli missed a golden opportunity to equalise late on, when the ball was cut back to him eight yards out. The youngster blazed over.
Minutes before, Betis showed far more composure to finish off a slick counter-attack.
Sergio Canales broke free down the right but the move appeared to have lost its momentum when Canales pulled back to Cristian Tello on the edge of the area.
Instead, Tello shifted the ball quickly left to the arriving Juanmi, who took one touch before sliding into the corner.
They could have sealed a draw in the second half but Gerard Moreno missed a sitter. Dani Parejo's chipped ball was played to the back post where Moreno stood, three yards out with the net gaping, but he somehow wafted wide.