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Xavi suffers first defeat as Barcelona manager as Real Betis win 1-0 at Nou Camp

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Barcelona 0-1 Real Betis: Xavi suffers first defeat as Barca manager as Juanmi’s late goal stuns the Nou Camp…

  • Barcelona defeated Real Betis 1-0 at home and Xavi lost for the first time as manager
  • Catalans dropped to seventh in LaLiga, 13 points behind leaders Real Madrid
  • Barca are six points below the top four and face a challenge to qualify for next season’s Champions League
  • Real Betis climbed to third place, one point ahead of reigning champions Atletico Madrid

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Barcelona will likely have to beat Bayern Munich in Germany on Wednesday to advance in the Champions League. The club’s supporters hope that this will keep their powder dry for the midweek do or die match.

They were beaten 1-0 by Betis at the Camp Nou and let three more points slip away. This season has turned into a battle to get into the top four and they are now seven points behind Manuel Pellegrini.

They also lost teenage midfielder Gavi in ​​the first half after being hit in the head by the ball from close range. He looked dazed immediately after the incident and will require a scan and 24 hours of surveillance before joining the team on Tuesday on their trip to Germany.

Juanmi (left) scored his ninth goal of the season as Real Betis won 1-0 at Barcelona on Saturday

Betis’ goal came 11 minutes from time and it was Juanmi’s ninth goal in his last 11 games. Sergio Canales broke the right side and pulled the ball back to Guido Rodriguez who slid it to Juanmi who shot past Marc Andre ter Stegen.

Barcelona had started well. Coutinho started well with a nutmeg on Victor Ruiz to get to the byline and later a shot that went wide. Betis struggled to keep up with Barcelona and Canales was shown a yellow card for stepping on Sergio Busquets.

But Barcelona slowed down and Betis started to threaten. The home team was also hindered by a blow from the ball to the head of 17-year-old midfielder Gavi. The Spain international was giddy in the aftermath and after falling again needed a lot of attention and was sent off after 34 minutes to be replaced by Riqui Puig.

Xavi suffered his first defeat as Barcelona manager since being appointed in place of Ronald Koeman last month

Xavi suffered his first defeat as Barcelona manager since being appointed in place of Ronald Koeman last month

There was a big ovation for Gavi when he was ejected. Betis scored almost immediately but Aitor Ruibales was unable to really test Ter Stegen.

The second half ended at a pedestrian pace and there was no acceleration at the restart. Barca’s lack of spunk has been contagious at times this season, often infecting the previously reliable Ter Stegen.

He came out of his goal with little or no chance of getting to Ruibal’s cross. Juanmi spun the ball past him but was just offside and the goal was disallowed.

Barca lost teenage midfielder Gavi in ​​the first half after being hit in the head by the ball from close range

Barca lost teenage midfielder Gavi in ​​the first half after being hit in the head by the ball from close range

The midfielder had to be stretched off the field after his injury as he looked dazed right after the incident

The midfielder had to be stretched off the field after his injury as he looked dazed right after the incident

Gavi will need a scan and 24 hours of surveillance before heading to Germany with Barca on Tuesday.

Gavi will need a scan and 24 hours of surveillance before heading to Germany with Barca on Tuesday.

It was the sign for Xavi to make changes. Coutinho’s early effervescence had long since died down and he was replaced by Ousmane Dembele. Frenkie de Jong also replaced Nico. Coutinho continues to return almost nothing on his club record-breaking fee from Liverpool.

Dembele had two shots in just his first two minutes, posing more danger than Barcelona had amassed the hour or so before his arrival. The home side were now a little more inspired and Marc Bartra had to block brilliantly against his former team to prevent Jordi Alba’s shot from breaking the stalemate.

But Juanmi defeated Ter Stegen and Barcelona did not react. Xavi turned to the big man on the couch. Luuk de Jong, who previously hadn’t even been warmed up by the new Barcelona coach, was the last card played, but before home there was no turning back in the game.

They will need so much more in three days if they want to grab something from Munich and stay in the Champions League.

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