Torres hat-trick helps Barcelona snatch 4-2 win at Betis

Stoppage-time goals from substitute Felix and Torres help ease the pressure on manager Xavi in a stuttering season

Reuters
Published : 21 Jan 2024, 08:24 PM
Updated : 21 Jan 2024, 08:24 PM

Barcelona secured a last-gasp 4-2 win at Real Betis on Sunday, as stoppage-time goals from substitute Joao Felix and striker Ferran Torres, who completed his hat-trick, helped to ease the pressure on manager Xavi Hernandez in a stuttering season.

Barcelona are third in the LaLiga standings on 44 points, seven behind leaders Real Madrid and five adrift of second-placed Girona, who host Sevilla later on Sunday.

After being thrashed by their bitter rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final and struggling in a comeback win over third-division side Unionistas to advance to the Copa del Rey quarter-finals last week, Barca were once again up against it but managed to rescue a valuable win.

Torres opened the scoring in the 21st minute tapping in a cross from the right by Pedri and he extended Barca's lead from a rebound in the 49th, after a Lamine Yamal strike came back off the crossbar.

However, Betis struck back as Isco scored twice in four minutes to level the score.

With Betis dominating possession, Felix made the most of a quick counter-attack to strike a tidy finish from the edge of the box past the goalkeeper in the 91st minute.

Three minutes into added time, Torres scored his third and Barca's fourth from another counter to secure a hard-fought win for last year's champions, handing Betis their first home loss of the season.

"We were very good with a two-goal lead, but then it got complicated with a mistake by our defence which made us a bit tense," manager Xavi told Movistar Plus.

"We should have won the game earlier, but we managed to win in a stadium where nobody had won before.

"We didn't play a great game, because of the two goals we conceded, but it was a great game. Let's move forward."