• Direct This was the semifinal between Betis and Barça

There was a time when victory was

an anecdote for

Barça .

Today it is a necessity in the midst of the loss in which a team that pretends to be voracious lives and ends up trembling weakly, forced to be rescued.

To reach the final, the


that the Saudi petrodollars want, he needed to turn

Ter Stegen

into a penalty shootout hero after living too long on the wire against a Betis who knew how to turn his scars into living wounds at the slightest blow.

[Narration and statistics]

It doesn't even cross Xavi

's mind

that his team will be tamed.

He doesn't allow them to stop his voracity, but he doesn't manage to make the wounds open at the first blow to the scar.


was patient, responded to the blows and led all the culés specters



gave Barça the ball and the chances during the first 30 minutes, and that the Brazilian

Luiz Henrique

warned at the start with a shot from far away.



resting, between

De Jong



they managed looking for




to break through the banks.

It was hardly difficult for them to achieve it against an opponent who, without


and with


listed, suffered.

Pellegrini's team was given life by


I would need to warm up.

Gavi combed it first but the striker, who hasn't scored since the end of October, got lost looking for a heel shot in the small area.

Then Dembélé broke


and the Pole got entangled in the shot again.

He didn't see Gavi, alone, behind him.

He, too, was not able to hole out the perfect center of the


, whom


, in an inappropriate display, had launched on the run.

Barça matured the game by enclosing a Betis in an area that made an effort to shake off the burden before it put them at a disadvantage.

It took him 20 minutes to put together his first opportunity with his dagger Luiz Henrique, although it helped him wake up.


appeared to overtake Koundé and force an error in his pass back to Ter Stegen and the duel, unbalanced until then, went crazy.

Raphinha escaped to serve Pedri a goal cross that annulled automatic offside.

The béticos responded with their clearest occasion, a corner kick from Fekir that was poisoned.

Xavi's team, once again, had failed to take advantage of their dominance before the disconnection.

He couldn't avoid it, it arrived, long enough for another center from Luiz Henrique to walk through his goal.

The breather came to the culés on the brink of half-time and he did it by breaking his book: with a long pass from Pedri to throw Dembélé again, strip Ruibal naked again and for Lewandowski to appear, this time, despite the fact that he needed two shots, he found the hole between the stick and

Claudio Bravo


In a counter-attack, Barça had found the prize, which held up a spectacular handball from Ter Stegen on the edge of the break to another shot from the Brazilian winger from Betis, the only player who forced the mistakes of the Blaugrana defense.

The damage of Luiz Henrique

The option for the Verdiblanco team to wake up when they returned from the locker room was tried to be avoided again by Raphinha, making the wrong choice, and Lewandowski before Xavi looked for freshness on the side with


and more control with Busquets.

Neither one nor the other.

His team went soft, as if nothing had been learned from past scares.

This time Fekir gave it to him, pushing an assist from the blaugrana headache, Luiz Henrique, into the net.

He cut back on the penalty spot, feinted to deceive and gave it away to the Frenchman.

Betis unleashed the ghosts.

The Catalans wanted to avoid extra time, first with another goal from Lewandowski automatically canceled and then with two actions from

Ansu Fati

, forcing Bravo to show off before his toe strike.

His goal came by hooking a volley shot, an advantage that Loren

nullified with an impossible heel


Condemnation or salvation had to come from the penalty spot and there the German goalkeeper was huge again to rescue the



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