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Lionel Messi Fails As Real Betis Beat Barcelona 4-3





The Catalan giants have not kept a league clean sheet since they beat Real Vallalodid in their second game of the seasonBarcelona conceded a goal for the 10th consecutive La Liga fixture after Real Betis’ Junior Firpo struck in the 20th minute on Sunday, their worst defensive run in 20 years.

You have to go back to 1998 when Louis van Gaal was in charge at Camp Nou for a longer run of games without a clean sheet. Back then, the Catalan giants conceded in 12 matches in a row, so if Barca concede in their next two league fixtures against Atletico Madrid and Villarreal, they will equal that record.

Although they have had a strong start to the current campaign and top the league table, the Catalan giants have not shut a team out since the second game of the season. They beat Alaves 3-0 on the opening day and saw off Real Valladolid 1-0 a week later, but have been forced to rely on their goal scoring ability since.

Their next opponents, Atletico, have scored in each of their last six La Liga outings, although Valladolid have been less impressive in front of goal having netted only nine times in the league so far.

Should Barca concede in both games, however, they will have to keep a clean sheet in the derby against Espanyol to avoid beating the run of Van Gaal’s side.

Despite that leaky defensive run in the league, Barca kept Inter Milan out with a 2-0 win at home in the Champions League on October 24.

That, added to the 4-0 win over PSV on September 18, is the only time Barca have kept a clean sheet since the clash with Valladolid.

They did come close to repeating the trick against Inter at San Siro last week, but an 87th minute Mauro Icardi goal blemished their record.

The Spanish champions did manage to shut out Cultural Leonesa in their Copa del Rey clash on October 31 though.

Their stumble out of the blocks against Betis ensured that they were playing catch-up throughout, with an eventful game seeing them breached at regular intervals.

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