Goal of the day: Lionel Messi (Barcelona) vs Real Betis | inside World Soccer

Lionel Messi emerged from the bench to provide the inspiration for Barcelona as the Catalans came from behind to beat Real Betis 4-2 on Sunday.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi scores his team's third goal against Real Betis with a free-kick
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi scores his team's third goal against Real Betis with a free-kick

Photo: Getty Images

The Argentinian took his goals tally to 60 for the season after coming on as a substitute with his side being held 2-2 by the spirited visitors and facing a real threat to their 13-month unbeaten home record in La Liga.

Certainly the hosts looked shaky before his introduction, with Betis twice taking the lead through Dorlan Pabón and Rubén Pérez.

Alexis Sánchez hit Barcelona's first equalizer while David Villa's 56th-minute header for 2-2 was his final contribution before he was immediately hauled off for Messi.

And it took just 180 seconds for Messi to take the game by the scruff of the neck and leave many in the Camp Nou shaking their heads in disbelief.

The 25-year-old had touched the ball just once when he curled home a fantastic free-kick into the top right-hand corner from 25 yards.

Messi hadn't finished though and he added a fourth moments later, following a sublime move involving Andrés Iniesta and Alexis.

"You can't do anything against Lionel Messi," Betis coach Pepe Mel said in his post-match press conference.

"He comes on and the first ball he touches he scores with. That has made it possible mentally for them.

"The style of Messi's first goal has influenced the mentality of the player and the stadium."


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