Football

Lionel Messi embarked on a quite incredible run against Real Betis.

Lionel Messi dribbled past four opponent players with ease during Barcelona v Betis

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Lionel Messi made his return to Barcelona's starting line-up after recovering from a shoulder injury.

The 31-year-old suffered the injury three weeks ago against Sevilla but he returned ahead of schedule for Sunday's game.

Ernesto Valverde admitted that Messi was no 'longer playing with fear' ahead of the game.

"Messi is no longer playing with the fear of falling down and hurting his arm or battling with a defender," he said, per Sport.

"That wasn't the case at first. It's something you need to get out of your mind. You can't think about the worst that could happen because that is what will limit your performance.

"It isn't a leg injury. He looks good; comfortable."

Despite Messi making his return to the starting line-up, it was a quite dismal first half for the home side.

Betis had only accumulated 10 points from their opening 10 La Liga games but they took the lead through Hector Junior Firpo in the 20th minute.

Joaquin then doubled the visitors lead 14 minutes later to give Betis a 2-0 lead at half-time.

However, there was one bright spark for Barcelona in the first 45 minutes and that moment came courtesy of Messi.

A lot of eyes were on the 31-year-old given he has been out of the action for the past few weeks.

Lionel Messi with the ball at his feet against Real Betis

But, despite his side struggling from the outset, Messi quickly gave the home fans inside the Camp Nou something to shout about.

Picking up the ball in the 12th minute with his back to goal, the 31-year-old managed to deceive two Betis players as he turned towards goal.

Driving towards the Betis box and with two opponents chasing him, Messi then displayed some more quick feet to waltz in between them with ease.

The Argentine drove further into the box and unleashed a shot at goal but unfortunately his effort was blocked.

If there was any doubts about his fitness, Messi completely allayed those fears here.

What a goal it would have been had he managed to put the ball in the back of the net at the end of this run.

Topics:
Football
Ernesto Valverde
Barcelona
Lionel Messi

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