There are games that seem more like manifestos. Barça defeated Betis with their most authentic face - players from La Masia. At times when it seems that La Masia is not being prioritised as it should be, the first half yesterday had an almost symbolic quality.
The Messi-Deulofeu-Sergi Roberto tore Betis apart in the first 45 minutes and was enough to settle a game that was not as straightforward as it seemed. On what was a very emotional occasion after the attack in Barcelona this week, the team was able to focus on playing. And Barça knew that three points were required after the poor performances against Real Madrid in the Super Cup.
Yesterday, the team was focussed on the result, and the second half was largely incident free as a consequence. However, the team still has the feeling of a work in progress, awaiting signings even though the league has already started, with a manager still working things out and a negative atmosphere at a club that is generating disillusionment among the fans. It’s not all bad though while Messi is there – yesterday he hit the post three times playing as a false 9 and seemed to want to take responsibility for everything.
And Sergi Roberto had another good game and showed, for those who still hadn’t realised, that he is currently Barça’s most in-form midfielder. The Reus-born player ran, helped out, started moves and connected with Messi better than anyone else. He shouldn’t just stay, he should a key part of the team. More proof that La Masia never fails.