Barcelona coach Valverde: Real Betis pressing too much for us

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Pique admitted his side have a problem with their porous defence after Real Betis defeat on Sunday, conceding four times at the Nou Camp for the first time in over 15 years.

Barca trailed 2-0 at halftime and even though Lionel Messi struck twice on his return from injury and Arturo Vidal also scored for the Catalans, Betis still made history.

Ernesto Valverde's side remain at the top of La Liga, one point ahead of Atletico Madrid and Alaves. I make assessments that are for the good of the team and I take everything into account when making them.

Alaves beat Huesca 2-1 earlier on Sunday, while Sevilla won by the same scoreline at home to Espanyol, Wissam Ben Yedder prodding in an 89th-minute victor. Quique Setien's side may have pulled back on the sumptuous, attacking football that earned them a sixth-place finish last term but, in full-flow, they remain one of Spain's most hard opponents to stop.

"We have been a courageous team in every way", former Spain global Joaquin said.

Klopp, meanwhile, has identified Dembele as the flawless player to lead his side's title challenge and is reportedly weighing up the possibility of shattering Liverpool's club record fee to sign him.

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They seemed faster, sharper and hungrier while Barcelona's midfield was repeatedly carved open on the break.

The first came from 22-year-old Firpo in the 20th minute who finished with his right foot one-on-one against Sergi Roberto after a brilliant long-distance feed from William Carvalho.

Barcelona tried to respond quickly and it took a great save from Pau Lopez to tip over Clement Lenglet's volley from Messi's free-kick, before Betis doubled their advantage on 34 minutes as Cristian Tello's cross was turned into the bottom corner by Joaquin.

Gio LO CELSO also scored, his was a shot which goalkeeper TER STEGEN tried to catch but it went through the hands of the German.

Messi briefly rekindled the comeback in the 79th when he threaded a pass forward for substitute Munir El Haddadi, who laid off for Vidal to reduce the deficit to 3-2. Messi added his second in injury-time but there was to be no more late drama. The video assistant referee deemed Messi onside but there was no more late drama as Betis held on for a shock victory.

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