Javier Mascherano’s Patented Anus-Tearing Tackle Sparks Barcelona Victory

Barcelona opened their La Liga campaign with a 2-0 victory over Real Betis at the Camp Nou on Sunday.

With Ousmane Dembele’s transfer opera turning sour and Luis Suarez out for up to five weeks with a knee injury, Barcelona opened their La Liga campaign on Sunday with Lionel Messi shouldering the burden of his side’s attacking ambition.

But the play of the day wasn’t provided by Messi, it was provided by the only Argentinian teammate he can rely on, Javier Mascherano. 

With Barcelona nursing a slender 1-0 advantage over Real Betis approaching halftime, a masterful tackle from Mascherano denied Betis an equalizer, and Barcelona immediately went down the other end and scored their all-important second. It was eerily similar to the match-saving tackle Mascherano made on Arjen Robben in the 2014 World Cup semifinal, a tackle that caused him to tear his anus.

 

Mascherano’s tackle was superb, but Gerard Deulofeu also played a key role in both Barca goals. In the 36th minute, Deulofeu fired a low cross towards Lionel Messi, forcing an own goal from Alin Tosca.

Deulofeu then provided the assist for Sergi Roberto on Barcelona’s second after some excellent work out wide. Messi came close to adding to his side’s advantage on three ocassions, but he thrice struck the woodwork.

Nelson Semedo also looked lively on his debut for Barca, but Real Betis were never able to test the Catalan side defensively. It was a quiet afternoon for Betis debutant Andres Guardado.  

Barcelona’s next match is away to Alaves on the 26th. Real Betis host Celta Vigo on the 25th.

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