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Leader FC Barcelona draws Betis 1-1 in Spanish league

Leader FC Barcelona draws Betis 1-1 in Spanish league

Rafael Marquez's 61st-minute equalizer brought FC Barcelona a 1-1 draw at Real Betis and handed the defending champion a one-point lead in the Spanish league on Wednesday.
The makeup match postponed last month ensured Barcelona received the symbolic title of "winter champion" afforded to the leader at the season's halfway mark.
However, Barcelona again fell short of its best form and continued a rough patch in which it has won just two of its last seven league matches.
After 19 games, Barcelona has 39 points, while Sevilla and Madrid each have 38. Valencia follows with 36, one more than Atletico Madrid.
Betis, which began the game at its Manuel Ruiz de Lopera Stadium in 18th place, stifled Barcelona in the first half with Javier Saviola missing the visitors' only chance when he went wide with an angled shot in the 34th.
Three minutes later, Brazilian striker Robert headed Betis into the lead from close range after defender Nano Rivas nodded Marcos Assuncao's corner back into the goalmouth.
Barcelona began the second half better and defender Marquez soon leveled when his glancing header from Deco's corner found its way past a desperate dive by Betis goalkeeper Toni Doblas.
Betis almost snatched a last-minute winner when substitute Dani Martin went narrowly wide when Assuncao's free kick bounced off his knee.
The original game was postponed from December due to Barcelona's involvement in the Club World Cup in Japan.


Updated : 2021-01-18 04:00 GMT+08:00