Messi, aka Mr Assist, takes credit for Barcelona’s success

Lionel Messi set up goals for Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets and Clement Lenglet as Barca beat Betis 3-2 on Sunday. He now has 11 assists this season, four more than Luis Suarez, Valencia’s Rodrigo and Real Sociedad’s Portu, who have seven each.

This was Messi’s fourth hat-trick of assists.

The Argentina international player did it before against Levante in the cup in 2014, against Getafe in La Liga in 2016 and against Paraguay in the 2015 Copa America for Argentina.

Messi now just needs to find his shooting boots. He’s gone three league games without scoring, also missing the target against Athletic in the Copa del Rey. His last league goal was Jan 19, against Granada.

Quique Setien is very satisfied with the scoreline, having explained that he thinks it’s a crucial victory for Barcelona.

“The reality is that it was very difficult, but we never gave up, not when Betis went in front or at 2-1,” said Setien. He wanted to highlight “what the win and the game are worth. We came from a tough blow in Bilbao, where we were very good and deserved victory, but they knocked us out.”

Setien added that Barca “deserved the win. Without a doubt we can do things better but I’m very happy with the attitude, coming back twice and then holding on to win.”

On his return to the Villamarin, he added: “I left a few months ago and wish Betis the best possible, it was an emotional return. I’m grateful to this club for the chance they gave me, they were two marvellous years. The end was a bit tough but I’m delighted with my time here.”