Lionel Messi came off the bench to score twice and lead Barcelona to a 5-2 home victory over Real Betis on Saturday, snapping a four-game winless streak in La Liga for the Catalans.

Antoine Griezmann, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele also scored for Barca while Antonio Sanabria and Loren Moron replied for Betis, who had Aissa Mandi sent off on the hour-mark.

                        

Barca’s first league victory since beating Celta Vigo on Oct. 1 took them into eighth in the table with 11 points from seven games. Real Sociedad lead the standings with 17.

Barca’s captain was surprisingly left out of the starting lineup by coach Ronald Koeman, who later explained that Messi was feeling a little discomfort after the 2-1 win over Dynamo Kyiv in mid-week and had agreed to start on the bench.

Koeman’s side played well in the first half without Messi but missed a slew of clear opportunities and found themselves drawing 1-1 when Sanabria cancelled out Dembele’s superb opening strike on the stroke of halftime.