Real Betis 2 - 2 Barcelona

Mark Gonzalez and Juan Melli put the hosts ahead but Barca fought back through a brace from Samuel Eto'o and were denied victory by some inspired goalkeeping by Ricardo, although Betis too had chances to score more.

Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola took the risk of leaving Lionel Messi and Thierry Henry on the bench and it appeared to backfire when Betis went 2-0 up within 25 minutes.

Defender Melli headed the hosts in front with a powerful header from a corner on 19 minutes, although he was effectively unmarked with Carlos Busquets struggling to get across to challenge him in time.

Seven minutes later former Liverpool winger Gonzalez doubled their lead when Sergio Garcia found him free at the far post, so free that he had time to let the ball bounce off his chest before he rifled a low finish into the bottom right.

Neither goal would have been prevented by Messi or Henry, but their absence was notable by the lack of a decent final ball or forward support to Eto'o.

Barca woke up after going two down but they could not match their possession with a cutting edge and almost conceded more with Achille Emana firing over from close range after good work from Ricardo Oliveira.

Andres Iniesta was the key man and he created two opportunities single-handed through mazy dribbles down the left: two of these runs forced Ricardo into action at the near post while one saw defender Lima deny Eto'o with a desperate challenge.

The final of these runs reaped dividends just before half-time, when Juande clumsily brought Iniesta down in the area. Eto'o's penalty was saved by Ricardo but the Cameroon man made no mistake with the follow-up to make it 2-1 going into the dressing rooms.

The second half was equally entertaining.

Oliveira had what would have been a brilliant breakaway goal disallowed when he strayed just offside; Barca almost equalised from the subsequent counter but Eto'o could only poke wide when he raced clean through before Betis saw a third denied by Victor Valdes after Emana raced on to Oliveira's flick-on.