Match ends, Real Betis 1, Barcelona 4.
Barcelona overcame a worrying injury to Lionel Messi to coast to victory at Real Betis and open up a three point lead at the top of La Liga.
Messi limped off with a leg injury when the game was goalless before Neymar side footed Barca ahead after a low Cesc Fabregas cross.
Pedro's curling shot made it 2-0 before Fabregas finished off a fine team move.
Fabregas headed his side's fourth before Jorge Molina scored for Betis from the penalty spot.
It was too easy for the La Liga champions at times as bottom of the table Betis contributed to their own downfall with some poor defending.
With nearest challengers Atletico Madrid held 1-1 by Villarreal earlier in the day, Barca knew that victory at the Benito Villamarin would send them clear at the top.
There was no looking back once Neymar broke the deadlock 10 minutes before the interval from close range.
Betis, who were denied the lead when Victor Valdes produced an excellent stop to keep out Juan Carlos, capitulated.
Within 90 seconds it was 2-0 as Pedro's strong run and fine curling finish doubled Barca's lead.
Their 12th win in 13 league games this season was confirmed when Fabregas finished a free-flowing move which sliced the Betis defence wide open in the 63rd minute.
And the former Arsenal player doubled his domestic goal tally for the season with a header which went in off the post 11 minutes from time.
Betis scored a consolation from the penalty spot in stoppage time through Molina after Dani Alves hauled down Javier Matilla.
The loss of Messi will rightly be a concern for Barca manager Gerardo Martino.
But the 22-times champions of Spain showed they can cope without their influential goalscorer.
- 23Pérez Santamaría
- 8Delgado VillarBooked at 66minsSubstituted forMatillaat 75'minutes
- 36Caro Martínez
- 25Figueras Montel
- 6TorresBooked at 76mins
- 10VerdúSubstituted forVázquez Floridoat 63'minutes
- 17Pérez LópezBooked at 55minsSubstituted forVilá Rosellóat 67'minutes
- 9Vázquez Florido
- 12Vilá Roselló
- 22Mabwati Gerard
- 1ValdésBooked at 19mins
- 22Alves da SilvaBooked at 90mins
- 4FábregasSubstituted forRoberto Carnicerat 80'minutes
- 10MessiSubstituted forIniestaat 22'minutes
- 11NeymarSubstituted forTelloat 74'minutes
- 13Pinto Colorado
- 24Roberto Carnicer
- José Luis González González
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Real Betis 1, Barcelona 4.
Goal! Real Betis 1, Barcelona 4. Jorge Molina (Real Betis) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.
Dani Alves (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Penalty conceded by Dani Alves (Barcelona) after a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty Real Betis. Javier Matilla draws a foul in the penalty area.
Offside, Barcelona. Sergi Roberto tries a through ball, but Pedro is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Alexandre Song.
Foul by Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona).
Xavi Torres (Real Betis) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Chuli (Real Betis) left footed shot from long range on the right is too high following a fast break.
Attempt saved. Jorge Molina (Real Betis) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Javier Matilla with a cross.
Foul by Marc Bartra (Barcelona).
Chuli (Real Betis) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt saved. Chuli (Real Betis) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jorge Molina.
Attempt missed. Dani Alves (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Xavi.
Corner, Real Betis. Conceded by Martín Montoya.
Substitution, Barcelona. Sergi Roberto replaces Francesc Fábregas.
Goal! Real Betis 0, Barcelona 4. Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Dani Alves with a cross.
Dani Alves (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.