Spanish La Liga
BarcelonaBarcelona3Real BetisReal Betis1

Barcelona 3-1 Real Betis

Barcelona v Real Betis - Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona maintained their Spanish league title challenge with an unconvincing home win against bottom side Real Betis.

Messi put Barca ahead from the penalty spot after Alexis Sanchez was fouled by Betis defender Jordi.

Barca doubled their lead when Jordi diverted Sanchez's intended pass to Pedro past his own goalkeeper Adan.

Betis responded inside a minute through Ruben Castro before Messi converted after Adan saved his second spot-kick.

The final whistle at the Nou Camp was greeted with a sense of relief by the home supporters after a tumultuous week for the reigning La Liga champions.

The Catalan club's reputation had taken another blow after they were given a 14-month transfer ban - which they have appealed against - by Fifa.

But, back on the pitch, they moved back to within a point of leaders Atletico Madrid, who clinched a narrow 1-0 home win against Villarreal earlier on Saturday.

Third-placed Real Madrid remain two points behind Barca with a 4-0 win at Real Sociedad. later on Saturday.

Line-ups

Barcelona

  • 13Pinto Colorado
  • 22Alves da Silva
  • 21Correia
  • 16Busquets
  • 15Bartra
  • 14Mascherano
  • 6HernándezSubstituted forSongat 88'minutes
  • 8IniestaSubstituted forFábregasat 79'minutes
  • 10Messi
  • 9Sánchez
  • 7PedroSubstituted forNeymarat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Montoya
  • 4Fábregas
  • 11Neymar
  • 17Song
  • 20Tello
  • 24Roberto Carnicer
  • 25Olazábal Paredes

Real Betis

  • 1Adán
  • 11Moreno Fuertes
  • 17Pérez López
  • 21ReyesBooked at 60mins
  • 4AmayaBooked at 77mins
  • 25Figueras Montel
  • 18A N'Diaye
  • 8Delgado Villar
  • 6BaptistaoSubstituted forRodríguezat 82'minutes
  • 22Mabwati GerardSubstituted forCastroat 61'minutes
  • 7VadilloSubstituted forMolinaat 61'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Chica Torres
  • 3Santos Junior
  • 13Sara
  • 16Rodríguez
  • 19Molina
  • 24Castro
  • 46Ceballos
Referee:
Eduardo Prieto Iglesias
Attendance:
81,978

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamReal Betis
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home12
Away12
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home9
Away16

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Barcelona 3, Real Betis 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Barcelona 3, Real Betis 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Lionel Messi following a fast break.

  4. Post update

    Offside, Barcelona. Francesc Fábregas tries a through ball, but Neymar is caught offside.

  5. Post update

    Neymar (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Alfred N'Diaye (Real Betis).

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Alexandre Song replaces Xavi.

  8. Goal!

    Goal! Barcelona 3, Real Betis 1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal following a set piece situation.

  9. Post update

    Penalty saved! Lionel Messi (Barcelona) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, left footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.

  10. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Antonio Amaya (Real Betis) with a hand ball in the penalty area.

  11. Post update

    Neymar (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Lorenzo Reyes (Real Betis).

  13. Post update

    Foul by Javier Mascherano (Barcelona).

  14. Post update

    Braian Rodríguez (Real Betis) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Real Betis. Braian Rodríguez replaces Leo Baptistao.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Juan Carlos.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Dani Alves (Barcelona).

  18. Post update

    Rubén Castro (Real Betis) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Neymar replaces Pedro.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Francesc Fábregas replaces Andrés Iniesta.