Spanish La Liga
Barcelona3Real 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

Match ends, Barcelona 3, Real Betis 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Barcelona 3, Real Betis 1.

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.

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

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

Foul by Alfred N'Diaye (Real Betis).

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Alexandre Song replaces Xavi.

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.

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

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

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

Foul by Lorenzo Reyes (Real Betis).

Foul by Javier Mascherano (Barcelona).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Real Betis. Braian Rodríguez replaces Leo Baptistao.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Juan Carlos.

Foul by Dani Alves (Barcelona).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Neymar replaces Pedro.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Francesc Fábregas replaces Andrés Iniesta.

Offside, Barcelona. Xavi tries a through ball, but Pedro is caught offside.

Booking

Antonio Amaya (Real Betis) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Antonio Amaya (Real Betis).

Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Corner, Real Betis. Conceded by Sergio Busquets.

Foul by Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona).

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

Hand ball by Lorenzo Reyes (Real Betis).

Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Adriano with a cross.

Pedro (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Antonio Amaya (Real Betis).

Foul by Dani Alves (Barcelona).

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

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 2, Real Betis 1. Rubén Castro (Real Betis) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner following a fast break.

Goal!

Own Goal by Jordi Figueras, Real Betis. Barcelona 2, Real Betis 0.

Corner, Real Betis. Conceded by Pinto.

Attempt saved. Alfred N'Diaye (Real Betis) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Jorge Molina.

Attempt missed. Rubén Castro (Real Betis) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Juanfran.

Substitution

Substitution, Real Betis. Rubén Castro replaces Cedrick.

goal

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