Match ends, Real Betis 0, Barcelona 2.
Barcelona beat 10-man Real Betis 2-0 to regain top spot in La Liga at the end of a day that saw all three title rivals spend time as leaders.
But Barca held their nerve to overcome Betis, who had Heiko Westermann sent off for two bookings, with goals from Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez.
Each team has two matches remaining.
Defending champions Barcelona had scored 14 goals in winning their previous two league games.
But they found it difficult to break down a Betis side who played with 10 men from the 35th minute after defender Westermann had tripped Rakitic to earn his second caution in the space of eight minutes.
The opening goal came five minutes into the second half when a Lionel Messi ball into the penalty area caused confusion between defender German Pezzella and goalkeeper Antonio Adan, and midfielder Rakitic was left with a simple tap-in for his 10th goal of the season.
The second goal did not come until nine minutes from time when Messi played through a perfect pass for Suarez to slot home his 54th goal of the season.
Barcelona keeper Claudio Bravo came off late on with a calf strain and will have further tests on the injury on Sunday.
|La Liga title run-in|
|DATES||Barcelona||Atletico Madrid||Real Madrid|
|Sunday, 8 May (16:00 BST)||Espanyol (h)||Levante (h)||Valencia (h)|
|Saturday, 14 May (time TBC)||Granada (a)||Celta Vigo (h)||Deportivo La Coruna (a)|
What they said
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique: "It's a very competitive league and I think the three candidates are strong. No-one will slip up, we depend on ourselves.
"There is less to go (now). I am sure against Espanyol, Camp Nou will be packed to the rafters."
- 4González CabreraBooked at 21mins
- 17WestermannBooked at 35mins
- 25dos Santos AraujoBooked at 34mins
- 18A N'Diaye
- 7Sánchez RodríguezSubstituted forMusondaat 55'minutes
- 10CeballosBooked at 67minsSubstituted forPortilloat 69'minutes
- 24CastroSubstituted forvan Wolfswinkelat 79'minutes
- 6Varela Martín
- 9van Wolfswinkel
- 14Torres Buigues
- 13BravoSubstituted forter Stegenat 88'minutes
- 6Alves da SilvaBooked at 45minsSubstituted forRoberto Carnicerat 74'minutes
- 3PiquéBooked at 23mins
- 4RakiticSubstituted forTuranat 86'minutes
- 10MessiBooked at 23mins
- 1ter Stegen
- 17El Haddadi
- 20Roberto Carnicer
- 22Vidal Parreu
- Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Real Betis 0, Barcelona 2.
Substitution, Barcelona. Marc-André ter Stegen replaces Claudio Bravo because of an injury.
Substitution, Barcelona. Arda Turan replaces Ivan Rakitic.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Francisco Portillo (Real Betis).
Sergi Roberto (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Bruno (Real Betis).
Foul by Neymar (Barcelona).
Álvaro Cejudo (Real Betis) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Goal! Real Betis 0, Barcelona 2. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi with a through ball.
Substitution, Real Betis. Ricky van Wolfswinkel replaces Rubén Castro.
Substitution, Barcelona. Sergi Roberto replaces Dani Alves.
Attempt saved. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lionel Messi.
Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Francisco Portillo.
Substitution, Real Betis. Francisco Portillo replaces Dani Ceballos.
Dani Ceballos (Real Betis) is shown the yellow card.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Dani Ceballos (Real Betis).
Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.