Spanish La Liga
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Lionel Messi: Barcelona forward's superb hat-trick sees off Real Betis

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi gave Pau Lopez no chance with his 18th-minute free-kick

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick of the highest quality as Barcelona avenged their defeat by Real Betis earlier in the season to move 10 points clear at the top of La Liga.

His first was a 20-yard free-kick before he converted Luis Suarez's backheel pass with a toe-poked strike.

The pick of the bunch was a clipped finish that went in off the bar.

Suarez scored a fine individual effort while Loren Moron grabbed Betis' only goal with a superb finish.

Of Messi's 33 hat-tricks in La Liga, this surely ranks as one of his finest.

After a cagey first 18 minutes, the 31-year-old broke the deadlock when his superb free-kick found keeper Pau Lopez's top-right corner.

Barca and Messi then punished their hosts, who beat them 4-3 at the Nou Camp in November, with a lightning-quick move. Suarez found his forward partner with a backheeled through-ball, that beat three Betis players, which was then turned in by the Argentine.

It was 3-0 after the break when Suarez, who missed two earlier chances, drove forward from 25 yards out before slotting past Lopez.

Substitute Loren pulled a goal back with a sidefoot strike past the reach of goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, before Messi completed his hat-trick with a stunning effort that had the home support rise to their feet and applaud.

Barcelona now have 66 points from 28 games. They are 10 ahead of Atletico Madrid, with Real Madrid third with 54 points.

Line-ups

Real Betis

  • 13López
  • 23Mandi
  • 5Bartra
  • 12da Silva Júnior
  • 14William CarvalhoSubstituted forMorónat 75'minutes
  • 17Sánchez RodríguezSubstituted forLeite de Souza Juniorat 67'minutes
  • 6Canales
  • 18GuardadoBooked at 16mins
  • 11Tello
  • 21Lo CelsoSubstituted forLainezat 68'minutes
  • 10Rodríguez Ruiz

Substitutes

  • 1Robles
  • 4Feddal
  • 7León
  • 16Morón
  • 22Lainez
  • 24Leite de Souza Junior
  • 34Kaptoum

Barcelona

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 20Roberto
  • 3Piqué
  • 15LengletBooked at 52mins
  • 18Alba
  • 4RakiticSubstituted forAleñáat 88'minutes
  • 5Busquets
  • 8ArthurSubstituted forNélson Semedoat 64'minutesBooked at 67mins
  • 22Vidal
  • 9SuárezSubstituted forCoutinhoat 90'minutes
  • 10Messi

Substitutes

  • 2Nélson Semedo
  • 7Coutinho
  • 13Cillessen
  • 14Malcom
  • 19Boateng
  • 21Aleñá
  • 23Umtiti
Referee:
Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea
Attendance:
53,443

Match Stats

Home TeamReal BetisAway TeamBarcelona
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home13
Away16
Shots on Target
Home3
Away9
Corners
Home3
Away7
Fouls
Home10
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Real Betis 1, Barcelona 4.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Real Betis 1, Barcelona 4.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Sergi Roberto.

Diego Lainez (Real Betis) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sergio Busquets (Barcelona).

Attempt saved. Arturo Vidal (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Sergio Busquets.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Coutinho replaces Luis Suárez because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Carles Aleñá replaces Ivan Rakitic.

Delay in match Luis Suárez (Barcelona) because of an injury.

Goal!

Goal! Real Betis 1, Barcelona 4. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Ivan Rakitic.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Marc Bartra.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Pau López.

Attempt saved. Arturo Vidal (Barcelona) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Goal!

Goal! Real Betis 1, Barcelona 3. Loren Morón (Real Betis) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Diego Lainez.

Hand ball by Arturo Vidal (Barcelona).

Attempt blocked. Loren Morón (Real Betis) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sergio Canales with a cross.

Emerson (Real Betis) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Clément Lenglet (Barcelona).

Diego Lainez (Real Betis) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Gerard Piqué (Barcelona).

Attempt missed. Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Lionel Messi following a corner.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Sidnei.

Substitution

Substitution, Real Betis. Loren Morón replaces William Carvalho.

Attempt saved. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sergi Roberto.

Foul by Emerson (Real Betis).

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

Emerson (Real Betis) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Arturo Vidal (Barcelona).

Substitution

Substitution, Real Betis. Diego Lainez replaces Giovani Lo Celso.

Substitution

Substitution, Real Betis. Emerson replaces Joaquín.

Booking

Nélson Semedo (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card.

Nélson Semedo (Barcelona) has gone down, but that's a dive.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Nélson Semedo replaces Arthur.

Goal!

Goal! Real Betis 0, Barcelona 3. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Gerard Piqué.

Attempt missed. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right following a fast break.

Attempt saved. Giovani Lo Celso (Real Betis) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Joaquín with a headed pass.

Attempt missed. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box misses to the right. Assisted by Lionel Messi with a through ball.

Corner, Real Betis. Conceded by Ivan Rakitic.

Offside, Real Betis. Giovani Lo Celso tries a through ball, but Sergio Canales is caught offside.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 17th March 2019

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Barcelona28206273274666
2Atl Madrid28168439192056
3Real Madrid28173849321754
4Getafe281210636241246
5Alavés2812883131044
6Sevilla28127947361143
7Valencia2881643023740
8Real Betis28116113236-439
9Ath Bilbao2881372831-337
10Real Sociedad2899103333036
11Eibar2881193638-235
12Girona28810103137-634
13Espanyol2897123241-934
14Leganés2889112734-733
15Levante2887133849-1131
16Real Valladolid2878132339-1629
17Villarreal28611113236-429
18Celta Vigo2867153647-1125
19Rayo Vallecano2865173051-2123
20Huesca2857162847-1922
View full Spanish La Liga table

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