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.

Free-scoring Barca

Barcelona have scored four goals or more in five of their 13 La Liga games this season.

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.

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (6)

Real Betis

  • 13 Sara
  • 18 Steinhöfer
  • 23 Pérez Santamaría
  • 08 Nono Booked (Matilla - 75' )
  • 36 Caro Martínez
  • 25 Jordi
  • 07 Vadillo
  • 06 Torres Booked
  • 19 Molina
  • 10 Verdú (Vázquez Florido - 63' )
  • 17 Pérez López Booked (Vilá Roselló - 67' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Andersen
  • 04 Amaya
  • 05 Matilla
  • 09 Vázquez Florido
  • 12 Vilá Roselló
  • 16 Rodríguez
  • 22 Cedrick

Barcelona

  • 01 Valdés Booked
  • 22 Dani Alves Booked
  • 02 Montoya
  • 17 Song
  • 15 Bartra
  • 05 Puyol
  • 06 Xavi
  • 04 Fábregas (Sergi - 80' )
  • 10 Messi (Iniesta - 22' )
  • 07 Pedro
  • 11 Neymar (Tello - 74' )

Substitutes

  • 08 Iniesta
  • 09 Sánchez
  • 13 Pinto Colorado
  • 14 Mascherano
  • 20 Tello
  • 21 Adriano
  • 24 Sergi
Ref: José Luis González González
Att: 30,200

Match Stats

Shots

16 11

On target

5 8

Corners

9 0

Fouls

18 12

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Real Betis 1, Barcelona 4.

90:00 +2:10 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Real Betis 1, Barcelona 4.

90:00 +1:33 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Real Betis 1, Barcelona 4. Jorge Molina (Real Betis) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

90:00 +0:47 Booking

Booking Dani Alves (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90:00 +0:41

Penalty conceded by Dani Alves (Barcelona) after a foul in the penalty area.

90:00 +0:41

Penalty Real Betis. Javier Matilla draws a foul in the penalty area.

89:10

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

88:49

Attempt blocked. Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Alexandre Song.

87:58

Foul by Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona).

87:58

Xavi Torres (Real Betis) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

85:31

Attempt missed. Chuli (Real Betis) left footed shot from long range on the right is too high following a fast break.

84:05

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.

83:33

Foul by Marc Bartra (Barcelona).

83:33

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

82:55

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.

80:53

Attempt missed. Dani Alves (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Xavi.

80:01

Corner, Real Betis. Conceded by Martín Montoya.

79:48 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Barcelona. Sergi Roberto replaces Francesc Fábregas.

78:45 Goal scored

Goal! 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.

77:48

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

77:48

Foul by Dídac Vilá (Real Betis).

76:55

Attempt missed. Álvaro Vadillo (Real Betis) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.

76:33

Corner, Real Betis. Conceded by Alexandre Song.

75:29 Booking

Booking Xavi Torres (Real Betis) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

75:26

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

75:26

Foul by Xavi Torres (Real Betis).

75:07

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

75:07

Foul by Javier Matilla (Real Betis).

74:34 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Betis. Javier Matilla replaces Nono.

74:10

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

74:10

Foul by Álvaro Vadillo (Real Betis).

73:12 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Barcelona. Cristian Tello replaces Neymar.

72:14

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

72:14

Foul by Jordi Figueras (Real Betis).

71:47

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

71:47

Foul by Markus Steinhöfer (Real Betis).

71:24

Attempt missed. Jorge Molina (Real Betis) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Nono following a set piece situation.

70:52

Foul by Carles Puyol (Barcelona).

70:52

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

66:22 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Betis. Dídac Vilá replaces Juan Carlos.

65:51 Booking

Booking Nono (Real Betis) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

65:47

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

65:47

Foul by Nono (Real Betis).

65:12

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

65:12

Foul by Nono (Real Betis).

62:52 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Real Betis 0, Barcelona 3. Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Martín Montoya.

62:35 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Real Betis. Chuli replaces Joan Verdú.

59:14

Attempt saved. Neymar (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

59:13

Attempt saved. Neymar (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Francesc Fábregas with a through ball.

58:11

Foul by Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona).

58:11

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

57:55

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

57:55

Foul by Álvaro Vadillo (Real Betis).

55:57

Offside, Real Betis. Nono tries a through ball, but Álvaro Vadillo is caught offside.

54:51 Booking

Booking Juan Carlos (Real Betis) is shown the yellow card.

53:15

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

52:40

Delay in match Nono (Real Betis) because of an injury.

51:30

Corner, Real Betis. Conceded by Dani Alves.

50:17

Nono (Real Betis) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Álvaro Vadillo following a corner.

49:51

Corner, Real Betis. Conceded by Marc Bartra.

49:51

Attempt blocked. Álvaro Vadillo (Real Betis) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Joan Verdú with a through ball.

46:00

Attempt missed. Joan Verdú (Real Betis) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jorge Molina.

45:37

Attempt blocked. Nono (Real Betis) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

45:00

Second Half begins Real Betis 0, Barcelona 2.

45:00 +1:05 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Real Betis 0, Barcelona 2.

45:00 +0:26

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

45:00 +0:26

Foul by Markus Steinhöfer (Real Betis).

44:17

Attempt missed. Pedro (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Neymar following a fast break.

41:49

Corner, Real Betis. Conceded by Marc Bartra.

40:25

Foul by Martín Montoya (Barcelona).

40:25

Álvaro Vadillo (Real Betis) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

38:21

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

38:21

Foul by Nono (Real Betis).

36:27 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Real Betis 0, Barcelona 2. Pedro (Barcelona) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Marc Bartra following a fast break.

34:59 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Real Betis 0, Barcelona 1. Neymar (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Francesc Fábregas.

34:36

Attempt saved. Pedro (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Francesc Fábregas with a through ball.

33:54

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

33:54

Foul by Xavi Torres (Real Betis).

33:19

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

33:19

Foul by Joan Verdú (Real Betis).

32:22

Foul by Alexandre Song (Barcelona).

32:22

Joan Verdú (Real Betis) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:47

Offside, Barcelona. Marc Bartra tries a through ball, but Neymar is caught offside.

30:55

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

30:55

Foul by Nono (Real Betis).

27:36

Attempt missed. Jorge Molina (Real Betis) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Markus Steinhöfer with a cross.

26:06

Corner, Real Betis. Conceded by Marc Bartra.

25:24

Attempt missed. Caro (Real Betis) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Juan Carlos with a cross following a set piece situation.

24:55

Foul by Pedro (Barcelona).

24:55

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

24:08

Attempt saved. Neymar (Barcelona) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Dani Alves with a cross.

23:40

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

23:40

Foul by Joan Verdú (Real Betis).

21:40

Foul by Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona).

21:40

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

21:03 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Barcelona. Andrés Iniesta replaces Lionel Messi because of an injury.

19:00 Booking

Booking Víctor Valdés (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card.

18:39

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

18:39

Foul by Nono (Real Betis).

17:37

Corner, Real Betis. Conceded by Víctor Valdés.

17:36

Attempt saved. Juan Carlos (Real Betis) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Álvaro Vadillo with a cross.

16:39

Attempt saved. Jorge Molina (Real Betis) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Nacho.

15:24

Foul by Neymar (Barcelona).

15:24

Markus Steinhöfer (Real Betis) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:38

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

10:38

Foul by Nono (Real Betis).

10:02

Corner, Real Betis. Conceded by Marc Bartra.

10:01

Attempt blocked. Jorge Molina (Real Betis) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordi Figueras with a headed pass.

9:22

Foul by Neymar (Barcelona).

9:22

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

8:30

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

7:19

Attempt missed. Xavi Torres (Real Betis) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Jordi Figueras following a corner.

6:45

Corner, Real Betis. Conceded by Martín Montoya.

6:17

Foul by Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona).

6:17

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

3:43

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

3:43

Foul by Markus Steinhöfer (Real Betis).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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