Real Betis v Barcelona – story of the match
Lionel Messi stars as Barca hit Betis for five.
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez produced a finishing masterclass as Barcelona launched a second-half blitz at Real Betis to extend their lead at the top of the LaLiga table to 11 points.
Ivan Rakitic started the ball rolling as the hour-mark approached while Messi and Suarez joined him on the scoresheet within the next 10 minutes.
The Argentina international saved his best for the last 10 minutes, adding a superb individual effort and then setting up Suarez for his second in similar fashion to help Barca claim a sixth successive league win courtesy of a 5-0 romp.
Tweet of the match
Star man – Lionel Messi
Messi was frustrated for long periods as the two sides cancelled each other out for almost an hour. However, once he had the bit between his teeth, he led Betis a merry dance, scoring twice and setting up a second for Suarez during a thrilling conclusion to the game.
Moment of the match
The home side had defended valiantly until Rakitic broke the deadlock with 59 minutes gone, but three goals inside 10 minutes left them in tatters. It was then that Messi took full advantage after defender Zouhair Feddal had surrendered possession and embarked upon a trademark mazy run into the penalty area, where he beat keeper Antonio Adan with ease.
Central midfielder Rakitic may not grab the headlines, but his contribution to the win was priceless. He was heavily involved throughout and it was he who started and finished the move from which Barcelona finally took the lead and he who crossed for Suarez to open his account on the night.
[INJURY NEWS] During #BetisBarça, Thomas Vermaelen suffered a hamstring injury in his left leg. On Monday he will have more tests to find out the exact extent of the injury #FCBlive pic.twitter.com/AfKLr53bfb— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 21, 2018
Real Betis: Antonio Adan 5, Javi Garcia 5, Aissa Mandi 6, Zouhair Feddal 5, Francis 5, Fabian Ruiz Pena 6, Andres Guardado 6, Riza Durmisi 5, Joaquin 6, Sergio Leon 5, Cristian Tello 5. Subs: Ruben Castro (for Leon, 72) 5, Ryan Boudebouz (for Garcia, 76) 5, Roberto Camarasa (for Fabian, 87) 5.
Barcelona: Marc-Andre ter Stegen 6, Nelson Cabral Semedo 6, Gerard Pique 6, Thomas Vermaelen 6, Jordi Alba 6, Sergi Roberto 7, Sergio Busquets 7, Ivan Rakitic 7, Andre Gomes 6, Lionel Messi 9, Luis Suarez 8. Subs: Samuel Umtiti (for Vermaelen, 43) 6, Paulinho (for Gomes, 64) 6, Gerard Deulofeu (for Busquets, 80) 6.
Who’s up next?
Celta Vigo v Real Betis, LaLiga, Monday, January 29
Barcelona v Espanyol, Copa Del Rey, Thursday, January 25