DOWNLOAD HIGHLIGHTS: Real Betis 0 – 5 Barcelona [La Liga Highlights 2017/18]
Barcelona took advantage of Atletico Madrid and Valencia’s slip-ups to pull 11 points clear at the top of LaLiga with a win over Real Betis.
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scored two goals each as Barcelona secured a hugely impressive 5-0 win away to Real Betis on Sunday.
Betis held their own in a tight first half but they had no answer to Barca’s onslaught after the break. Ivan Rakitic opened the scoring before braces from Messi and Suarez capped a wonderful display.
The result sends Ernesto Valverde’s side 11 points clear at the top of the table, with Atletico Madrid having drawn with Girona and Valencia losing at Las Palmas on Saturday.
Betis had won their previous two matches, scoring eight goals in the process, and they stayed true to their bold pressing approach under Quique Setien during a keenly contested opening 45 minutes.
Barca’s control had been growing, though, despite the loss of Thomas Vermaelen to injury towards the end of the first half, and they deserved the lead given to them by former Sevilla captain Rakitic in the 59th minute.
Messi then fired home with aplomb after good play from Sergio Busquets and Suarez finished well from Rakitic’s cross to complete a devastating spell for the visitors and leave the home fans stunned.
A mazy Messi run and finish made it 4-0 with 11 minutes left and Suarez steered his strike partner’s pass high into the net in the 90th minute for a fifth, giving Barca a firmer grip on the title race and a 14th game without defeat against Betis.