Nov 10, 2013 at 8pm UK at ​Estadio Benito Villamarin
Real Betis
1-4
Barcelona
Molina (91' pen.)
Carlos (55'), Nono (66'), Torres (76')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Neymar (35'), Pedro (37'), Fabregas (63', 79')
Valdes (19'), Alves (91')

Live Commentary: Real Betis 1-4 Barcelona - as it happened

Real Betis coach Pepe Mel observes from the bench against Espanyol on September 1, 2013
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's commentary of the La Liga clash in Seville where Barcelona beat Real Betis 4-1.

Barcelona travelled to basement outfit Real Betis on Sunday looking to move three points clear at the top of the La Liga table.

The Catalan outfit led 2-0 at the interval courtesy of goals from Neymar and Pedro in the first period.

Betis impressed in the second period, but Barcelona scored their third just past the hour mark when Cesc Fabregas converted from close range, before the Spaniard grabbed his second with a header late on.

Betis were on the scoresheet late on with a penalty from Jorge Molina, but it was nothing more than a consolation.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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7.52pmEvening all! Our final La Liga live commentary of the evening comes from Seville as Real Betis welcome Barcelona. To suggest that it has been a difficult start to the season for Betis would be putting it lightly. As it stands, Pepe Mel’s side currently sit bottom of the table on nine points. They have manages just two wins from their 12 league matches this season.

7.54pmBarcelona, however, continue to set records. The Catalan outfit have won 11 and drawn one of their 12 matches this season. They remain top of the table after Atletico Madrid failed to win at Villarreal earlier this evening. In their six matches on the road this season, they have conceded just twice.

7.56pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, Barcelona have won three of the last five games, with Betis winning once and the further fixture ending in a draw. As mentioned, the corresponding fixture last season ended in a 2-1 win for Barcelona, who were also 4-2 winners on their own patch in May.

7.58pmTEAMS:

REAL BETIS: Sara; Steinhofer, Caro, Jordi, Nacho; Torres, Nono, Carlos, Vadillo; Verdu, Molina

BARCELONA: Valdes; Alves, Bartra, Puyol, Montoya; Song, Xavi, Fabregas; Pedro, Messi, Neymar


1 minSo there we have it. Interesting team selection from Pepe Mel, with Alvaro Vadillo, Juan Carlos and Joan Verdu all starting. There is also a spot in attack for Jorge Molina. Barcelona, meanwhile, hand starts to Carlos Puyol, Alex Song and Pedro in a much-changed XI. The home side get the action underway in Seville.

2 minIt will come as no surprise that there is a wonderful atmosphere and indeed a full house inside the stadium this evening. Can Betis move off the bottom of the table? Barcelona have not enjoyed recent visits to this stadium. As expected, the away side have taken control of the possession in the opening two minutes.

4 minGood spell for Betis in the early stages of proceedings as they enjoy a period of possession in midfield. It is important that the home supporters stay with their side this evening, especially in the early stages. Neither goalkeeper has been troubled thus far, but plenty has happened in the middle of the park.

6 minThe pitch has been heavily watered this evening and it is certainly playing a part in the Barcelona half. A through pass from Vadillo sits up for Verdu, but Song is across to clear at the vital moment. Betis again force the issue moments later with a deep cross towards Molina, but Puyol is across to clear the danger.

8 minHalf-chance for Torres as Figueras finds the midfielder inside the box, but his header just moves high and wide of the Barcelona crossbar. Verdu delivers a dangerous cross into the Barcelona area moments later, but this time Valdes is on hand to claim. Bright opening eight minutes from Betis, who sit bottom of the table after 12 matches in La Liga.

11 minBetis continue to threaten inside the Barcelona box as Molina collects a loose ball inside the box before attempting to turn and find the bottom corner, but Barta is across to clear at the vital moment. The resulting corner is delivered into the box, but a free kick is awarded after Alves is felled. Not too much from the Catalan outfit thus far this evening.

13 minFirst half-chance for Barcelona as Neymar finds himself unmarked inside the Betis box. The Brazilian beats one defender before drilling a low cross towards Messi, but the Argentine cannot make contact at the final moment. It would be fair to say that Betis have been the better side in the opening 13 minutes of football.

16 minNot too much in terms of clear chances in the opening 16 minutes of football, but there are just a couple of signs that Barcelona are starting to warm to the task. However, Betis are being inspired by their supporters, who have been incredibly vocal in the early stages. The referee, meanwhile, has been forced to deal with a number of challenges in the middle of the park.

18 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Vadillo turns into the box before finding Molina, but Puyol is across to clear at the vital moment. Nacho is down the right in the next attack, but Song intercepts his cross. End-to-end football with 18 minutes on the clock in Seville.

20 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Betis to take the lead as Vadillo's cross finds the head of Juan Carlos, but somehow Valdes manages to turn his effort wide of the post. Stunning goalkeeping from the Spanish international. Betis should be ahead here.

23 minBarcelona are forced into a change here and it is a real blow as Messi is replaced by Iniesta. It is unclear what happened to the Argentine. He clashed with Nono some five minutes ago, but it did not seem to be anything serious. That will hand Betis confidence. However, arguably the best midfielder in the world is Messi's replacement.

25 minNot too much to report in the last couple of moments with the injury to Messi just harming Barcelona's tempo in the final third. Betis continue to force the issue, but have only really tested Valdes on one occasion. If Betis are to take something from this match, then you just get the feeling that they need to score during this purple patch.

28 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Barcelona to take the lead as Neymar meets a cross from Alves, but his effort is straight into the arms of Sara. It was never convincing from the Brazilian. That has been just about the best opportunity that Barcelona have created. Little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining in Seville.

30 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Vadillo bursts beyond two defenders before attempting to make contact on a bouncing ball, but Bartra is across to challenge at the vital moment. The resulting corner is delivered into the area by Verdu, but Alves clears. Barcelona have not been allowed a moment on the ball thus far. Impressive from Betis with 30 minutes on the clock.

32 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Vadillo finds the head of Molina inside the Barcelona box, but the Spaniard can only turn his effort wide of the post. Barcelona are down the other end with Alves moments later, but the Brazilian's cross is straight into the arms of Sara, who finds Molina on the break.

35 minNeymar's blushes are spared as the Brazilian meets a low cross from Alves, but can only turn wide of the post. However, the offside flag had been raised. The Catalan outfit have created little of note in the first period, with the best chances falling to Betis. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining in this La Liga contest.

35 minStop-start period of the match in the last couple of moments with the referee forced to intervene following a number of late challenges. It has been that type of game thus far. Xavi attempts to force the issue for the away side with a through pass towards Pedro, but Nacho is across to clear at the vital moment.

35 minGOAL! Real Betis 0-1 Barcelona (Neymar)

36 minMoments before, Pedro had missed a sitter for Barcelona. But he is involved in the goal as the Spaniard finds Neymar, who cannot miss from inside the box. Poor defending from the home side.

37 minGOAL! Real Betis 0-2 Barcelona (Pedro)

38 minBarcelona score twice in the space of two minutes as Pedro collects his own through pass before curling one into the bottom corner. Is that game over?! Betis had been more than in the match for the opening 35 minutes, but are now really struggling.

41 minIt is not easy to see why Betis have struggled this season. They play some nice football in the final third, but have been very poor defensively in the last couple of months. It could be a lot more in the second period if Barcelona are in the mood for goals.

43 minBetis attempt to respond as Vadillo collects possession down the left before delivering a cross into the box, but Valdes is on hand to collect at the vital moment. Neymar has the ball down the other end moments later, but Jose Caro clears at the vital moment.

45 minBarcelona remain solid at the back with Bartra and Puyol both dominant in the air as we approach the final stages of the first period. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute at the end of the half. Can Betis respond? Barcelona are in a commanding position after 45 minutes in Seville.

45+1 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Barcelona to score their third as Neymar puts it on a plate for Pedro, but Figueras is across to make a wonderful challenge. That would certainly have put the result beyond all doubt.

45+1 minHALF TIME: Real Betis 0-2 Barcelona

8.48pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Barcelona leading 2-0 courtesy of goals from Neymar and Pedro. Betis dominated much of the opening 35 minutes, but were simply unable to open the scoring. As it stands, they will remain bottom of the league entering the international break.

8.53pmSTATISTICS: Barcelona have shaded the possession with 53%, but they have had fewer attempts than Betis - with four to the home side's five. However, all four of Barcelona's attempts have been on target, while Betis have tested Valdes on just two occasions. The referee, meanwhile, has issued just the one yellow card despite a feisty half of football.

8.58pmBENCH WATCH: Betis have options on the bench in the shape of Chuli, Cedrick Mabwati and Rodriguez. Meanwhile, Barcelona, who have been forced into one change with Iniesta replacing the injured Messi, have the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Cristian Tello and Adriano in reserve.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. Just a reminder that, as it stands, Barcelona will move three points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of the table. Meanwhile, Betis would remain bottom. Right, the away side get the action underway on this mild evening in Seville.

48 minNo changes for either side at the interval, which is not much of a surprise. However, Pepe Mel will surely look to his bench if the score remains the same around the hour mark. Bright start to the half from Betis as Nono meets a cross from Juan Carlos, but Puyol is on hand to make a fine block.

50 minCHANCE! The home supporters think that their side has scored as the net moves, but Verdu's effort had moved just wide of the post before rustling the back of the net. One goal for the home side at this stage would certainly make it interesting. Can Betis turn this one around?

52 minCHANCE! Another opportunity for Betis as Verdu finds Vadillo inside the box, but his effort is deflected high and wide of the crossbar by Bartra. Valdes is forced into action moments later as he denies a long-range strike from Verdu. One-way traffic with 52 minutes on the clock in Seville.

55 minThe referee has been more involved than he would like in the last couple of moments as the challenges continue to arrive from both sides. Barcelona have not really started in the second period, with Betis forcing the issue. However, goals have been a problem for the basement outfit this season. Who is going to provide some inspiration?

57 minSlight problem for Alves here as the Brazilian right-back goes down following a challenge with Juan Carlos, who picks up a yellow card for his troubles. However, Alves does return to his feet following a period of treatment. Little over 30 minutes of normal time remaining in Seville. Still Barcelona lead 2-0.

60 minBarcelona just cannot get going at the moment as their passing continues to go wayward in the final third. Meanwhile, the referee is called into action to award a couple more free kicks. It would not be a surprise if both managers looked to their bench in order to freshen up proceedings in the next five minutes or so.

62 minCHANCES! Two chances in quick succession for Barcelona as Neymar bursts into the Betis box. However, the Brazilian is twice denied by Sara from close range. That is the first time that Barcelona have threatened in the second period. As it stands, Betis are still in with a chance of securing a result.

63 minEnd-to-end football in the last couple of moments as Vadillo has an effort on goal for Betis, before Neymar carries possession into the Betis box, only to lose control at the vital moment. You just get the feeling that there is another goal or two in this match. Little over 25 minutes of football remaining this evening.

63 minGOAL! Real Betis 0-3 Barcelona (Fabregas)

64 minBarcelona score their third of the match as Montoya squares to Fabregas, who cannot miss from close range. That is game over. Betis make their first change of the match as Chuli replaces Verdu. Just the one change for Barcelona thus far, meanwhile, with Iniesta replacing Messi in the first period.

66 minBarcelona have not been too impressive this evening, but the lead 3-0. Betis have impressed, but trail 3-0. That is the difference between these two teams. Betis will enter the international break bottom of the table and Barcelona will lead the table by three points.

68 minAnother change for Betis as Juan Carlos is replaced by Didac Vila for the final 20 minutes or so. You have to fear for the home side in the latter stages as the match continues to open up. It would not be a surprise if Martino made a couple more changes in the latter stages of proceedings.

71 minPossession football for Barcelona as they continue to keep hold of the ball inside the Betis half. Questions had been asked whether the away side could score goals without Messi. Well, that has now been answered. Almost silent inside the stadium with 71 minutes on the clock.

73 minJust a reminder that there are no league fixtures in Spain next weekend due to the international break. Betis create a half-chance moments later as Molina meets a free kick from Caro, but his header was always looping high and wide of the target. Still 3-0 with little over 15 minutes of football remaining.

76 minBarcelona make their second change of the match as Tello replaces Neymar. Another impressive night for the Brazilian, who opened the scoring in the first period. Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments, however, with Barcelona more than content to keep possession.

78 minBetis make their third and final change of the evening as Javier Matilla replaces Nono, who had been booked. That is for his own protection. Almost silent inside the stadium at the moment as the Betis supporters watch on. In fairness, how Betis fare this season will not depend on results against teams such as Barcelona.

79 minGOAL! Real Betis 0-4 Barcelona (Fabregas)

80 minBarcelona score their fourth of the evening as Fabregas heads an Alves cross into the back of the net. Again, very poor defending from Betis. In truth, it flatters Barcelona.

82 minThat proves to be the final piece of action for Fabregas, as the Spaniard is withdrawn for Sergi Roberto. The home supporters have started to make their way toward the exits as we approach the final five minutes of football. I have a feeling that Barcelona have not finished here.

85 minHalf-chance for Betis to open their tally for the evening as Chuli finds some space inside the box, but his effort is straight into the arms of Valdes. Unfortunately, Betis really struggled in the final third this evening. Had they taken the lead in the first period, we might have had a different match.

87 minWonderful support from the home supporters as they continue to create an atmosphere in the latter stages. Another half-chance arrives for Betis moments later as Chuli manages to round Valdes outside the box, but his final effort is high of the crossbar.

89 minBetis continue to impress in the latter stages as they deliver two high crosses into the Barcelona box, but Puyol and Bartra take it in turns to clear the danger. Betis might be short of quality at the moment, but they have plenty of heart. Little over one minute of normal time remaining in Seville.

90+2 minPedro has a chance to score his second as he collects a through pass from Song, but Caro is across to clear at the vital moment. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional two minutes and we are indeed into the second of those.

90+2 minPENALTY TO REAL BETIS!

90+2 minBetis are awarded a penalty in the final minute as Alves pulls Matilla to the ground inside the box. Chance for Betis to open their tally here.

90+2 minGOAL! Real Betis 1-4 Barcelona (Molina, pen)

90+3 minMolina does indeed step up before curling his effort into the top corner. It matters little, but it has given the home supporters something to cheer.

90+3 minFULL TIME: Real Betis 1-4 Barcelona

9.50pmSo there we have it. Barcelona secure all three points with a 4-1 win over Betis. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to look out for our analysis, which will be up in due course. Good evening!

Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates with team-mate Cesc Fabregas after scoring the opening goal during the La Liga match between UD Almeria and FC Barcelona on September 28, 2013
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2Barcelona11002023
3Real Sociedad11003213
4EibarEibar11001013
5Leganes11001013
6Levante11001013
7Valencia11001013
8Atletico MadridAtletico10102201
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10Espanyol10101101
11Sevilla10101101
12Athletic Bilbao10100001
13Getafe10100001
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15AlavesAlaves100101-10
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17Malaga100101-10
18Villarreal100101-10
19Real Betis100102-20
20Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo100103-30