Barcelona's Polish forward Robert Lewandowski controls the ball during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Real Betis at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on April 29, 2023 Image Credit: AFP

Barcelona: Andreas Christensen, Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha were on target as Barcelona thrashed 10-man Real Betis 4-0 on Saturday to tighten their grip on top spot and moved a step closer to their 27th LaLiga title.

With only six games remaining, Barca recovered from a disappointing midweek loss at Rayo Vallecano and moved to 79 points and extended their lead to 11 points over second-placed Real Madrid, while Betis remain sixth on 49 points.

Christensen opened the scoring for Barcelona in the 14th minute with a point-blank header following a cross from Raphinha.


Barca's job was made easier by Betis defender Edgar Gonzalez, who came off the bench in the 12th minute to replace an injured Luiz Felipe but was sent off 21 minutes later after seeing two yellow cards for two bad tackles.

The locals made the most of their advantage before the break, scoring twice within three minutes thanks to strikes by Lewandowski and Raphinha.

LaLiga top scorer Lewandowski increased his haul to 19 for the season with a first touch shot from inside the box assisted by Jules Kounde in the 36th minute.

FC Barcelona's Lamine Yamal with coach. 15-year-old winger Yamal became Barcelona's youngest-ever player as they beat 10-man Real Betis to move 11 points clear at the top of La Liga. Image Credit: Reuters

Raphinha had to wait a couple of minutes to celebrate scoring Barca's third as the assistant referee had initially ruled out his effort for offside before the decision was overturned following a VAR replay.

"It's always fine to score and assist, but I think I can always do better," Raphinha told Movistar Plus.

"The last game was very tough, we needed to respond and winning by a large margin was important to have more confidence.

"(Manager) Xavi (Hernandez) warned us and we know what we can do and what we lacked against Rayo. We needed a little more attitude, needed to stay with the ball, and if we want to win the league it has to be like that in every game." Barca took their foot off the pedal after the break, comfortable with seeing out the game, but managed to extend their lead thanks to an own-goal by defender Guido Rodriguez, who scored while trying to clear an Ansu Fati cross in the six-yard-box.

With the win secured, 15-year-old winger Lamine Yamal became Barca's youngest ever debutant when he was brought off the bench by coach Xavi.