Lionel Messi scores flawless free-kick to give Barcelona lead at Betis

Lionel Messi was so brilliant against Betis the opposing fans gave him a standing ovation

Lionel Messi netted the first goal in the 18th minute from a superb free-kick to give Barcelona the lead.

Real Madrid have struggled considerably since his departure having already sacked two managers in Julen Lopitagui and Santiago Solari, crashed out of both the Champions League and the Copa del Rey and effectively conceded the La Liga title.

But while Messi enjoyed a landmark night on Sunday evening, Barcelona did not have everything their own way despite the final score. "We have a great advantage but there are many points to play for".

But Messi saved his best for late after substitute Loren Moron had pulled one back for the hosts.

Inaki Williams had given Athletic the lead in that game with little over a quarter of an hour to play in Bilbao. His shot grazed the underside of the bar before going in, triggering the outburst of praise from Betis fans.

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Luis Suarez is set to be fit for Barcelona's Champions League quarter-final against Manchester United despite suffering a sprained ankle. Worse things have happened before.

Suarez opened scoring in the second half, netting a pass from Gerard Pique in the 63rd minute.

Earlier, Legit.ng had reported how Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi was branded as an average player in an unusual rant by Canadian football pundit Sid Seixeiro. "He is able to singlehandedly decide games".

Messi has scored 39 goals and assisted a further 21 strikes in 37 matches across all competitions for Barca so far this season.

Getafe defended well to take a 0-0 draw at Valencia, keeping its hold on fourth place.

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