Betis had the first shot in the third minute as Joel Campbell’s lob pass nearly found Salva Sevilla, whose header just missed. Cesc Fabregas suffered a thigh injury and had to be replaced in the 10th minute. Alexis Sanchez came in for the former Arsenal man.
In the 16th minute, Messi tied Müller’s record as he got the ball, ran to the left, passed two Betis defenders and kicked into the far post, beating goalkeeper Adrian.
Andres Iniesta almost doubled the lead two minutes later as his lob shot looked good, but Betis goalkeeper Adrian made a leaping tip to clear it out for a corner kick.
History was made in the 25th minute as Lionel Andres Messi broke Gerd Müller’s record of goals in a calendar year with his 86th goal of 2012. On the break, Messi found Iniesta on the left, who back-heeled it back to him, allowing Leo to bullet the ball to the far right post and in for history.
We are all privileged to witness football history, and to be living in the Lionel Messi era.
Xavi looked to get his goal in the 34th minute as he drove a long shot on goal, but Adrian made a nice diving save.
Ruben Castro cut the lead in half in the 39th minute as he stayed onside for the one-on-one with Victor Valdes. Castro easily put it passed Barca's keeper for the goal.
In the second half, Betis nearly tied the score in the 52nd minute as a cross towards Valdes was mishandled by the Barcelona goalkeeper and hit underneath the crossbar—but then Valdes recovered and made the save. Betis hit the woodwork again in the 71st minute as a Jose Cañas header hit the far post, but Valdes grabbed the loose ball.
Alexis Sanchez found a wide-open Pedro in the 77th minute, and the Canarian’s shot was blocked by Adrian. Jorge Molina tried to center a shot in the 79th minute, but his cross was cleared. Then, Alejandro Pozuelo's half volley hit the post as Betis once again came just inches away from equalizing.
Messi nearly got his hat trick in the 83rd minute as Thiago found him inside the box; his shot was blocked by Adrian, with the rebound finding Jordi Alba, whose shot went to the top of the crossbar and out of play.
The last few minutes were incredible as both teams went back and forth. Betis had one last chance in stoppage time, but their corner kick was headed wide and out of play.
The final score was Real Betis 1 – 2 FC Barcelona.
Barcelona remain unbeaten in La Liga and continue their historic run as they add to their record of the best start in league history: 43 out of 45 points.
The Man of The Match for FC Barcelona: The Woodwork, but the night and the accolades went to Lionel Andres Messi.
Let’s break down the three most important things "From The Mind of Xoel" from Barcelona’s win over Betis, including looking at Messi’s record by the numbers.