FC Barcelona News: 11 November 2013; Barça Extend La Liga Lead to Three Points, Lionel Messi Picks Up Thigh Injury

Denis Doyle

Betis – FC Barcelona -lead at the top increased(1-4) | FC Barcelona
Barça stretched their lead at the top of La Liga with a 1-4 win at the Benito Villamarín tonight. Goals from Neymar and Pedro in the first half and a brace from Cesc after the break mean Gerardo Martino’s side go into the international break with yet another win under their belt and a three point cushion over second place Atletico Madrid, who were held to a 1-1 draw in Villarreal.

Leo Messi picks up an injury to the femoral biceps of his left leg | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi picked up an injury to the femoral biceps of his left leg in this evening’s match against Betis. He will undergo additional tests on Monday to determine the exact extent of the injury. The Argentinian abandoned the pitch on 21 minutes, Andrés Iniesta came on in his stead.

Messi wasn't the only player injured against Betis as Cesc Fabregas also left the game as a precaution in the 80th minute. Pending further tests the injury is currently classified as a "knee injury", but the midfielder has already been ruled out of Spain's upcoming friendly games. He will be replaced in the squad by fellow Barcelona player, Marc Bartra.

Tata Martino: "We played an intelligent match" | FC Barcelona
"We played the game that Betis wanted to play in the first 30 minutes. They left a lot of space and their pressure forced us back," said Martino, who added that Betis "deserved a goal in the first half hour of the game." With that said, Tata noted that "when Cesc scored the third goal the game was over. We played an intelligent match."

Neymar Jr, most popular player in Brazil | FC Barcelona
A study by Stochos Sports & Entertainment has revealed something we really knew already. That Neymar Jr is the most popular footballer in Brazil. But what is most surprising is how popular FC Barcelona are in his country.

Cesc Fàbregas is pleased with his current form | FC Barcelona
He gave an assist and he scored two goals in the match against Betis. After the game, Cesc told the press that he’s pleased with his current good form: "I’m on good form, I always try to vindicate myself and make a difference."

Once a rock, now a wreck: What has happened to Gerard Pique? - Goal.com
His decline is a cause for concern. Once considered one of the world's finest defenders and even earmarked as a future skipper at Camp Nou, Gerard Pique has looked clumsy and cumbersome in recent months - a shadow of the player he once was.

Neymar up for Puskas Award | Football Espana
Barcelona’s Neymar has been listed once more on the shortlist of goals nominated for the annual FIFA Puskas Award. The award, which is named in honour of former Real Madrid and Hungary international Ferenc Puskas, is handed out at the year’s Ballon d’Or gala to recognise the best goal of the calendar year.

Cesc and Pedro ever-presents away from home | FC Barcelona
Neymar has now scored five goals so far this season. The strike against Betis was his first on the road in the league, though he also scored at the Calderon in the Spanish Super Cup. Cesc and Pedro have started all seven away games in the league so far this season and have each scored four goals.

Training schedule during the international break | FC Barcelona
Just a month after the last international break, Tata Martino will again be bidding farewell to a big chunk of his squad, as they fly off to join their national teams. For those who will stay on in Barcelona, the coach and his staff have programmed three training session – on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – with rest days on Monday and Tuesday and over the weekend.

Honours even at El Madrigal | Sky Sports Football
An own goal for either side meant the spoils were shared between Villarreal and Atletico Madrid, who recorded a 1-1 draw at El Madrigal, as Diego Simeone's side squandered a chance to briefly go ahead of Primera Division leaders Barcelona. Although Los Rojiblancos dropped points for only the second time this season, they could not complain about the result, and were in fact the weaker side from start to finish.

Two points lost for Valencia | ESPNFC.com
Ever Banega skied a spot-kick in the fifth minute and Javier Guerra then gave the visitors the lead against the run of play. Dorlan Pabon equalised for Valencia just before the half-hour mark but Gilberto Alcaraz put Valladolid ahead again early in the second half. Sophiane Feghouli equalised with 14 minutes remaining and Pabon had a chance to win it, but in the end Valencia were grateful to goalkeeper Vicente Guaita, who made two saves late in the game to allow his side to cling on to a point.

Sevilla back in the groove | Sky Sports Football
Sevilla halted a two-match losing streak with an impressive 3-1 victory at 10-man Espanyol to move above the struggling Catalan club in the Primera Division table. Los Rojiblancos had suffered back-to-back defeats against Real Madrid and Celta Vigo in recent weeks but made an ideal start at the Estadi Cornella-El Prat as Federico Fazio and Machin Vitolo put them two goals to the good inside the first 10 minutes.

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